QUETTA: At least 66% of children, between the ages of five and 16, in Balochistan, do not go to school, Alif Ailaan, a non-profit organisation working on education in the province, disclosed on Saturday.
During a press conference, held by the organisation in Quetta, it was revealed that in Balochistan, 1.8 million out of 2.7 million children are without any kind of education.
“The dropout rate at primary schools is very alarming in Balochistan. Around 865,337 children enroll at primary schools and the rate increases to 191,300 when they reach middle school,” Sajid Hussain Changezi, an Alif Ailaan manager, told reporters.
Changezi added that 57% of children leave school without completing their education at the primary level.
During the conference, representatives of the nonprofit organisation urged the government to pay attention to the state of girls’ education in the province.
Furthermore, state-run schools in Balochistan are in precarious condition.
“There are a total 12,347 state-run schools in Balochistan, of which merely 6% are high schools. At least 76% of school-going children are enrolled at state-run schools, while 19% are studying at private schools and 5% are enrolled at religious seminaries,” Changezi said.
The organisation said there are 216 schools which are not functional and the quality of education is poor as compared to other provinces. Not a single district of Balochistan has topped any ranking in Pakistan when it comes to education. More than 14% of teachers do not attend the schools but draw salaries, while 37% schools are with single rooms.
In Barkhan district, 80% of the schools are with single rooms. The speakers in the seminar urged to pay more attention on child education in Balochistan, which is lagging far behind other provinces.
“Malala Yousafzai should also play her role in this regard and we are expecting that she will help the girls of Balochistan too,” said Dr Nashnas Lehri, an official of Alif Ailaan.
Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Malik has said his government does not have enough resources to overcome the challenges in the education sector. He also said his government needs Rs63 billion to increase enrolment in schools.