Sindh Rs 6 billion Education budget, termed insufficient

Rs 6bn earmarked for education sector
Karachi, June 16: The Sindh government has set Rs 6 billion for the education sector in the budget for the fiscal year 2009-10, showing an increase of 27 percent from last year's budget of Rs 1.62 billion.

The Sindh chief minister while presenting the budget said that the Education Reform Programme is being implemented with the support of the World Bank and that the government received $100 million last week.

Shah said that the government is trying to improve enrolments as well as the quality of education being imparted by recruiting teachers through a transparent test based system.

He stated that female students' stipend is being increased from Rs 1,000 per year to Rs 2,400 per year, which would be released twice a year to encourage enrolments. Over 330,000 girls would benefit from this increase.

The enrolments of female students have been very low in the 30 talukas and to encourage enrolments their stipends will be increased from Rs 2,400 to Rs 3,600 per year, Shah further said.

The chief minister went on to say that free text books were provided to all the 4.3 million children enrolled in public schools in the province.

He said that during the next year free books will be extended to students of grade 11 and 12, meaning that approximately 4.6 million children would receive free text books.

Shah pointed out that the endowment fund for scholarships for higher education is being increased from Rs 1 billion to Rs 1.25 billion.

He also said that the government plans to improve the outreach so that thousands of children from Sindh can avail this facility.

The chief minister pointed out that under the school rehabilitation programme, over 6,000 schools have been provided missing facilities and for next year Rs 2.5 billion will be spent by the district governments based on performance.

He said that the government has initiated a programme for supporting low cost private schools in rural and semi- urban areas. To date 200 schools have been opened and 25,000 children have been enrolled. The government would provide fees for the children in return of an agreed standard of education. This model would be raised to 3,500 schools with approximately 500,000 children in the coming one to two years. app

Budget for health, edu termed insufficient
Karachi: Experts have said that the Sindh government's initiative to increase 49 percent in health and 27 percent in education budget, as compare to the last financial plan 2008-09, is not significant, and suggested to allocate more amount for these sectors.

Our health and education indicators put Pakistan at the bottom of the developing countries, hence there is time to spend huge amount in both the sectors to accelerate the pace of progress in the country; they expressed these notions on Monday.

Sindh government has allocated Rs 5 billion for financial year of 2009-10, while in the last budget (2008-09) this amount was Rs 1.148 billion. On the other hand, on account of education the government has given out Rs 5.950 billion, which is 27 percent higher than the last budget of Rs 2.861 billion. As per the health financial plan 2009-10, this amount will be spent in nine different sub-sectors, including teaching hospital, other hospital, medical education, PHC administration/ training, nutrition, preventive programmes, foreign aided projects, projects completion facility and allocation for Chief Minister, Sindh' s directives.

So far as education department is concerned, it has been decided to expend Rs 5.950 billion in elementary education, teacher education, education foundation, special education, secondary education, college education and miscellaneous.

Educational programmes announced by the government are as under: Education Reform Program is being implemented with the support of World Bank, while the government has received US$ 100 million last week. The government has increased the Girl Child's stipend from Rs 1000 per year to Rs 2400 per year. This would be provided twice a year for encouraging enrolments. Over 3 30,000 girls would benefit from this. Stipends in the 30 Talukas having very low "Girl child" enrollments would be enhanced from Rs 2400 to 3600 per year. Free Textbooks were provided to all the 4.3 million children enrolled in our public schools. For next year this is being expanded to Grade 11 m1d 12 and approximately 4.6 million children would receive free Textbooks.

Endowment fund for Scholarship for higher Education has been expanded from Rs 1 billion to Rs 1.25 billion. Under "School Rehabilitation Program" over 6,000 schools have been provided with missing facilities and for next year Rs 2.5 billion will be spent through District Governments on the basis of performance. Government has initiated a program for supporting "Low Cost Private Schools", in the un-served rural and semi-urban areas. By now, government has opened 200 schools in which 25,000 children have been enrolled. The government would provide fees for the children in return for an agreed standard of Education. This model would be raised to 3500 schools with approximate 5,00,000 children in coming one to two years.

For expanding higher Education; the government is partnering with private sector.

General Secretary Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Karachi, Dr Samrina Hashmi, said that in the limited budget it was very hard to bring progress in the health sector. Talking about the health indicators, she said, "Our health indicators show the country needs huge budget for the health sector. In the country our infant mortality rate is 78 per 1000 live births, and death below five years age is 98 per 1000 live births. Till last year, Pakistan's under 5 mortality remains the highest among the South Asian countries. More than 3.7 million children under 5 years are malnourished, and malnutrition underlies over half of all child deaths in Pakistan. While only 78 percent of one-year old children are immunized against tuberculosis and 54 percent against measles.

The maternal mortality ratio is 276 per 100,000 live births. Around 76 percent of the deliveries take place at home, and only 39 percent deliveries are conducted in presence of skilled birth attendants. Hepatitis B & C patients are increasing exponentially. Despite more than 80 rounds of polio vaccination the country continues to report of new polio cases. The life expectancy at birth for male population is 61 years and for female population is 62 years. On the contrary, the population of Pakistan according to official figures is 141.50 million that grows at the rate of 4.7 percent annually.

Our 40 percent of population is living below poverty line, and 70 percent does not have access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation system." General Secretary Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association (SPLA) Karachi Prof Iftikhar Azmi said that the 27 percent enhancement in the education budget was commendable. He said that there was dire need to force the concerned authorities to spend resources transparently in the needed areas of the education sector.

Post your comments

Unemployed youth feel betrayed over budget 2009-10
Islamabad: The unemployed youth of the country has rejected the federal budget 2009-10 as no funds have been allocated for any scheme aimed to address the financial woes of the unemployed youth.

Moreover, the Youth Affairs Ministry has failed to come up with any mega project to address the grievances of hundreds of thousands of unemployed youngsters, who were eagerly waiting for some new initiatives on the part of the authorities concerned.

Under the Public Sector Development Programme of 2009-10,the Ministry of Youth Affairs has been allocated only Rs47.760 million for its five ongoing projects, and that amount too, is quite low. Against the demand of Rs558.66 million that included Rs73.66 million for 6 ongoing projects and Rs 485 million for 9 new schemes, the ministry could get only Rs47.760 million.

As per details, Rs5 million have been allocated for the ongoing project of Mobile Youth Computer Literacy Awareness Programme, whereas for the Establishment of Planning and Monitoring Cell Rs1.76 million have been earmarked in the budget 2009-10.

Among other ongoing projects, construction of Youth Development Centres in four cities of the country was much-awaited project of the ministry and Rs41 million have been allocated for it.

A survey conducted revealed that most of the youngsters felt unsatisfied with the budgetary allocations for the ministry and termed the allocation equal to peanut. They were of the view that as compared to the growing problems and challenges being faced by the youth of the country the allocations were too low. Adnan, a youngster who has done his Masters in subject of International Relations (IR) is in search of Job these days.

He said, "after approval of the National Youth Policy it was being expected that, the government would come up with some special projects to provide job opportunities to the youngster lot".

"But allocation of just few millions and annoucemnt of no new projects shattered our hopes" he lamented. The Nation

Post your comments spacer


Post your Feedback about information available on this page.