By Zeeshan Nasir
Banadi, who is currently enrolled in grade 5 portrays the condition of her school. She wakes up early in the morning and gets ready for school. She enters the school gate and gets bewildered when she finds the sweeper absent. Upon witnessing the classrooms untidy, she sweeps the classes with some other fellows, arranges the chairs and waits for the teachers to arrive on time.
The Balochistan Review caught up with Banadi and inquired about the education system in her village named Kolahoo, “I often get confused to see the education system of every village in Balochistan. Not only Kolahoo reflects a picture of neglect but all the other villages in the province where many teachers are found ghost. They happen to appear in the time of exams.”
“I am from a very middle class family and I am one of those Baloch girls who is availing the chance to get a basic education. My sister has recently done her matriculation in the local high school. But she gets no one to pick and drop her from the Inter College Tump which is a few miles away from Kolahoo. Consequently, it is not merely my sister who is coming across this hurdle but all the other girls in the village who end up either doing chores or are tied up with the guardian knot in such tender ages.” She concludes
Balochistan’s problems pertaining to its education system, in particular are yet to be addressed. The governments-in-rule have failed to execute enough strategies to curtail these problems which directly brings the province to be a very backward area, concerning illiteracy and worst education system. Indeed, the underlying problems for the destruction and collapse of our education system are ghost teachers, corruption in the education system, lack of teachers and infrastructure.
Reports by Alif Ailan, a non-governmental organisation based in Pakistan, unveils that there are over 13845 primary and middle schools stretched across the province. The report also added that the students need to travel over 3 kilometres to reach a nearby primary school. Problems like unavailability of enough teaching staff, clean drinking water, boundary walls, shelterless schools coupled with other education-centred problems have promoted the dropout rate and increased the number of out of school children.
The literacy rate in the province varies from district to district. Districts like Panjgoor, Turbat and Gwadar have higher literacy rates not merely because of the government-run schools but private schools which lessen this gap; however, most of the lower class families avoid sending their children to the private schools because of the skyrocketing fees charged by them.
Villages in Turbat like Dasht, Nasirabad, Khairabad, Shapok witness higher literacy rates since, these villages have produced a great number of well-learnt scholars in different fields ,i.e bureaucrats, doctors, engineers, lecturers, magistrates and journalists.
From these villages differs an abandoned but remote village named Kolahoo. With a small population of over 1,400 people and situated in the Southernmost side of Nihang River and south-western side of the Turbat city , portrays the negligence of the district education officer.
People in this village are keen to get education but unluckily, most of the people are poor; therefore, they cannot go to a lot of expenses to educate their children in the city. This village has one high school for boys and a primary school for girls. On the contrary, the schools show a bleak picture of remissness. They don’t have enough classrooms, boundary walls, toilets, teachers, sanitation facilities and other educational stuffs like the other schools in the neighbouring villages.
Visiting the local boys high school of kolahoo, district Kech, I surprisingly, found the school in a shabby condition.One of the teachers remarked, “The education system of kolahoo still clamors about reforms. And neither the district education officer nor the parents care about their children’s education. I am not local to the village but have personally witnessed the devastation of the education system here and why would there be local teachers if nobody ever thinks of education? Something should be done to enlighten their minds.”
The headmaster of the school added that there are many teachers who have been appointed through NTS but they are found ghost in that too defying situation when teachers aren’t enough.
“It is high time that we came up with an education-centered supervisory team in every district which should have at least one judge, an academic and one media person to keep a check and balance on the education system of the district and its neighbouring areas,” The headmaster told The Balochistan Review
It is startling to note up that a plethora of students particularly of grade 9th keeps no idea about English, history or geography. Nobody knew even how many provinces of Pakistan are there. My friend, Munaj, is lucky enough to have enrolled his kids to the city’s private school. Many parents who cannot afford to send their children in Turbat or Tump take them in the fields to perform their ancestral profession. Why wouldn’t a farmer’s son be a farmer if he doesn’t get a quality education?
The education laws ought to be reformed root and branch and full focus should be on free and quality education which wouldn’t merely make the village more prosperity
but would work as an incentive to eradicate most of the crime-related problems in the deprived area. If the education system remains unchecked, will a single Banadi be ever educated?