Balochistan, the largest and the most mineral-rich province of Pakistan, covers almost 44% of its land masses yet suffers from numerous huge and small problems. Education has always been one of them. Balochistan approximately has a literacy rate of 41% and out of its total 3.6 million children, only 1.3 million children go to schools while the rest of the 66% are out of schools. This is because of several reasons but one of the most important one is the lack of awareness. Another reason is lack of basic facilities such as toilets, classrooms and drinking water at schools. Statistics reveal that out of all the schools in the province, 36% lack water, 56% schools lack electricity and 15% do not even exist on land. Over the years, it has been thought and stated, repeatedly, that the past provincial governments have been least interested and much ignorant of the education sector in the province.

However, this perception quite changed with the establishment of Balochistan Education Project (BEP), which has brought several pioneering initiatives and innovative solutions as its wings. It has helped education managers and decision makers in prioritizing the educational resources according to the educational inputs and outputs through easy availability of updated and accurate data as its initiatives. Some of the most vital initiatives of the project are adoption and conversion of abandoned buildings into new schools, merit-based recruitment of teachers, pre-defined schools selection criteria, institutionalization of Early Childhood Education (ECE) in 845 selected schools, building partnerships, quality education and learning, mobilizing resources, use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to ensure transparency, whole school package and above all Real Time School Monitoring System (RTSM).

Real Time School Monitoring System is a measure of the Secondary Education Department of Government of Balochistan under BEP, with the developmental partnership of United Nations Children’s Fund, (formerly known as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) UNICEF, European Union (EU), Innovative Development Organization (IDO), Global Partnership for Education and World Bank. Other than an android RTSM, the Education Management Information System (EMIS) through the IDO is providing technical support in the development of desktop and online data entry and reporting tools, the EMIS website, a Complaint Management System (CMS), a Biometric Attendance System, a Decision Support System (DSS) and a Geographical Information System (GIS) for school mapping. Implemented since July 2014, it aims to substitute the paper-based monitoring of secondary schools with the android-based monitoring system. The android app is used to first gather and then monitor proper data for quantitative factors like availability of teachers, enrolled students, basic facilities, infrastructure, environment, and visits to schools by officials. Therefore, RTSM ensures timely and accurate information and quick solution-based decisions by the stakeholders about issues at secondary level.

RTSM helps educators in prioritizing and distributing the resources according to the needs of the education system, because this system monitors the enrolment and attendance at schools, the availability and presence of staff, the provision of facilities and infrastructure, the health of school environment, the professional training and development of instructors, the usage of funds and the check and balance visits made by the stakeholders.

RTSM functions in a step by step manner where, at first, the basic data about target number of schools, to be monitored, is fetched. Then, the GIS, along with the photographs, of the schools is gathered. After that, the exact data about the enrolled, present and absent students is collected through visits. Apart from that, the teaching and learning environment, availability of stationery, curricula and lecture schedules is checked during the visits. Also, the availability of facilities and infrastructure is monitored. This includes looking for drinking water, gas, electricity, classrooms, toilets and furniture of classrooms. Following this, the attendance of the staff, academic, administrative and janitor, is recorded and their basic data along with their Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) numbers as well as the photographs is collected in order to identify the ghost teachers.

Furthermore, information about student participation and the visits of educators and other stakeholders, to the schools, during the last trimester is recorded. Then, the record about the professional development of the faculty is gathered. The professional development trainings are also one of the initiatives of the secondary education department for improving the quality of education in the province. The monitory staff also records the funds received and utilized by the schools.

As soon as the monitoring associates upload the school monitoring report to the RTSM website, it is ready to be viewed by the authorized managers in the Education Department. These managers also share a common WhatsApp group, in order to meet the needs of present times. Real Time School Monitoring System website also provides general information about the number of schools monitored against the target number of schools allocated for any month, generally as well as district wise. The performance, within a specific district depends upon its Deputy Commissioner (DC), Secretary Education and District Education Officer (DEO), thereby causing variations. The website also provides a cumulative indicator wise progress of the schools monitored in a certain period of time, for instance a month.

RTSM was pretty much successful in the beginning, but research shows that gradually, the success or result rate has overall declined by almost 25%, according to the District Monitoring Coordinators (DMC), due to several factors. Since the needs are growing, the lack of trained staff, shortage of fuel and other energy resources, authorities practising nepotism, high maintenance, failure of biometric attendance system and lack of budget-based support from government in the form of contracts are a few causes of decline.

However, generally the initiation of this innovative android-based software application for the proper collection of data and monitoring of the secondary schools, already has and will change the overall scenario of secondary education in the province since it not only monitors schools and funds but also records, checks and rectifies common, yet impactful factors like teacher absenteeism, school infrastructure and facilities and ghost faculty. It has also helped in the identification of ghost teachers, ghost schools, wastage of funds, grant of pays to the absent faculty and other loopholes thereby decreasing the burden, laid by such factors, on the fragile economy of the province and of the state. Also, it will help in the needs-analysis for allocation of budget and funds. Last but not the least, it will help in mending the already set corrupt image of government secondary schools, so making education easy, feasible and affordable for all, no matter their social status. Hence the overall literacy rate of the province may elevate in near future, thereby driving Pakistan to progress and prosperity.


About Author

The writer is a Quetta based author, debater, essayist and poetess. She has recently completed her graduation in English Linguistics from Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University, Quetta. She also holds a Masters degree in Economics.


  1. This artical is really amazing describes each and everything about today’s situation of education in love with your writting style ..stay blessed

  2. Firstly I really want to congrats you.
    I read the complete article, it seems like you searched a lot related to this topic “RTSM”.
    After reading this I got to learn some new terms like “RTSM, ghost teacher, ghost faculty, DMC” etc.
    It was an informative one we need more like this.

  3. Impressive information, it discusses all the current issues of balochistan educational system. Keep it up
    I request to the Govt of balochistan to take action to the educational sector and provide the citizens of balochistan with a better educational environment.

  4. Yeah,
    Off course RTSM is good initiative. Government should adopt this system permanently. Only then can our Education System improve.

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