Prefer Education In The Budget
Percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) given to any sector shows its requirements and at the same time its priority in the eyes of any nation. And comparing with other countries this figure also identifies their priorities given to the specific sector. I’m talking about our education sector which should be considered at the top of our priorities. With education, nations can be built, and human and economic development is possible. But unfortunately, the education sector has given less importance in our country. We are allotting 2.2% of our GDP which is very low percentage as compared to other developing countries.
The allocated budget is distributed into developmental projects like construction of new schools and institutions and concurrent expenditures like salaries of personals and new appointments.
Punjab government has allocated 373 billion of the total budget of 2026.51 billion for education in the fiscal year 2018-19. This means the education sector has been allocated 18.4% of the budget. It is Rs 28 billion increase from the last budget. A major change has been made in this year in allocating development budget. 8.79% of the total budget for education has been allocated for development. In contrast, 21.47% was allocated in development head in the fiscal year 2017-18. That’s a drop of 12.68%.
Though the last government has allocated a low percentage to the education sector as compared to many other developing countries. But we talk about province Punjab, it has taken remarkable steps to improve the educational sector.
1.6 million More children are enrolled in public schools since 2012.
1.85 million Children are enrolled through Punjab Education Foundation (PEF).5000 ECE classrooms have been established, 350,000 students are facilitated through Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF). 2500 schools have been upgraded. Numeracy and literacy drive system have been developed for monitoring and assessment of schools.
New government slightly increased the education budget which is an appreciated step. It has set targets which include:
Provide IT labs in 350 elementary and secondary schools
Reconstruction of 700 dilapidated schools buildings
Training of 23578 primary and 4000 high and higher secondary school teachers
Construction of 90 shelter less schools.
Government also promised to establish three universities, 44-degree colleges, completion of sub-campus of Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) and 134,000 scholarships through Punjab Education Endowment Fund (PEEF).
Now all the stakeholders are having an eye on new government, how much successful it would be in achieving its goals of the education sector and make new efficient reforms to prove its vision of change (Tabdeeli).