Balochistan, Five Years of Education Reforms

Wins, losses and challenges for the future

When the current tenure of the assemblies began, in June 2013, Balochistan’s education landscape was defined by extreme inequality. Half of all schools were single room schools, and concurrently, but not proportionally, half of all schools were single teacher schools. Consistently, the DER document has shown Balochistan to be lagging on almost every indicator, across the province. Balochistan’s children have been the most abandoned of all Pakistani children.

The Balochistan Education Sector Plan 2013-2018 was devised in that context, and was supposed to serve as a roadmap for the province to extricate itself from the crisis situation that schools were in, and to set it on a path of reform. Balochistan’s unique topography, demography and the political instability faced by the people of the province, all combine to make education reform a low priority area, with low chances of success. Universal access to schools, high quality learning outcomes, adequate allocations and spending on education, and the accompanying data regime for education all represent structural challenges in Balochistan.

The reforms introduced during the current tenure have had some success in identifying closed schools, in reducing teacher absenteeism in government schools, and in partially addressing the significant mismatch between access to primary schools and access to middle, high and higher secondary schools across the province. Yet Balochistan continues to suffer from an education system that is unable to create the hope among its people, of a better and brighter future.

This document aims to contextualise the challenges faced in the provision of education across Balochistan and summarise successes in education reform over the last five years. In the coming five years, Balochistan may have a generational opportunity to ensure that all children of the province have access to high quality education. This document attempts to frame how this opportunity may be utilised.

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Education reform showing progress in Balochistan despite challenges

Quetta: The Government of Balochistan has invested time and resources in a number of structural and governance reforms since 2013. These reforms have largely been to address the challenges of providing improved infrastructure, devolving key responsibilities, and plugging the shortage of teachers through merit-based recruitment. However, the impact of these reforms is still unclear. This was highlighted in “2013-2018 Five years of education reform: Balochistan Wins, losses and challenges for the future 2018-2023”, a report published by education campaign Al...

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