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Education budget: Spend where it is due

Education budget: Spend where it is due



ISLAMABAD: 

Despite an increase in spending, the educational standards have been spiraling down fast.

The reason in part is that money meant for education is spent in other areas. This was stated by Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) Executive Director (ED) Dr Salman Humayun at the launch of a report “Public Financing of Education in Pakistan 2010-11 to 2013-14” at a local hotel on Thursday.

The report presented statistics on all four provinces.

In comparison to 2011-12 the expenditure on education went up in all the provinces in 2011-13 where Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa went up by 25 per cent, Balochistan 17 per cent while federal capital and  Punjab by 14 per cent each, according to the report.

“In Sindh, of the Rs113 billion allocation for education, Rs5 billion is spent in the heads of archives, culture, tourism and health,” said Humayun.

Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal appreciated the report and said that there was further need of decentralisation in education.

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“For more focused and robust results, we need to involve the Executive District Officers in policy making and execution because they control millions of rupees and thousands of schools,” he said.

Balochistan Secretary Education Ghulam Ali Baloch said that education sector plan had been approved by the cabinet and will be tabled in the provincial assembly for final approval.

Punjab Standing Committee on Education Chairman Qamarul Islam Raja said that after the 18th Amendment, the insertion of Article 25-A in the Constitution of Pakistan was a giant step toward promotion of education and Punjab was working to implement it in letter and spirit.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2014.