QUETTA: The Balochistan education department could not verify the presence of more than 15,000 teachers during the verification drive launched by the provincial government at least two years ago.

The education department, which launched the verification process in the beginning of 2014, to trace and terminate the ghost teachers, could only verify 42,000 teachers out of the total 59,000 registered teachers in the province, a senior official of the education department told Dawn.com.

"The number of primary, middle and high school teachers in Balochistan is approximately 59,000. We have only verified more than 42,000 so far. Remaining teachers could not be traced out despite repeated notices to district education officers," the officer said while endorsing the revelation.

Balochistan Education Minister Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal also confirmed the education secretary's claim by saying that the government cannot verify more than 15,000 teachers in the province.

"In addition to the missing teachers, the department has also spotted more than 900 ghost schools and their budget was stopped."

"A huge amount from Rs400 to 500 million was being paid to these ghost teachers," the education department official said.

Related: Balochistan stops funds for 650 ‘ghost schools’

In August last year, Balochistan government had terminated services of more than 400 government school teachers in the province who had been absent from the duty for a long time while NAB had started investigation against some senior officials of the education department who were allegedly involved in the appointment of such teachers.