Balochistan’s education indicators have been the worst among Pakistan’s four provinces in recent years because of economic, security, and political problems. Access to education in this large province was a particular challenge because many of its communities are sparsely populated. Almost half of the province’s 22,000 communities did not have a school nearby—and one million children were out of school.
While access to education was a key challenge, an equal concern was the lack of a supportive learning environment for students enrolled in school. 78% of schools lacked suitable buildings, trained teachers and adequate learning materials.
These challenges impeded the quality of education. According to a reading assessment conducted in 2013, only 38% of children tested in grade 5 could read a sentence in English, and only 32% in grade 3 could read a sentence in Urdu, the local language.