View Full Version : Developing human skills in Balochistan

04-14-2010, 06:00 AM

While a handful of angry tribal chieftains coupled with armed militants are still targeting government installations and mega developmental projects in Balochistan, the presence of strong and solid institutions like Pakistan Army has always helped in the uplift and development of the province. For instance, the decision of setting-up of an Army Corps Headquarters in Quetta has paid dividends and invariably brought better socio-economic changes in the shape of employment opportunities, development of the area and of course better civic amenities. It is beyond doubt that by establishing cantonment at Punu Aqil had a ‘civilizing’ effect in the much neglected areas.

Balochistan is Pakistan’s least developed and educated province with a literacy rate of 36 per cent against the national literacy rate of 53 per cent. Balochistan has a male literacy rate of 52% whereas the female is of 19%. According to National Education Census - 2005, out of a total of 245,682 educational centres, there are only 11,706 (4.7%) institutions in Balochistan. Some districts in Balochistan have among the lowest enrolment and literacy rates in the world, with one district recording only two per cent enrolment at the primary school level. The governments resolve to develop Balochistan as hub of business activity can only be fulfilled provided the potential of local Balochis are fully developed in respect to skill management. The tribesmen want schools, professional colleges, universities, roads, water projects and industrialization. But sardars misinform the innocent public and push them farther away from education.

The central government has shown its resolve to provide generous help to masses of Balochistan so as to overcome the legacy of neglect and underdevelopment from the past. Nonetheless, the current government’s wide-ranging structural reforms will bring progress in developing ‘human capabilities’. In 2008, the government has launched “National Vocational & Technical Education Commission” (NAVTEC) to produce technical manpower by utilizing already existing facilities of the technical institutes of federal, provincial, armed forces, other government and semi-government departments.

Accordingly, President Zardari announced the establishment of Balochistan Institute of Technical Education (BITE) under Army Southern Command stationed at Quetta by utilizing army engineers center resources. This will be aimed to implement a community-driven development initiative across the country, focusing on the weaker and more deprived communities. The community is a full partner in this effort. Both the policy makers and participants (general masses) complement the skill development process. Skill development, productivity, and growth, are inter-related. When we talk of strengthening the education and skills of our people, we mean to strengthen our economic advantage. Despite the growth, the sustainability and the trickle down of the growth benefits to the poor remain major challenges. The political infighting followed by unprecedented spike in oil prices, shortage in power & energy and ongoing US-led GWOT in Fata & Balochistan bordering Afghanistan, brought economic meltdown along with severe hardships for the common people.

The government recognized that education is the basic right of every citizen; therefore, access to education for every citizen is crucial for economic development and for poverty alleviation. Islamabad allocated $22 million for the education of Balochistan in the budget 2006-2007, creating 30,000 vacancies for the people of Balochistan in federal and provincial government departments. It is hoped that this may change the fate of Balochi people and they get the fruits of regional resources.

Pakistan Navy has established three Bahria High School at Ormara and one at Gawadar in 2006-07. The school has a strength of 73 ethnic Balochi students that is likely to increase manifold due to the enormous response from the locals in educating their children for better prospects.

The World Bank (WB) is helping the Balochistan government to set up 200 community schools and 100 private schools. The construction of cadet colleges in Qilla Saifullah, Jaffarabad and Panjgur districts, and the PC-I (project concept) for similar cadet colleges in Noshki, Gwadar, Kohlu and Sibbi will go a long way in allaying Baloch grievances.

Son of Mountains
04-14-2010, 06:51 AM
good to listen about development of balochistan
hope in future all Balochis will have good relations with Pakistan InshaAllah