‘Education emergency’ finds no place in KP budget

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Contrary to its slogan of declaring education emergency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government has increased budget for education sector only by 0.56 per cent as compared to the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the outgoing fiscal year.

The budget document reveals that provincial government has increased allocation for education sector by Rs80.45 million only in ADP for the next fiscal year.

The funds for higher education department have been slashed by Rs31.135 million while that for elementary and secondary education department have been increased up to Rs112 million in the ADP.

The combined revised ADP for elementary and secondary education department and higher education department stands at Rs14.23 billion for the current financial year that has increased up to Rs14.312 for the next financial year.

The revised budget allocation for elementary and secondary department for the fiscal year 2013-14 is Rs8020.407 million while funds allocated to the department for development schemes in the coming fiscal year are Rs8132 million, showing an increase of Rs112 million.

Similarly, the revised budget estimate for higher education department in the current financial year is Rs6211.135 million, which is decreased to Rs6180 million for the coming fiscal year, the budget document reveals. The important section of ADP for elementary and secondary education department is construction of primary schools for boys and girls because the province is short of primary schools.

In ADP for the outgoing fiscal, construction of 100 primary schools for boys and girls is reflected, however, the number of such schools have decreased to 60 for the next financial year.

Similarly, the current ADP says that 50 primary schools will be upgraded to middle level while the number has been reduced to 40 in the ADP for the coming year. The number of schools to be upgraded from middle to high level in the current ADP is 50, which has been reduced to 35 for the next financial year.According to the current ADP, 25 high schools will be upgraded to higher secondary level, however, the number of such schools has been decreased to 15 in the ADP for coming fiscal.

MPA Miraj Humayoun Khan of Qaumi Watan Party, when contacted, said that the PTI-led provincial government had no vision to bring improvement in the education system. “The government has no plan as to what it will achieve in the coming financial year,” she said.

The MPA said that the government had not set targets for its five-year tenure like increase in literacy rate, construction of schools and improvement in the education standard.

She said that the government was required to construct thousands of primary schools every year to meet its target of enrolment of all children.The government mentioned in the ADP that only 60 primary schools would be constructed in the coming financial year, she added.Sardar Hussain Babak, the parliamentary leader of Awami National Party in the provincial assembly, told Dawn that only current budget was increased for raising salaries of the employees. He said that education was ignored in the ADP as there was no new scheme in it. “It is a joke with the nation,” he said.

Source: Dawn