Pakistan’s state machinery is broken. A routine visit to a public school is enough to get an idea of the abject state machinery. Simultaneously, the tour also informs the visitor that education is the last issue on the list of state’s objectives and priorities. Among other things that are in dire need of the state’s attention, the issue of ghost teachers also warrants a strict action from the government. The state of education across Pakistan is dismal. However, the case of Balochistan is the worst.

Thankfully, the provincial government has realised that it needs to take some corrective measures against ghost employees and chronic absentee teachers. The action on the part of the government against such employees of the education department will be a step in the right direction. According to one report, single teachers run some 5,000 primary schools. Just imagine the kind of education our potential future makers are receiving.

The provincial government should immediately sack ghost teachers and all those who do not attend their classes with competent alternatives. But the woes of the education sector of the province will not end with the firing of the ghost employees who draw salaries from the exchequer without providing any services. The education sector needs many more reforms. It is not wrong to argue that a revamp of the education sector is what is needed right now.

Before anything else, the government needs to allocate a significant chunk of the available resources to build proper infrastructure for schools, as one document suggests that more than 2000 schools are without shelter, adequate furniture for students and teachers and other necessities that a running school requires. Also, a majority of these teachers are not acquainted with modern pedagogical approaches. Either, the government should train them according to the needs and demands of the day, or the government should hire new teachers who can teach the students according to the requirements of modern times.

Furthermore, despite the implementation of education emergency by the provincial government, more than one million kids are yet to attend the schools. The government is responsible for ensuring that their right to education is not violated in any case.

Furthermore, the government does not need to succumb to the pressure of the teachers who have reacted against the government’s recently approved bill that bars teachers from agitation so that students do not suffer. The introduction of Balochistan Essential Education Service Act, 2018 was much-needed legislation from the provincial government. Hopefully, the present provincial government will take education as the sector that needs its urgent and most attention.