PANJGUR: Panjgur, being one of the largest districts of Balochistan, with a population of several hundred thousand, has 48 primary schools (40 for girls, eight for boys), 18 middle schools (three for girls and 10 for boys), and 26 high schools (16 for boys and 10 for girls). A look at the state of these schools reveals the amount of attention that the Balochistan government gives to them.
The provincial government was seen to make some big promises two years ago about how it would completely transform the education sector of Balochistan through some miracle, but no good work has seen the light of day so far. All schools are in lamentable condition. From among the 48 primary schools, just a few are functional on a regular basis and almost all of them lack basic facilities such as seating space and running water. The middle and high schools, too, have their share of grievances as they lack basic resources, such as transport systems, appropriate classrooms, science laboratories, computer laboratories, libraries and sports grounds. Moreover, the absence of teachers is more or less a part of routine. In addition, with such deprivation of basic resources, the continued threat of shutting down of the schools by extremists constantly plagues teachers and students. How is education to thrive in such an atmosphere? How will the provincial government keep up its promise of uplifting education without first addressing the problems of militancy and poverty?
Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2014.