The Punjab government has allocated Rs 55.5 billion for education in the Annual Development Program for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016.
As many as Rs 33.1 billion have been earmarked for primary and secondary education, Rs 14.7 billion for higher education and Rs 784 million for special education in the province. An amount of Rs 1.8 billion has been allocated for literacy and Rs 5 billion for sports and youth affairs for the students.
The government is eyeing to provide missing facilities in 7,500 schools in Punjab. The list of targets also included reconstruction of 4,727 dangerous building of schools in the province.
The government announced to open 500 new primary schools in the FY 2015-16
The allocated amount for special education has been decreased from 800 million to 784 million this year. The budget for higher education has been increased by Rs 3 billion. Funds for the sub-campuses for the Government College University Lahore, Lahore College for Women University, University of the Punjab and UET have also been allocated this year.
The government has set a high target of establishing 37 colleges in the province and distribution of 100,000 laptops to talented students.
The new schemes in special education includes establishment of Government Special Education Centers at tehsil/town level, construction of buildings of Government Special Education Centres and establishment of speech therapy unit at Government National Special Education Centre located in Johar Town.
Out of Rs 400 billion development budget, the health sector has been allocated Rs 30.7 billion. The allocated amount for the health sector has been increased by 8 billion as compared to the last year.
The government intends to remove regional disparities by focusing on under-developed areas in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) effectively.
The budget revealed that the government is aiming to build new hospitals and medical colleges in different cities. Establishment of cancer hospital in Lahore, King Edward Medical University (KEMU) Muridke campus, children hospital in Gujranwala, Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur are on the cards this year.
The Health Insurance Card Scheme has been awarded Rs 2.5 billion and expansion of Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital, Muzaffargarh, will cost 1 billion to the provincial exchequer.
The current doctor-to-population ratio in the province stands at 1:2187, which is alarming as World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends 1:1000.
In order to bridge this gap, 2 new medical colleges at Bhakkar and Attock have been proposed.