KP has 1.5m out of schools children

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The were 1.5 million children were out of school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while there Rs.335 billion were required to be invested in the education sector of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

This was said in a launching ceremony of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Education budget analysis arranged by the Centre for Governance and Public Accountability here at a local hotel on Wednesday.

On the occasion Minister for Local government Inayat Ullah Khan said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was focusing on education and health sector and in the next budget the government will allocate more budgets in education sector.

The minister said that the basic issues of education were related to good governance, and to improve education a participatory approach was needed. He stressed the need for more educational facilities and opportunities for girls, adding that separate schemes for female education were required to fill the gap between female and male education.

Speaking on the occasion Afzal Latif, Secretary Elementary and Secondary Education, KP claimed that Rs355 billion needed to be invested in the next five years to improve the education crisis being faced by the province. 

He maintained that if Rs 335 billion was available, there were huge capacity issues to invest this money in the education sector. 

He appreciated the role of CSOs in promoting education and said that the government and civil society need to work together in making the education more transparent. He also pointed that the tax base needs to be widened because government functioning could dependent on direct taxes.

The study, that CGPA launched states that in the Khybher Pakhtunkhwa elementary and secondary education, there is little coincidence of policy claims and actual practices. The study analysis the elementary and secondary education budget of KP for FY 2011-2012, FY 2012-13 and FY 2013-2014 highlighting the trends in allocation, priorities of the government and budget making practices that require involvement of citizens’. The study notes that despite KP government’s commitment to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of ensuring 100 percent enrolment rate in E&S and ensuring 88 percent overall literacy rate, the current budget allocation trends do not match the policy claims.

The study highlights gender gaps in both provision of educational facilities and budget allocations. While the population of the province is almost evenly divided between the male and female, educational facilities meant for girls only constitute 35-40 percent of the total budget.

Professor Kalimullah, Information Commissioner, information commission KP highlighted the importance of Right to Information (RTI) for ensuring right to education. 

The study points out that while the overall budget of the province for education has increased overtime, 96-99 percent of the budget is spent on employee related expenses.

This leaves little room for improvement in the quality of education through provision and maintenance of facilities. Moreover, only 8 percent of the development budget is allocated for education on average over the last 3 years out of which, only 20 percent goes to the primary education sector demonstrating that primary education remains to be a low priority sector for the government in terms of budget allocation.

Muhammad Siraj, District Officer Education (DOE) Charsadda, lamented that district education department had meager resources for operations in the districts. Inam Turu, DOE Nowshera stressed on the need for accountable and transparent education budget spending. 

Muhammad Anwar, Executive Director CGPA, stated the need for enactment of Right to Quality Education Act, and required budget so 1.5 million out of school children could be brought into schools.

Source: The Frontier Post.