ISLAMABAD: With Pakistan continuing to dominate indexes for out of school children, the constant reminder from global and local education and children’s body, the newly sworn in finance minister on Friday announced a new programme ‘100-100-100’.
“This is the federal government’s commitment to ensuring that 100 per cent of Pakistani children will be enrolled in schools, 100 per cent of children will be retained in schools and finally, 100 per cent will graduate from schools,” Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said during the budget speech in the National Assembly on Friday while presenting the budget for the fiscal year 2018-19.
He added that this was a solemn commitment of not just of the prime minister but of the entire parliament to the children of Pakistan.
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“Even after 70 years, we, the leaders of Pakistan, have failed the children of Pakistan,” Ismail conceded. “We have denied them the light of education. No more!”
Acknowledging that education was a devolved subject, he said that the federal government was ready to help, financially and administratively, each and every province to achieve this goal.
“This is not about politics and parties. This is a national commitment that I make today to the children of Pakistan. We will educate you. And we will insist on 100 100 100,” Ismail stated.
The federal government has enhanced the education budget by a mere six per cent in the incoming fiscal year of 2018-19, raising allocation from Rs132 in the outgoing fiscal year to a proposed Rs140 billion.
Of this, Rs97 billion has been allocated for non-development expenditure, while the development budget was kept at Rs42.6 billion. Of this, a major chunk went to the Higher Education Commission.
The government allocated Rs4.336 billion under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for ongoing and new schemes of the federal education and professional training for the upcoming fiscal year of 2018-19.
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According to budgetary documents, a total of Rs2.843 billion has been allocated for ongoing schemes, while Rs1.493 billion was allocated for new schemes of the education ministry.
Among ongoing schemes, Rs1.2 billion has been allocated for setting up and operating Basic Education Community Schools in the country.
Moreover, Rs1.5 billion has been allocated for improving Human Development Indicators Education in Pakistan by the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD).
With the government having already identified technical education as a priority, the government has identified a new scheme for establishing 400 Vocational Training Institutes (VTI's) across the country at a cost of Rs0.6 billion. They will be set up on 50 per cent sharing with provinces. A further Rs0.25 billion allocated for standardization of national examination systems across the country.
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Similarly, this year national best teacher awards project of Rs0.05 billion has also been announced including establishment of national teachers training institute. Lastly, Rs0.1 billion has been allocated for mainstreaming of seminaries in the country.
WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP
Published in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2018.
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