Pak ranked second with most out-of school children | Pakistan Today

Pak ranked second with most out-of school children

Pakistan spends around two per cent of its GDP on education and is trailing behind rest of the South Asian countries. Pakistan’s ranking on various education indicators does not present a very encouraging scenario and about one in every ten children who are out of primary school worldwide lives in Pakistan, placing the country second in the global ranking of out-of school children.

In absolute numbers, nearly 19.2 million children are out-of-school. The issue of access becomes even more acute as the level of education rises. The National Education Policy 2009, identifying major deficiencies and gaps in current system and outlining an ambitious and holistic strategy, envisages a dedication of 7 percent of GDP to education till 2015. However, in 2015, the on ground situation contradicts the envisage allocation target.

Concurrently, another important challenge in this regard is inadequate resources allocations under different budget lines, said the experts on a launch of report by “Institute of Social and Policy Science” regarding Public Financing of Education in Pakistan.

The report further explored that after the incorporation of Article 25-A under the 18th Amendment Act 2010, the state (federal and provincial governments) has to ensure of free and compulsory education to all children of the age five to 16 years.

Nonetheless after the passage of more than four years of the constitutional amendment, the financial resources allocated at the federal and provincial level are scant and insufficient to address issues like bringing out-of-school children into the education system and then more importantly retaining them by providing a facilitated education environment.

Alif Ailaan Campaign Director Mosharaf Zaidi said although fundamental, the challenge face by Pakistan is not only limited to the lack of budget for education sector but is significantly hooked up with the way public financing is planned, managed and monitored.

However, he said that an analysis of previous federal and provincial education budgets reveals some encouraging facts. It’s heartening to see a visible increase in education budgets for all the provinces in 2014-15, with Baluchistan registering an increase of 17 percent, followed by Punjab with 12 percent, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 11 percent and Sindh with an increased allocation of 10 percent compared with previous year’s budgets.

He further said that, despite the improvements in allocations and expenditures in the education budgets, there is a need for improved utilization of the allocated budgets. Because the areas like access and quality of education, showing a sharp disconnect between the two.

Some of the considerable issues in this context include inadequate engagement of the legislature in the budget making process, insufficient allocations compared with the actual needs, untimely fiscal flow, corruption, huge administrative expenditure, lack of transparency etc.

State Minister for Education Baleeghur Rehman said at the occasion that federal government with collaboration of provincial governments is doing its utmost efforts to establish a dedicated and informed link between education data, policy provisions and timely budgetary allocations to educational institutions. He stressed that it was a positive sign the educational system of Pakistan was moving toward improvement and today more 70 per cent child age between 5 to 9 were enrolled in schools as well as the all of provincial and federal governments were doing well to provide basic facilities to all school like drinking water and toilets. He said that we will very soon be able to elevate the status of Pakistan in education sectors with the help of NGOs and International donor’s agencies.

Pakistan spends around two per cent of its GDP on education and is trailing behind rest of the South Asian countries. Pakistan’s ranking on various education indicators does not present a very encouraging scenario and about one in every ten children who are out of primary school worldwide lives in Pakistan, placing the country second in the global ranking of out-of school children.

In absolute numbers, nearly 19.2 million children are out-of-school. The issue of access becomes even more acute as the level of education rises. The National Education Policy 2009, identifying major deficiencies and gaps in current system and outlining an ambitious and holistic strategy, envisages a dedication of 7 percent of GDP to education till 2015. However, in 2015, the on ground situation contradicts the envisage allocation target.

Concurrently, another important challenge in this regard is inadequate resources allocations under different budget lines, said the experts on a launch of report by “Institute of Social and Policy Science” regarding Public Financing of Education in Pakistan.

The report further explored that after the incorporation of Article 25-A under the 18th Amendment Act 2010, the state (federal and provincial governments) has to ensure of free and compulsory education to all children of the age five to 16 years.

Nonetheless after the passage of more than four years of the constitutional amendment, the financial resources allocated at the federal and provincial level are scant and insufficient to address issues like bringing out-of-school children into the education system and then more importantly retaining them by providing a facilitated education environment.

Alif Ailaan Campaign Director Mosharaf Zaidi said although fundamental, the challenge face by Pakistan is not only limited to the lack of budget for education sector but is significantly hooked up with the way public financing is planned, managed and monitored.

However, he said that an analysis of previous federal and provincial education budgets reveals some encouraging facts. It’s heartening to see a visible increase in education budgets for all the provinces in 2014-15, with Baluchistan registering an increase of 17 percent, followed by Punjab with 12 percent, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 11 percent and Sindh with an increased allocation of 10 percent compared with previous year’s budgets.

He further said that, despite the improvements in allocations and expenditures in the education budgets, there is a need for improved utilization of the allocated budgets. Because the areas like access and quality of education, showing a sharp disconnect between the two.

Some of the considerable issues in this context include inadequate engagement of the legislature in the budget making process, insufficient allocations compared with the actual needs, untimely fiscal flow, corruption, huge administrative expenditure, lack of transparency etc.

State Minister for Education Baleeghur Rehman said at the occasion that federal government with collaboration of provincial governments is doing its utmost efforts to establish a dedicated and informed link between education data, policy provisions and timely budgetary allocations to educational institutions. He stressed that it was a positive sign the educational system of Pakistan was moving toward improvement and today more 70 per cent child age between 5 to 9 were enrolled in schools as well as the all of provincial and federal governments were doing well to provide basic facilities to all school like drinking water and toilets. He said that we will very soon be able to elevate the status of Pakistan in education sectors with the help of NGOs and International donor’s agencies.



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