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Govt firmly committed to keep funding for better education

Present government is firmly committed to promote education, improve literacy rate, capacity building of educators and providing enhancement facilities in all educational institutes.

Federal and provincial governments are committed to offer free education up to the Matric level in the country. National and provincial governments are encouraging and facilitating the private sector to spend in the education sector for its promotion as a national cause.

The government has earmarked Rs21.5 billion for the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for the fiscal year 2016-17 in the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP).

According to experts total Rs5.4 billion has been earmarked for the new schemes of the HEC, while Rs16.05 billion earmarked for the ongoing schemes. The allocated amount for the new important schemes included PhD Scholarship Program under Pak-US Knowledge Corridor Phase-1, with total funding of Rs300 million while Rs297.981 million has been earmarked for strengthening and upgradation of the universities of less developed regions.

An amount of Rs200.000 million has been allocated for the women university campuses at Pashin and Khuzdar. The ongoing schemes of the HEC included Establishment of FATA University with total funding of Rs250.000 million, while Rs350.000 million for Establishment of University of Loralai, Rs50.000 million for Establishment of University at Sibi, Balochistan has been allocated.

A total amount of Rs500.000 million has been earmarked for the Fulbright Scholarships Support Program of HEC-USAID Phase-2, while Rs900.000 million would be utilized for Indigenous PhD fellowship for 5,000 scholars, HEC Phase-2.

With an amount of Rs105 million, the FATA, Balochistan students would be facilitated of higher education. An amount of Rs70 million would be used for the upgradation of the Federal Government College for Women F-7/2 to Federal Women University Islamabad.

NEW ALLOCATION FOR LITERACY RATE

To increase the literacy rate in the country, the Government of Pakistan allocated Rs84.19 billion for education affairs and services in the federal budget for FY2016-17 as compared to Rs75.57 billion it had allocated for last fiscal year, explaining a rise of 11 percent.

The present government allocated Rs8.19 billion for pre-primary & primary education affairs for FY2017 as compared to Rs7.24 billion for FY2016 which was later revised to Rs7.24 billion, Rs10 billion earmarked for secondary education affairs & services for FY2017 as compared to Rs8.99 billion for FY2016, Rs63.59 billion for tertiary education affairs and services against Rs56.67 billion earmarked for FY2016, which was later revised to Rs56.84 billion, Rs1.16 billion for administration against Rs1.4 billion for FY2016, which was later revised to Rs1.28 billion.

Pakistan’s public expenditure on education as percentage to GDP was estimated at 2.2 percentage during fiscal year 2015 as against to 2.1 percentage of GDP in fiscal year 2014, explaining a rise of 4.8 percent.

Pakistan Vision 2025 aims at substantial expansion also improvements in the quality of education, growing public expenditure to 4.0 percent of GDP till next year.

According to the latest Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) survey 2015, the literacy rate of the population (10 years and above) is 60 percent as against to 58 percent during 2014 in the country.

The literacy rate for male during 2015 was 70 percent and for female was 49 percent, which indicates that there is a gap of 21 percent of female literacy that needs to be bridged with the obtainable resources and equalize the education between male and female.

The statistics also revealed that literacy rate is higher in urban regions (76 percent) than in rural regions (51 percent). It is also revealed that Punjab leads with 63 percent, Sindh with 60 percent, KPK with 53 percent and Balochistan with 44 percent.

According to World Bank statistics, the latest available public sector expenditure on education as percentage of GDP, in other states of the region was 2 percent in Bangladesh, 6 percent in Bhutan, 3.8 percent in India, 4.6 percent in Afghanistan, 3.1 percent in Iran and 5.2 percent in Maldives.

After the 18th Constitutional amendment, education as subject has been devolved to provinces, and federal government chiefly finances higher education.

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