QUETTA - Caretaker Balochistan Education Minister Abdul Qadir Bakhsh Baloch has said that some 3,500 schools in the province had been closed due to shortage of teachers during the last two months. “The Provincial Education Department has been facing acute shortage of teachers. Due to political and departmental constraints, the department has not been able to recruit the teachers since 2019. Moreover, over 300 teachers are retiring every month,” he said while talking to media. The minister said, “Without enrolling children in schools, it is impossible to increase the literacy rate in the province.” He said the caretaker government had decided to upgrade 150 primary schools to middle in the province, four each in every district. To a question, Qadir Bakhsh said due to the last year’s flood, more than 5,500 schools in the province were destroyed, and only 50 of them had been repaired so far. “The international organisations have assured their all-out support to repair the damaged schools,” he added. The minister said the government had decided to establish a model school which would help in the promotion of education in the province. As per official data, about 0.8 million children of school-going age are out of school in the province, and some 1,964 schools have no building. Half of the total 12,000 primary schools in Balochistan have one teacher. Likewise, 11,000 schools do not have electricity, 10,000 do not have water and 1,800 do not have washroom facilities. “More than 80 percent of the budget of Education Department is spent on the salaries of teachers and other employees,” the minister said.