BY SHER JAN SHOHAZ
Pakistan has a history of out of school children scoring more than 25 million. What upsets is that Balochistan is home to highest number of out of school children followed by tribal areas, the prime reason being the provincial government’s long term negligence. In the province, the luckiest are the ones who are nearing to scholastic sphere.
It is a sure fact that shaping one’s social and academic image, education is always seemed sufficient tool torpedoing the unpleasant replica of empty-headedness, philistinism, bewilderment and stumbling blocks of social awareness and aliveness.
History always makes us believe that the changes of moral and structural maturity in the world among nations could never occur they concentrated on building skyscrapers and modern architectures but happened when education was made an emergency of living and devolving.
Hiding the actual image of education sector in the province keeps resulting it running risk of high growing illiteracy which so far has been the attempt of many writers to get it reduced highlighting it in public.
According to a report published in Dawn in 16 February 2019, the province is observed to have 9,247 government-run schools which are extremely poor in first necessities of drinking water while 9,838 schools have no toilet facilities. The report further frustrates that the province has over 13,000 primary, middle and high schools with an enrollment of 899,383 male and female students. However, in Balochistan over 7,900 schools do not have boundary walls, whereas there are 5,296 ‘one room, one teacher’ schools.
The province witnesses the allocation of billions of amount taken to improve the tumble-down image of education sector yet the cries of the province demanding a helping hand to enroll it’s over 1 million children in school make a show of the concern of the government is elsewhere.
Additionally, article 25-A of the constitution in Pakistan excites one to feel comfortable to possess an equal education. The article states “The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children from five to 16 years of age in such a manner as may be determined by law.” This article was incorporated into the Constitution through its 18th amendment. What is unfortunate is that the state is up to now running opposite of implementation of the article. Free and compulsory education is yet to be given in Balochistan.
It hits where one lives to see the children of the same province: contributing the largest share of resources to Pakistan, working in garages, fields, shops, and included many other doings as the source of income rather being enrolled in schools and dreaming big to persuade as the children of other provinces enjoy their rights of dreaming.
On October 23 of 2019, a campaign entitled Balochistan Education System (BEC) in the district Awaran was arranged to weaken the woes of illiteracy in the province.
It efforts to point out the closed schools of the district and collect data.
According to Shabir Rakshani; a district resident and a leading member of BES, they have made out a report claiming 192 closed schools in the district out of 380 sanctioned schools. “Our generation could not get proper education in Awaran because of closed schools and we do not want the next generation to suffer the same way.” Speaks Mr. Rakhshani in an interview. He further said that as a result of closed schools in the district, more than 12,000 children of school-going age have been deprived of their birthright: education.
Excluding salary budget, Awaran’s all-out budget for previous and following year is Rs 30.96 million from which Rs5.8 million of this amount has announced to be released for 63 schools, which are closed but are shown functional in government records and Rs2.09 million were allocated for uniforms which the students have not been provided so far. Moreover, Rs1.46 million for sports ground and Rs1.08 million for science are allocated but the district witness a famine of following provisions which are yet to be experienced.
Awaran is proven to be marked the most backward district in Pakistan with the population of around 121,680 people, according to the census held in 2017. The Human Development Index in the district is estimated the lowest which has the the score of 0.173 in the Pakistan National Human Development Report, 2017.
Balochistan is a moneyed and resource-rich province which is yet to reap benefits of its natural landscape. Unfortunately, for more than 70 years the woes of people are constantly continued to aggravate. Situation in other parts of country is also identical but the largest province has been marred by corrupt and slack governments.
The province, indeed, has never demanded more than its constitutional freedom to equivalently step in progress as other provinces. Unless sincere steps by provincial and federal governments are taken, the percentage of not-going children and youngsters will grow old illiterate and without life skills required to survive in this cut-throat world.