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QUETTA: The adviser to the chief minister on education said on Thursday that over 1.6 million children of school-going age, two-thirds of them girls, were deprived of education in Balochistan, which needed more schools to absorb them.

Speaking at a ceremony held here on Thursday in connection with the first anniversary of Peshawar’s Army Public School (APS) carnage, Sardar Raza Mohammad Barrech said it was a matter of serious concern that girls in such a large number were not enrolled in schools because of their shortage.

About 12,000 of the 22,000 plus settlements in the province had government-run schools but most of them lacked facilities.

Realising the gravity of those issues, he said, the provincial government had allocated massive funds for education sector and planned to open maximum number of schools. Besides, private schools are being encouraged in the areas where public schools do not exist.

“We want to bring Balochistan at par with other provinces in education sector,” the minister said.

He urged parents to get their children enrolled in schools and said: “We are raising awareness among parents to motivate them to educate their children.”

Referring to the APS massacre, he deplored that terrorists had attacked children in the gory incident and said the nation would never forget the innocent martyrs who had written history with their blood.

Mr Barrech called for a collective effort involving every segment of society to defeat terrorism.

Published in Dawn, December 18th, 2015