At a press conference in Quetta, a group of Baloch scholars urged to the government to include the Balochi subject in the curricular. They said that the day of February 21 was internationally observed under the banner of International Mother Language Day to preserve the mother languages of every nation and generalise their teachings in institutions.
While catching the attention of the journalists towards the Balochi language, they said that it was one among the breathing languages for thousands of years on their land, which included the history, literature, politics and civilisation of the Baloch nation. “But due overlooking the language at governmental level, it is in danger of being vanished,” they showed concerns.
Turning the historical pages of Balochistan under Pakistan, they said that during 1990s, Balochistan government announced to make Balochi compulsory in all the concerned schools for the first time. Adding more to it, they said that Balochistan Assembly (BA) in 2014, once again passed a bill to make Balochi mandatory in school level. “But due to lack of governmental attention thereof, it got lost in the dust of pages.”
They further said that Balochi was presently being taught at University of Balochistan (Quetta), University of Turbat, Allama Iqbal Open University and National University of Modern Languages as a major subject, including diploma courses from Karachi University. Dera Ghazi Khan University (Punjab) had also announced of opening a department of Balochi in 2022, they added. They said that thousands of students would get their degrees from these universities annually in BS, Masters, M.Phil and P.Hd programs, while empty vacancies in school and college level would enhance their tensions of seeking a job opportunity both in present and in the future. “Last time in 2011, few jobs were announced in the colleges of Balochistan, and since then nothing has been done in the given field,” they yearned.
While mentioning Pakistan’s Constitution, they said that Article 251 rendered every citizen the right to preserve their mother languages. They said that even bills were passed in the provincial assembly for making Balochi, including Brahvi and Pashtoon languages, compulsory in schools, but the schools lacked posts for permanent teachers of the languages. “When specialist teachers can be hired for Arabic, English and Urdu languages, then why not for Balochi?” they questioned.
They added that in Pakistan’s Sindh province, Sindhi language was taught from schools to colleges. They demanded Balochi to be taught as such in Balochistan as well.
In 1982, Balochi was introduced as a subject in matric level, they said, but without hiring permanent teachers and provision of particular syllabus. They added that Balochi language had various M.Phil and P.Hd scholars who were unemployed. “We urge government to look into the matter or else we can intensify our voices in the near future,” they said.
At the end of their press conference, they publicised a charter of demands, which included the following points:
1: Teaching posts must be announced in school level for Balochi.
2: Posts of Lecturers and Assistant Professors must be announced in inter and degree colleges of Balochistan and vacancies of retired Professors must be refilled.
3: Balochi Department must be opened in University of Makuran (Panjgur), University of Gwadar, Mir Chakar Khan University Sibi, Lasbela University Uthal and Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University Quetta.
4: Posts must be created in DGPR department for monitoring Balochi newspapers and magazines.
5: Posts must be announced for research on Balochi traditions and History in Archaeology and Culture Department.
6: Establishment of Research Institutes in registered Balochi literary academies and announcement of posts there.
7: Creation of posts in the Directorate of Schools and Colleges for forming the subject curricular of Balochi.