Education of Hundred Thousand Children at Stake

Written by: Shabbir Rakhshani
Translated by: Yahya Reki
Rukhsana Bibi is a part of the educational system in the remote village of Tehsil Jhao. Where 142 girls and boys are also linked up and girls are in majority. The children are going to this school for education which foundation laid by their teacher Rukhsana! She is the first women teacher appointed from her village and performing her duties in the education department for the last 5 years. That’s why the girls got confident whom elders were afraid to send them to school.
This educational system can wrap its board any time when Rukhsana will be compelled to leave school. Causes exist which had been also addressed. Instead of performing her duty, Rukhsana is deprived of salary for 7 last months. She was appointed as “Junior Vernacular Teacher” (JVT) in 2015, due to the “Global Partnership for Education” project. Government has to continue the maintenance and administration of said schools. Schools were handed over to the Balochistan government as to the contract/Deal. They extended the contract of Teachers and paid salaries for 2 years but the case of regularization and salaries of teachers is hanged since July 2018. It had been gone through cold storage after sent to the Chief Minister of Balochistan twice. This situation has not only created financial hurdles for Rukhsana but also affected her 2 brothers’ educational system who be dependent on their sister’s monthly salary.
 1493 teachers of the “Global Partnership for Education” (GPE) project along with Rukhsana facing the same situation. They came to the provincial capital in December 2020 and staged a protest camp in front of Quetta Press Club. They sat down in front of the Balochistan Assembly during the session on December 30, 2020. Almas Qadir is also one of these protestors who traveled from Naal to Quetta to communicate to the authorities. Almas spent many days in protest camp along with her 4 months child. She is telling “whenever our issue was not resolved for a long time we compelled for the procession. We were not paid salaries for a couple of months but we haven’t closed schools because children are ours but need to run the house”.
Global teachers have started a sit-in on 28th December 2020 led by Fazal Ilyas. His wife was also there in affected teachers. He was arrested on the first day of agitation and shifted to “Bijli Ghar Thana” along with his 2 friends and then released. He is telling “Provincial Minister for Education Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind and Deputy Speaker Balochistan Assembly Babar Musakhail came to their camp in the evening and assured to draft summary and forward it to CM Balochistan to resolve the matter and if not, they will be separated from the government. And they postponed protest”.
The protest was continued for 10 days where women teachers and other family members were present along with children. The government has formed a committee that has to make recommendations on the matter and report CM Balochistan. however, the committee has died without any progress. Last information summary has been moved to Chief Secretary Balochistan Table.
World Bank in collaboration with European Union, has initiated the GPE project in 2015-16. Pakistan is in these countries which were agreed on it. The main purpose of this education was to introduce a gender-free education system among countries and deliver it from village to village. 709 new schools were made in Balochistan under the network of this project. Due to the contract, 95 government Middle and 20 High schools were mentioned in the said project. It was the main objective to pay salaries to the teachers as well establish schools on modern lines. The ratio of girl’s education improved in front of boys due to this project. Due to the report provided by the GPE project when these schools were shifted to the government 25, 404 boys and 65, 578 girls were enrolled in 709 primary schools.
The government of Balochistan has announced 9, 433 vacancies through National Testing Service (NTS) to fulfill the lack of teachers in education. But not completing the pattern of NTS candidates was not succeed which deprived the educational system in Balochistan. on the other side, the silence of the government could increase in the educational crisis. The government should think about it because this crisis will affect the education of lac children.

DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.

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Yahya Reki belongs to District Chagai of Balochistan. He covers Quetta Division for Balochistan Voices. He also works as a newscaster at PTV Bolan. He is Alumni of the U.S/Pakistan Professional Partnership Program for Journalists in 2018.