Although a federal budget of Rs3,985 billion was announced for the financial year 2013-14, only Rs80 billion was allocated for education. The government has been spending only 1.9 per cent of GDP on education, due to which Pakistan is ranked 177 in terms of education spending. Literacy rate of the country is only 58 per cent, which is 30 per cent short of the 2015 target. These were the key notes of the report on “Public Financing of Education in Pakistan” launched by the Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) in collaboration with Alif Ailaan and Department for International Development (DFID) at a local restaurant, on Thursday. Report also says that the Ministry of Finance does not release all the funds allocated for education in the budget, because education sector is not its priority. More interestingly, the government of Sindh has been spending Rs 5 billion from education budget on training of Lady Health Workers. Report also mentions that the provinces have been spending huge amount of their budget on education; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa spends 29 per cent, Balochistan 18 per cent, Sindh 23 per cent and Punjab spends 26 per cent of its budget on education. “If government wants to spend 4 per cent of GDP on education, it has to allocate funds from federal budget,” report says. Education researcher, Ahmed Ali, while briefing about the report said that still huge amount is being allocated as ‘Block Grant’ in all four provinces which should be minimized.
Pakistani woman builds 'dream' school in poor Karachi neighborhood
Humaira Bachal knows firsthand how lack of education hurts her community. She had a cousin that died because his mother couldn't read the expiration date on a bottle of medicine. She knows women in her neighborhood who died giving birth at home because their families didn't know to send them to the hospital. "These things are breaking my heart and every time I am raising the question 'Why are people doing this?'" said the 26-year-old Bachal. "Maybe when my people are educated these problems would be reduced." So at the age of 13, she began teaching other girls what she learned in school. Those classes at home between friends grew into her life's work — bringing education to children in the working-class Muwach Goth neighborhood on the outskirts of Pakistan's port city of Karachi, where families often keep their girls out of school and where even boys struggle to get decent learning.
For more focused and robust results, we need to involve EDOs in policymaking and execution, Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal.
Rs 1105m allocated for literacy
As many as Rs 1,105 million have been allocated for the ongoing and new development schemes of literacy in Punjab in the current financial year for Literacy & NFBE Department. To review the progress of ongoing new and other projects, a meeting was presided by Dr Pervaiz Ahmed Khan, Secretary Literacy & NFBE Department, Additional Secretary Nadeem Alam Butt, Project Directors and concerned officers also participated in the meeting.
Prosperity hinges on women’s education
Former district council opposition leader Sahibzada Muhammad Umer Khan Abbasi has underlined the need for girls education in remote areas and said that without the participation of the women, the country could not make real progress. He expressed these views while addressing the inaugural ceremony of The Knowledge School situated in Hamza Town here the other evening. Knowledge School Chief Executive Officer Ibad Bhatti, DSP Rao Zahoor Rabbani, Market Committee Chairman Mian Muhammad Younas, National Press Union President Ehsan Ahmed Sehar and School Director Mian Irfan Munnawar also addressed the ceremony. Umer Abbasi said that his grandfather late Nawab of Bahawalpur Amir Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi had opened a large number of educational institutions including famous Sadiq Public School which offered quality education during his historical rule free of cost.
Punjab govt to recruit 80,000 educators
The Punjab government will announce to recruit 80,000 educators within few months to accomplish the target of 100% literacy rate in the province. It was stated by Punjab Minister for Excise and Taxation Finance Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman while briefing to various delegations of party workers here on Thursday. Mujtaba said the government was implementing a comprehensive strategy for imparting modern education to students and Rs 244 billion will be spent on the education sector during the current fiscal year which was 26 percent of the total budget of the province. He said financial grant was being provided for up-gradation of higher education especially to institutions of women whereas new women universities were also being established in Bahawalpur, Multan, Sialkot and Faisalabad for enhancing ratio of higher education among women. He said 101 new colleges were constructed while missing facilities were provided to 96 colleges during the last five years.
