QUETTA: The Balochistan Education Department on Wednesday appointed 5,000 teachers on merit in the province through tests and interviews conducted for the first time by the National Testing Service.

Balochistan Chief Minister (CM) Malik Baloch said the teachers' appointment on merit was no less than a miracle in the province.

"Despite odds, we ensured merit in appointments of teachers," the CM said. In Balochistan teachers were often appointed on political grounds rather than on the basis of merit, through required procedure in the past.

Balochistan Secretary Education Saboor Kakar said that 95,000 candidates had appeared in the testing and interview process from across the province.

"It is government's duty to ensure merit in appointments," Balochistan Chief Secretary Saifullah Chahta said, adding that it was the right of candidates to be appointed on the basis of merit.

Balochistan lags behind other provinces in terms of literacy. The Baloch nationalists-led coalition government has, however, earmarked a substantial amount for the education sector. However, the state of education in the province remains dismal.

"In spite of political pressure, we tried to ensure merit [as the basis of appointments]," Adviser to the Chief Minister on Education Sardar Raza Bareech said.

The Balochistan CM later distributed appointment orders among successful candidates. All teachers will be posted to their respective districts by Oct 12, the Secretary Education Saboor Kakar said.

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