Educationists slam 'small' allocation for education in budget
Lahore: Educationists including vice chancellors (VC) of different universities condemned the Rs 6.5 billion low budget allocated for higher education for the year 2011-12.
Government College University (GCU) Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Ikramul Haq said that the Punjab government had focused more on the primary and secondary education sectors in the budget, neglecting the allocation of budget for higher education.
He said that Rs 1.5 billion increase in budget was not sufficient since a major part of the budget is fixed for research purposes, adding that the grant for university education should be increased every year.
Meanwhile, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) VC Professor Dr Muhammad Nawaz said that after the government's decision of HEC's devolution a few months ago, the federal government had halted provision of development funds, which caused a lot of problems for the new and smaller universities.
The provincial government had announced Rs 23.9 billion for all education sectors, including primary and secondary schools, higher education departments, special education and literacy departments. Around Rs 14.5 billion were allocated for the School Education Department, Rs 6.5 billion for higher education, around Rs 500 million for special education and Rs 800 million for literacy development. There had been a total increase of Rs 0.6 billion in the education budget as compared to the last year's budget. Daily times
Literacy disaster in Pakistan
Bad news for literacy: The National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) is being abolished - a fallout of the 18th Amendment of the Constitution. Apart from the human cost of 34,000 employees working for NCHD projects all over the country losing their jobs (provinces are unwilling to accommodate them, despite the assurances by Mian Raza Rabbani, Chairman of the Implementation Commission), the Commission's literacy, primary education and health support programmes will cease to exist. This will be a severe blow to the already shrunken EFA programmes at the centre and in the provinces.
At a PILDAT meeting in Islamabad last Tuesday, the former Federal Education Minister, Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali, deplored the total devolution of education to the provinces. He stressed the need for a federal entity to oversee and regulate education and health affairs for the purposes of uniform standards. He called the devolution of education to the provinces an "unwise" act, as no clear role of the federal government had been provided under the Amendment. (The time for putting up a spirited resistance was when the decision was under way and he himself was holding the portfolio. He possibly did make an effort, but it was not good and strong enough.)
With massive and persistent protests, the Higher Education Commission has managed to survive. There was a strong lobby for it in the universities and the media. Hardly anyone speaks for literacy in Pakistan. Six crore utterly illiterate Pakistanis have no spokesperson to plead their case. Brave initiatives by UNESCO and NGOs, like Pacade, Bunyad, Khwendo Kore, Sadiqa's Indus Resource Centre and Qurratul Bakhtiari (in Balochistan), do keep the issue alive, but our governments, donors and even the media have generally neglected it. Hardly a voice was raised when, most regrettably, the National Literacy Commission a fell victim to an economy drive during the Musharraf regime.
There are three irrefutable reasons why the government must mend its mindset and seriously take up the cause of literacy. One, as rhetorically stated again and again by our rulers that without substantial increase in literacy, no nation can make real progress. In this day and age, when only knowledge societies can successfully compete in the economic and social arenas, how can people march ahead when most of them cannot read even the number plate of a bus or date on the calendar? The nation
Rs 3 billion for Daanish schools
Lahore: The Punjab government has earmarked an amount of Rs 3 billion for Danish School System in the provincial budget for the year 2011-2012.
Similarly, an amount of Rs two billion has been allocated for Punjab Education Endowment Fund (PEEF), Rs 4.5 billion for Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) and Rs 2 billion for Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA).
It is pertinent to mention here that these figures have not been reflected in allocations for the education sector. The Punjab government has allocated Rs 23.9 billion for education sector under the Annual Development Programme (ADP) 2011-2012.
According to Whitepaper Budget 2011-12, not less than 15 Danish Schools will be established and 72 existing schools will be converted into Centres of Excellence under Punjab Danish School System & Centres of Excellence in phased manner.
Punjab Education Endowment Fund (PEEF) was established initially with seed money of Rs 2 billion while a similar amount was provided to the fund in fiscal year (FY) 2010-11. Punjab government aims to give special treatment to the students of 15 less developed districts of the Southern Punjab. The news