Education officials in Balochistan have uncovered more than 400 fake teachers, believing the actual figure could be in thousands. An investigation is now underway to establish how many non-existent teachers are registered after an inquiry revealed more than 900 ‘ghost schools’ and 234,000 fake students in the province.

Balochistan Chief Minister claims that corrupt officials were behind the scandal and said action against them was essential to clean up the education sector. These depressing findings were discovered by a World Bank funded ‘Real Time School Monitoring System’. The World Bank is certain that the scale of the fraud could be much higher and will continue to investigate exactly how many teachers exist only on paper.

The government is putting up a show of spending billions of rupees on schools and teachers, which do not exist. In Quetta alone, there are 112 fake teachers. The Balochistan government seems to applaud themselves for finding out about these appalling statistics, claiming that, “at least they admitted the facts by identifying the anomalies and is now heading towards reforms”. Why was the government unaware or such misconduct? This news has been only a small drop, in the gaping hole of education in the province. Do they think that just by accepting the problem, they would be given a free pass? Official accountability and responsibility are at an all time low. The scale of the fraud emerged after the government sent inspectors to all schools registered in Balochistan and compared the research findings with their own official records - an action for which they took their sweet time. Complaints were continuously lodged regarding teacher absenteeism, lack of facilities and school closures in the past, but it took a World Bank report for the government to take heed.

The Balochistan government has also the traced presence of at least 234,000 ghost students in the province who were ‘enrolled’ by officers of education department and teachers to show maximum number of schools and get other monetary benefits. If the government does not launch a process to verify documents and appointment orders of all teachers working in the province, a large number of fake and ghost teachers will succeed in cementing ties with officers in the education department.