Education and Distance: a look into Balochistan

In Balochistan, 60 to 70 percent of youngsters are not attending school, according to UNICEF. Among girls of school age, 78% are not enrolled, compared to 67% of boys. The large distances between the school and the children's houses are one of the key causes of the high number of out-of-school children. Balochistan has primary schools every 30 kilometres, middle schools every 260 kilometres, and high schools every 360 kilometres on average.

This goes on to highlight how important a role mobility and physical distance play in terms of education. When a household does not have access to vehicles, the only way of travel is by foot. To do this from places that are very far apart becomes almost impossible. This is mostly the case when it comes to educational institutions, as these require attendance every other day.

One of the main problems in the education sector in Balochistan comes through infrastructure. Although there aren't many schools in the province, those that exist still don't have things like perimeter walls, drinkable water, or power. According to the research, around 80.50 percent of Balochistan's school buildings are dilapidated. Some of the buildings have cracks that are obvious. Some schools are even without a physical structure.

In such places it is also very difficult to find and keep teachers. A lot of times there are threats of security which make it very difficult for people to stay regular.

The province hasn't been able to raise money for its schools, despite having Pakistan's largest economic project—Gwadar—and being the richest in natural resources. Therefore, government initiative needs to invest in the province and its overall education.


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