Education sector neglected once again in budget for FY 2018-19. The budget for fiscal 2018-19 year is out and everyone is looking for what relief govt has given to public. On the other hand, it was a historic moment for any elected government to present the 6th federal budget during its tenure.
The total budget of PKR 5.246 trillion was announced, with the tax revenue and FBR revenue targets set at PKR 4.88 trillion and PKR 4.435 trillion. Now talking about budget allocation for education sector, well, just like previous year, the new federal budget is no different for creating revolutionary change in education sector of the country.
Allocation for higher education commission
Higher Education Commission’s development budget has been raised to PKR 46.7 billion as against PKR 35.7 billion in the outgoing fiscal year. According to the budgetary document, out of total amount 46.7 billion, around PKR 40,218 million has been allocated for ongoing schemes, while PKR 6,462 million has been allocated for new schemes.
Education Affairs and Services have been allocated with Rs 97.42 billion in the budget estimates 2018-19 in comparison to Rs 90.516 billion in budget estimates 2017-18 and Rs 90.818 billion in revised estimates 2017-18.
And the bulk amount of PKR 71.824 billion has been embarked for Tertiary Education Affairs and Services which was previously allocated PKR 68.252 billion for 2017-18.
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There is no such development here as PKR 12.365 billion allocated for Secondary Education Affairs & Services for 2018-19 beforehand which was PKR 10.798 billion for 2017-18.
Pre-Primary and Primary Education
PKR 10.12 billion has been allocated for pre-primary and primary education affairs in budget 2018-19 as compared to PKR 8.748 billion for 2017-18.
Education Affairs and Services
The bulk of expenditure at Rs 71.824 billion has been allocated for Tertiary Education Affairs and Services in budget 2018-19, which is 73.7 percent of the total allocation under this head.
Clearly education isn’t priority in Pakistan
It is important to consider here that percentage of Pakistan’s spending on education in GDP remains among the lowest in the region South Asia which was 2.2 % of GDP in the fiscal year 2017 as compared to 2.3 % of GDP in the fiscal year 2016.
Govt has failed to understand that children of Pakistan are way behind in getting an education (even the basic education rather than reaching at higher university level) than every other country in the region. To ensure the standard education system in the country it is essential that the government allocates a decent budget for education sector.