QUETTA: Balochistan Education Minister Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal has alleged that a number of teachers hired to teach science subjects are incompetent. He made this observation while addressing a ceremony in the border-town of Chaman that marked the launch of the education department’s campaign ‘to send every child to school’.

“Most teachers recruited for subjects such as botany, physics, chemistry, zoology and biology cannot teach them,” Mr Ziaratwal said, adding that he could not understand who had hired them.

Balochistan Planning and Development Minister Dr Hamid Khan Achakzai, MNA Abdul Qahar Wadan of PkMAP, education secretary Abdul Saboor Kakar, tribal elders of the border town and senior officials attended the ceremony.

The education minister expressed anger over the low standard of education in government-run educational institutions. He said that the government was paying exorbitant salaries, ranging from Rs20,000 to Rs100,000, to teachers but none of their students managed to secure positions in the board examinations.

In contrast, he said, private school teachers were paid Rs5,000 to Rs10,000, but their students were securing top positions.

“We have not done justice with government educational institutions. We are responsible for this situation in the public sector,” Mr Ziaratwal said, adding that in the past, teachers came from other provinces whereas now, local people were being recruited but they were not performing their duties.

He said that the government had decided to improve the situation in the education department. “We have to take strict and unpopular decisions for the betterment of education in the province,” Mr Ziaratwal announced.

He said that teachers who were found to be absent from duty would face strict action, including suspension from service, deferral of salaries and withdrawal of facilities.

He said that the government has decided to send every child to school in Balochistan, for which purpose the campaign has been initiated across the province.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2016