Jan 10, 2018

Balochistan: Girls Drop Out of School at Alarming Rate

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Pakistan fails to provide basic rights to the people of the province of Balochistan, including educating children. Young girls are dropping out of school at an alarming rate. Nine out of every ten girls are out of school in rural Balochistan, making girls and women the biggest victims of illiteracy in the territory. The reasons for this are that there is a lack of schools where they can continue their education, teacher absenteeism, budgetary allocations and corruption. All of these factors leave girls without an education, forcing them to stay at home doing household chores and getting married off at a young age. It is the responsibility of the government to provide education to all its citizens. 


The article below was published by The Balochistan Point: 

An alarming situation of huge dropouts of Baloch girls throughout Balochistan, after primary-schooling has raised serious questions.  In response to this situation, everyone has given their own opinion, but this issue must be of government’s major concerns given the intensity of the issue.  

However, due to continuous negligence and silence by the government, the issue is getting worse with every passing year, but so far not a single serious action has been taken to end the cycle of dropouts. In Balochistan, almost 80 percent of the population is living in villages. People from rural areas are deprived from advance technologies, they hardly get food three times a day and they don’t even have access to other basic facilities including schools, water and many other amenities necessary for daily use.

The literacy rate of Baloch female in rural areas is only two percent which is very less, that means nine out of every ten girls are out of school in rural Balochistan. Most of these girls have either never attended school or left before or after getting primary education. One of the reasons can be lack of high schools where they can continue their schooling.  Since they can’t get enrolled in any high school, they can only help with the household chores, including; cooking, cleaning the house, or they are married off in a young age that increases their risk of early motherhood and eventually putting their lives on risk.

On the other hand, because of low level of literacy, these girls and their families have very little awareness about the importance of education for girls. Education is the right of each child, but in Balochistan children are deprived of most of their basic rights, and the state of female literacy is worst in the province. Though in cities the literacy rate is much higher as compare to rural areas as it is estimated to be 26 percent. Still in Balochistan, seven out of every ten girls drop out of school every year. 

Many experts have estimated that in rural areas of Balochistan the condition is being deteriorated day by day and some teachers fear to attend the classes given the political instability. In many areas of Makran co-education is available in many schools. It shows that in many areas girls do not have access to all-girls-school. In rural areas when boys pass their primary, they get family support to be sent out of village for higher education but we hardly ever see that a girl has been sent to city for higher education.

On the other hand, large number of students for single teacher is a huge problem throughout the province, this again increases the issues, even condition in the provincial capital of Quetta is same where in some places only one teacher is available for more than 100 of students. Not only the girls do not have access, but there are fundamentally fewer schools in the province with respect to its population. This estimate that around half of Balochistan is deprived of education. The government needs to establish 1,000 more schools to enroll the entire children of Balochistan, especially the girls who are deprived from primary education. 

If schools are established, but do not have teachers, there will be no benefit of such schools, therefore government will also have to increase the number of teachers. It is estimated that Balochistan is having 5,000 ghost teachers. These teachers never pay attention on their jobs, and never bother themselves to enter inside the schools but yet they receive their salaries every month. In last year around 400 absent teachers were terminated, so a great improvement occurred. Unfortunately, in recent year other than terminating 400 ghost teachers, not much action has been taken against the such teachers. These teachers are contributing to the destruction of children in Balochistan. 

Worsening law and order situation coupled with budgetary allocations, absentee teachers, lack of school facilities and growing corruption have been the main factors behind low literacy rate in Balochistan It is government’s responsibility to provide all basic rights of the public, these basic rights also include education and as females are more than half our population, and are the biggest victim of illiteracy, there should be special attention toward female literacy in the province.