Backwardness & Education in Iranian Balochistan

Backwardness & Education in Iranian Balochistan

Balochistan is a vast region located within the borders of three neighboring countries; Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. These divided provinces are equal in one point that is poverty and backwardness. But in these lines I’d like to focus on the situation of Iranian Balochistan.
Balochistan has a history of thousands of years. Its Iranian part is located in the south east of Iran bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan. Balochi is widely spoken in Balochistan by the majority residents. They have their own special customs, traditions and culture. Mainly Balochs follow Islam and Sunni Hanafi school of thought in the largest province of Iran; a province that has been the poorest and least-developed region of Iran as the official statistics suggest.
What are the main obstacles on the path of Baluchistan’s progress? In response, it should be said that there are many factors behind pushing Balochistan towards backwardness. Let’s have a look into some of them.
1. Illiteracy; a painful fact is that people in Balochistan have been suffering from various problems due to illiteracy. They have been deprived of their legal rights just because of ignorance and illiteracy. According to the latest statistics, Sistan-Balochistan has the biggest rate of illiteracy in Iran.
In the recent decades, there have been some positive changes in the field of education, but still this corner of Iran is away from the standard level.
Illiteracy has reached a stage that some people cannot refer to government offices due to illiteracy. Education in rural and suburb areas of the province is weaker than other towns. One of the main reasons behind it, that most of the Balochi speaking beginner students cannot speak Persian.

The causes of illiteracy in Balochistan:
1. Weak education system in the province. It is a fact that some teachers attend their classes only for few minutes or hours, especially in rural areas where regulation is weaker. Moreover, parents and guardians of students are illiterate who cannot monitor their children’s academic process. In the result, students and some teachers take advantage of this position. Then teacher gives his/her students a passing grade easily.
There are students who have taken passing grades but they cannot write their names correctly! The reason is clear; when teachers pass their times and waste the abilities of students in sharing jokes and taking tea parties during lessons, the result wouldn’t be better than this.
The people of Balochistan suffered irreparable losses of illiteracy. However, officials have been promising to bring reforms and changes but they seem to be away from this aim.
2. Distances for villagers in rural areas. Some schools are too away from small villages. Although this problem has been resolved partly but it still needs more attention.
3. Failure to employ indigenous forces engaging them in the correct positions and duties. The local teachers and directors used to be ignored and non-local forces cannot be as sincere as the locals can be.
4. Employing fanatic forces in the Education Department. Such people hate aboriginal students and courage them to escape from school.

How to deal with illiteracy?
1. To remove the miserable condition of misleading directions and provide reasonable environment.
2. To institutionalize the culture of education and literacy in the province.
3. To create an adequate atmosphere for developing education to a great degree.
4. Surveys, studies and researches can play a vital role in evaluating educational system.
5. To make teachers responsible in a positive way and make parents aware of their duties in the education of children.
The higher authorities should look at the situation in Balochistan; they must not ignore the biggest province of Iran. Disruption of the educational system caused destruction and deprivation in Balochistan. When religious, ethnic and political biases in the educational system have a place, then how can we expect other agencies to be evaluated.
Since the topic is about the backwardness of Balochistan, we should know poverty and discrimination united together to make Balochistan deprived. Poverty is the root cause of all disruptions, damages, drug addiction, robbery, bribery, kidnapping, murder, insecurity, etc. poverty itself is the natural child of illiteracy, discrimination, drought and weak economic infrastructure.
The official departments along with public figures and organizations can save Balochistan and play a key role in its full development. The potentials are present, only working on it is must.


Abdol-Hakeem Muhammad-Jamaal – Zahedan


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