Despite being a resource-rich and the largest province covering 44% of the entire country, Baluchistan is the most de-prived province of Pakistan in all spheres of life. The situation is even worse when it comes to the education sector. As per the latest National Economic Survey (NES), the literacy rate of the province is 34 percent against the national liter-acy rate which is 52%. Funds allocated to the education sector in Baluchistan have never been sufficient enough and high dropout rate among both male & female students has transpired as a result. The issues primarily responsible for high dropout and low enrollment are lack of required infrastructure, deplorable condition of campuses, shortage of required furniture, absence of clean drinking water, non-existence of boundary walls and, above all, inadequate sanita-tion facilities.
Cognizant of the above mentioned problem, organization Water, Environment & Sanitation Society (WESS) has over the years been focusing its initiatives on addressing the identified gaps in the education area in Baluchistan. While the nature of its interventions in the education sector in the province have been varied however, in District Killa Abdullah the focus has primarily been on infrastructure development and rehabilitation of schools.
To extend the interventions in improving the education sector WESS was awarded a grant of USD 249,926 through USAID’s Small Grant Program to rehabilitate 12 schools in District Killa Abdullah. Started in July 2012, this project will benefit 1,566 students (1,301 boys and 265 girls) and 24 Teachers of the selected 12 schools upon its completion in June 2013, through provision of furniture and equipment and infrastructure support. In addition to infrastructure devel-opment and rehabilitation under the said intervention, the project focuses provision of clean drinking water & con-struction of latrines. Capacity building of teachers through two 5-day training workshops on children-friendly teaching methods for all teachers of the selected schools and distribution of Sport Kits (comprising of 2 footballs, a Cricket kit, 6 skipping ropes, 10 Frisbees) in the same schools is also a part of this intervention. Distribution of hygiene kits is also one of the important components of the program.
The provision of sports kits has positively engaged the students in extracurricular activities, which is equally important for their physical and mental growth. Conduction of awareness sessions has improved the over health and hygiene sta-tus of children. The provision of furniture and educational material has substantiated creation of educational environ-ment, which is likely to result in developing interest of students in their studies.