Education budget decreased despite promises
Although the government has been claiming that it has given importance to education sector and that the education budget has been increased, it is just a game of figures. In real terms, the federal education budget, announced on June 3 has been decreased by over Rs1 billion. And if inflation is accounted for, it is surprising to note that the education budget has been decreased by 11 per cent. Due to this, it seems that the allocation of four per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) for education will remain a distant dream, Dawn has learnt.
Devolution of education: ‘The right to education is an entitlement, not charity’
The private sector is focused on profit, not welfare. The state has to provide all citizens with their basic rights, regardless of their ability to buy them. Can the provision of fundamental rights be privatised as well?” asked Rubina Saigol, an independent researcher, at the national roundtable discussion on Devolution of Education. The discussion was organised by the Centre for Civic Education and Khudi Pakistan in collaboration with the Hanns Seidel Foundation. Saigol said rights were an entitlement, not charity. She said she regretted that state-owned enterprises were being handed over to the private sector, including health and education facilities. “If you don’t have money you will not have access to that basic right”. She said there was a gender gap with regard to access to education. She also pointed to the rural-urban divide, with 74 per cent of urban children enrolled in schools and 49 per cent in rural children
Sindh, Balochistan fail to enroll children
The Sindh government has failed to bring more than half of school-going age children to schools and those in schools are not learning well. In Balochistan, only 39 per cent of the primary school age children are enrolled, and of them 57 per cent of girls and 54 per cent of boys will drop out before finishing the primary level education. This was the crux of the two presentations made on post-18th amendment education scene in Sindh and Balochistan provinces at a National Roundtable on “Devolution of Education” organised by the Centre for Civic Education Pakistan, Khudi Pakistan and Hanns Seidel Foundation at a local hotel on Wednesday.
Nominal increase not a good omen for ICT education
Despite a small increase in the development budget for the Capital Administration and Development Division, how it will meet a growing list of challenges remains to be seen. Among the challenges are issues of daily wagers and contractual employees, fuel for school buses, enforcing the right to free education, and ensuring the availability of free text books. Last year, about Rs22 million was allocated for two ongoing projects, but this time, about Rs 748 million has been allocated for eight projects in development schemes of education. Besides, about Rs7.38 billion has been allocated for salaries and the non-salary budget, compared to Rs7.22 billion last year, a 2.2 per cent increase. Article 25-A the budget did not include any project that would assist in the implementation and execution of Article 25-A — the right to free and compulsory education. The law was passed in November 2012, but CADD has not yet specified rules of business for it. Last December, the government also abolished student funds in the schools as a step towards implementing the article, but instead, following that announcement, the salaries of employees who were being paid from that fund have become a new headache.
No work to show: Even with funds, Sindh govt fails to deliver development schemes
The Sindh government claims to have utilised around 70 per cent of its Rs185 billion development budget for the current year, 2013-14. The 10-month progress report, however, paints a dismal picture in terms of the release and utilisation of funds in major sectors. The report, which is available with The Express Tribune, reveals zero per cent expenditure in over 100 crucial schemes falling under the domain of the health and education departments alone. Moreover, not a single penny was spent on 230 schemes and 75 schemes in the roads and local government departments respectively. Education “The government has allocated Rs5,010 million for the up-gradation of primary schools to middle schools in Sindh,” reads the report. “The finance department has released Rs50 million for the scheme but the utilisation is zero in the 10 months of this fiscal year.” Similarly, Rs500 million was earmarked to provide better facilities at colleges. Despite having the funds, the department failed to initiate this programme too.
Public Education: Govt school classrooms inaugurated
Minister for Cooperatives Malik Iqbal Channar said on Wednesday that education was the government’s priority. He said the government wanted to provide missing facilities at schools at the earliest. He was addressing the inauguration ceremony of new classrooms at Government Model High School, Satellite Town, Bahawalpur. He said the youth represented Pakistan’s future. He said that government was providing scholarships on merit so that no deserving student was left behind due to lack of funds.
Teachers, clerks baton-charged
The capital city’s police used force against protesters from the All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA) and Punjab Teachers’ Union for allegedly violating an agreement with the capital administration and attempting to enter Red Zone on Tuesday. Teachers are respected in every part of the world, however, in Islamabad they, along with clerks, were badly beaten by baton-charging cops who targeted them with tear-gas and rubber bullets as they were protesting against the budget. The demonstration was jointly organised by APCA and Punjab Teachers’ Union to protest the meagre increase in their salaries and medical allowance in the recent budget.
Complete Story: http://www.dawn.com/news/1110711/teachers-clerks-baton-charged
Ilm Ideas Holds Two-day workshop
To enhance the capacity of civil society organization in generation quality evidence and advocating effectively with the government for policy reform and improved service delivery in the education sector, Ilm Ideas conducted a two-day workshop in Islamabad.
It’s not their priority, education of the common man. Why should it be, when there are better private schools for their own children, schools that are in the country or out of the country, schools that are really expensive and so called English medium schools?
Complete Story: http://e.jang.com.pk/06-05-2014/pindi/pic.asp?picname=06_03.gif
Education and health over sighted in budget: Abrar ahmed
All Pakistan private education institution association president Abrar Ahmed commented on this year’s budget that there is no room in budget for the private education institutions, education like the previous year gets low share in the budget we shows the concern of government intents over education.