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Education: a case for Balochistan

December 23, 2010

EVERYONE would agree with me when I say that prosperity in Balochistan requires that education be given the utmost priority, but unfortunately today education is far from being satisfactory in Balochistan.

The reasons for the lack of standard education in Balochistan are many: lack of awareness, orthodox mentality, stigmas attached with women’s education resulting in the unwillingness to educate women, socio-economic problems, law and order situation, lack of facilities which, in turn, results from the lack of interest on the part of the authorities concerned, i.e. the government, and so on The status of higher education in Balochistan can be judged from the fact that the total number of universities (including those run privately) in the province is five and this number is reduced to only one if the ones located at Quetta are excluded.

There is only one public sector university, the University of Balochistan; only one medical institute, Bolan University of Medical and Health Sciences (previously named Bolan Medical College), and only one engineering university, the University Of Engineering and Technology, Khuzdar. Bolan University of Medical and Health Sciences remains closed for almost half a year owing to the political activities and situation in the province. Students receive medical degrees in seven to eight years. This amounts to students ending up wasting a good number of years. The same is true for the University of Balochistan and the University of Engineering and Technology, Khuzdar Balochistan has only two law colleges at Quetta and Sibi and those two only provide graduate degrees in law.

Teaching efficiency in Balochistan is down to zero because major portion of the professional teaching faculty in educational institutes of Balochistan belonged to other provinces of the country and most of them applied for migration to their respective provinces because of the deteriorating law and order situation.

This creates a vacuum that the locale people failed to fill. It is worth mentioning here that locals should adopt teaching profession only when they do not have any other option (profession) left with themselves.

In pursuit of better education, students from Balochistan make an endless flow towards educational institutes of Karachi, Islamabad and, in particular, Lahore. The reason is clear: the lowest and the worst standard of education in Balochistan.

In order to halt the superfluous flow of students from Balochistan to Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pukhtunkawa and the federal capital, the government should ensure a quality education at the doorsteps of students from Balochistan.

Universities and colleges should be established in remote areas of the province. Natural sciences laboratories in public and private sector universities should be fully equipped.

More funds should be issued for research and allowances for the teaching staff must be increased to bolster teaching efficiency.

Merit killing should be brought to an end by replacing the quota system for admission to universities with the merit system. Above all, the government should make sure a peaceful environment exist for studies in universities.

It is time the ministry of education and the federal government took notice of this deteriorating situation of education in Balochistan.