Education budget up by 15% in KP

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has earmarked Rs136 billion for education in the province for the fiscal year 2017-18, an increase of around 15 per cent over last year’s budget.

According to the budget documents presented by K-P Finance Minister Muzafar Said in the provincial assembly on Wednesday, the government has set aside Rs24 billion for as the provincial share of the total funds while Rs111 billion would be transferred to the local government at the district level.

Elementary education
Of the funds, the government has earmarked Rs20.320 billion for development projects in the primary and higher education sectors, accounting for 9.77 per cent of the total Annual Development Plan (ADP) worth Rs208 billion.

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Of this, the major chunk of Rs14 billion has been set aside for elementary education, funding some 77 development projects. Of this 60 are ongoing projects for which Rs12.64 billion have been allocated. The government has also planned 17 new schemes for primary education, earmarking Rs1.35 billion for it.

For primary education, the government expects to receive Rs6.29 billion as foreign assistance for four projects.

The government also hopes to generate Rs491 million from fees and other means.

The government expects to spend Rs4.53 billion in non-development expenditures in the sector. Of this Rs762.4 million would pay salaries while Rs3.77 billion would be used to pay for other expenses.

Elementary education Targets

According to the budget documents, the government plans to merge 100 Mosque schools with primary schools across the province.

Moreover, 100 primary schools will be established on a need basis. Play areas would be built in girls’ primary schools. Female students in secondary schools would also be provided with a stipend, key laboratories in government schools at the tehsil level across the province would be strengthened.

The government also plans to construct buildings for rented schools, while incentives the for performing teachers, headmasters and principals would be provided. The special initiative Stoori-da-Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa for poor students would be initiated.

Said, in his budgetary speech, said that the K-P Elementary and Secondary Education department had completed an out-of-school-children survey which helped the department draft a strategy to bring these children back to schools. In this regard, the government has set aside Rs1 billion in the fiscal year 2017-18.

He added that the department would be implementing a host of interventions such as girls’ community schools, education vouchers schemes and accelerated learning programme.

Further, over 14,000 teachers will go through the programme in the upcoming financial year for which the government has set aside over Rs300 million.

Higher Education

On the higher education front, Rs 6.32 billion have been earmarked for 65 higher education schemes including Rs3.996 billion for 38 ongoing schemes and Rs2.323 billion for 27 new schemes.

This is up by 26 per cent from the budget estimates of Rs 9.497 billion for 2016-17, and the revised estimates of Rs8.533 billion for 2016-17. The higher education sector in the province would receive Rs419 million for a project.

Targets for higher education

Said said that they intend to upgrade the seminar hall at the Directorate of Archives  in Peshawar, develop the archives and public libraries and while ensuring its repair and maintenance.

He added that the HETTA building will be established and while additional and missing facilities at government colleges.

Moreover, the government would purchase furniture plants and machinery, lab equipment for government colleges, while a GCMS would be established in Swabi, provision of furniture and library books and development of computer labs for BS Commerce programme, upgrading existing university campus in Chitral to a full-fledged university, Pak-Austria Facchochsule Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (PAF -IAST) and performance-based grant to public sector universities in K-P.

By Asad Zia Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2017.

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