Over 1,500 government-run primary, middle and high schools in Balochistan were found, during a verification process, to exist only on paper, officials said on Monday.

The Balochistan government and Unicef jointly conducted a survey with regard to the verification of schools over May 2016 to May 2017 to track down ghost schools across the province. Over 1,500 schools out of the total 10,788 could not be found, officials in the education department told DawnNews.

However, Balochistan Education Minister Rahim Ziaratwal put the figure of ghost schools at 1,400. "We could not identify 1,400 schools during the verification process," the minister said.

In Balochistan, the number of government-run primary, middle and high schools are above 13,000.

Last year, the government had launched a verification process of schools throughout the province. The verification process was conducted through Education Management and Information System (EMIS).

"We have ordered an inquiry into the matter and departmental action will be taken against the concerned officers," Ziaratwal said.

The joint survey also revealed that 25 schools were being run without buildings. The number of shelterless schools in Balochistan is already above 2,000, the minister added.

The EMIS survey also revealed that 90 per cent schools in the province had no sanitation facility. Funds worth Rs1 billion, allocated for the provision of clean drinking water and construction of toilets, had lapsed during fiscal year 2016-17.

The provincial government has declared an educational emergency in the province to bring children to schools. However, educational institutions across the province show a bleak picture.