No rules to regulate even after three decades
According to a general review of the situation, Private educational institutions in the district are being run without rules and regulations whereas 75 per cent of these have been registered by the local education department under Punjab Private Educational Institutions (Promotions & Regulations) Ordinance 1984. Despite a lapse of thirty years, the Punjab Education Department could not frame the requiredrules and regulations under the 1984 Ordinance, thus giving a free hand to private educational institutions to extort high amounts from parents on the pretext of tuition and examination fees etc. According to details, an ordinance for promotion and regulation of private education sector was promulgated back in 1984 with a clause to immediately formulate rules and regulations to keep the ball rolling on the basis of check and balance. In this situation, the private educational institutions seem to have been given free hand to operate and allure parents for minting hefty amount in the name of so-called modern and quality education without any accountability. It is learnt that there are no rules to monitor the curricula being taught to the students of private schools and the provincial education department cannot govern their fee structure which ultimately creating classes of students.
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Alliance formed to save teachers souls
Progressive Teachers Alliance formed to resolve teachers issues. Active and progressive teachers working under Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) in a meeting held on Thursday mutually decided to establish a Progressive Teachers Alliance (PTA) to resolve the longstanding issues of the teachers community. The teachers community expressing dissatisfaction over the role of different associations and groups in resolving their issues called for a transparent body who could raise the voice of teachers, setting aside their personal benefits. The alliance would work for the cause of teachers community avoiding the religious, provincial, regional and traditional group politics. The meeting formed a 12-member organizing committee including Dr Munir Hussain Anjum (Convener), Mirza Ghazanfar Ali, Fayaz Hussain Bukhari, Talat Saeed, Ghulam Mustafa Bhatti, Ghulam Nabi Bangash, Ishaq Khan, Azhar Abbas Shah, Raheel Akhtar, Sadaqat Hussain Satti, Fazal Abbas and Asghar Ali. The committee would formulate the manifesto of the alliance and help select the members. Convener, Dr Munir Hussain Anjum briefed the teachers about the objectives of the alliance.
Only 32pc of allocated amount released to HEC
A parliamentary panel was informed on Thursday that Higher Education Commission (HEC) has been released only Rs 5.890 billion (32 per cent) out of allocated amount of Rs 18.490 billion development grant and the Commission has received no grant for the third quarter that will end on March 31. A meeting of the Sub-Committee of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education was held here at HEC. The members of the sub-committee included Dr Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti, Ch Hamid Hameed, Shaista Pervaiz and Shahida Rehmani. Engr Syed Imtiaz Gilani, Chairman HEC, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Executive Director HEC, and senior management of the commission were present on the occasion. Dr Mukhtar Ahmed gave an elaborate and detailed briefing on Higher Education Commission mechanism for allocation of grants and scholarships to universities as well as other initiatives of the Commission.
PBM to expand Women Empowerment and Development Centers
Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) will expand Women Empowerment and Development Center (WEDC) to other parts of the country. This was stated by Managing Director Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, Barrister Abid Waheed Sheikh here on Thursday while addressing certificates distribution ceremony among the students who completed various courses at Women Empowerment and Development Center of Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, said a press release. Senator Nuzhat Sadiq was the chief guest on the occasion, addressing the participants, she lauded Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal for providing free education to the deserving women. She also congratulated Managing Director Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal and stressed on the students to focus education for playing vital role in the progress and prosperity of the country.
Senator Nuzhat Sadiq assured MD Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal to work jointly for the welfare of women. Member National Assembly Rubina Khursheed also appreciated PBM for extending assistance of free education to women. She said that the initiative will reduce unemployment and will give entitled respect to the women in the society. Earlier, Managing Director Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal said that PBM education centers are playing very important role in imparting vocational and technical education to the deserving students.
The dilemma of Pakistan’s educated youth by Muhammad Ahmed
Our educated youth is undoubtedly faced with this serious dilemma, which is eating up the social fabric of the country. For them, the only way out is to broaden their knowledge base and try to find out the whole truth to enable them to make the right choices. Together they may even start a youth movement of their own that promotes and advocates the ideals of humanity to bring together all the people of Pakistan. The helm of leadership is calling them. They must stop following and start leading. Together they can make the mainstream political parties evolve into better entities. The absence of leadership in the PPP after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto translated into a blessing for Imran Khan who, by default, caught the attention of the youth through his outwardly liberal appearance. The presence of pop bands and bi-gender participation brought the youth to his public meetings in numbers and made him win votes. However, since the elections, the youth have seen his style of leadership and how his stance on some issues is burdening his own party, the PTI. Some, becoming disillusioned, have switched over to others. How can the youth continue to fall for the inherently contradictory idea of liberty from the US and become hostage to the extremists?