Strategically the most important province of Pakistan, Balochistan has developed since the last election largely. The sectors such as education, health and security leveled up boosting the hopes of a new Balochistan. The government is due to pay more attention to the education department since it is listed in the 1973 constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan that, “the state shall be responsible for eradication of illiteracy and provision of free and compulsory education up to secondary level, within minimum possible time”, (Article 37-B). Hence, the concern to raise the educational budget every fiscal year.
The total budget of the Balochistan government for fiscal year 2018-2019 amounted to Rs 352.3 billion out of which Rs 68 billion has been allocated for education. A massive increase of Rs 23 billion compared with the allocated budget of Rs 45 billion in 2017-18 can be witnessed. According to Former Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, the government tried to provide concentrated amount of relief to the public by allocating adequate funds for the education and health sectors.
The then Advisor Finance Dr. Ruqayya Hashmi asserted that there is a special budget for the youth of Balochistan in the fiscal year 2018. The five years plan includes 100 new primary schools to be established and 100 primary schools to be upgraded to middle schools. Furthermore, Rs.55 billion is allocated for the Balochistan Textbook Board for the upgradation and supply of primary books to government schools.
To familiarize Balochistan’s students to a new technological environment, the provincial government was able to allot Rs.500 million for Chief Minister’s Laptop Scheme to distribute 10,000 free laptops. The Higher Education Department of the province distributed these laptops to the students on merit who were enrolled in any educational institute of Balochistan in intermediate, graduation, post-graduation and PhD. Native students of the province who were studying in other provinces on Balochistan’s quota were also eligible for the scheme.
More recently, students from different districts of Balochistan were invited to learn Chinese language by the instructors of NUML University under the supervision of Pakistan Army, where a fully funded course by the Government of Balochistan that included free accommodation, food, transport and health facilities was arranged. The main objective of this plan was to prepare the youth for upcoming projects of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Subsequently, NUST preparatory classes were also arranged for the first time in Balochistan to help guide and prepare the students to compete at national educational level.
Hence, in the democratic period since the last elections there has been a great educational and socio-economic growth in Balochistan, including basic health rights and security as well. If it continues, there are greater chances and hope for the natives especially the youth to progress, being majority of Balochistan’s population.