Pakistan

Education Sector: Marginal Budget Boost for 2023-24

Pakistan’s education sector has received a marginal increase in the budget for the fiscal year 2023-24, raising concerns about the government’s commitment to addressing the pressing challenges in education. With a modest growth of approximately 5.5 percent compared to the revised allocation of the current fiscal year, experts and education advocates emphasize the need for greater investment to bridge the gaps in quality education and ensure a brighter future for the country’s youth.

Tertiary Education Takes Center Stage


The bulk of the budget, around 79 percent of the total allocation, has been designated for Tertiary Education Affairs and Services. While prioritizing higher education is important, a more balanced approach with comprehensive funding across all education levels is necessary.

Pre-Primary and Primary Education: A Slight Increase


Rs. 4.468 billion has been earmarked for pre-primary and primary education affairs, reflecting a slight increase from the previous year’s allocation, according to finance.gov.pk. However, it is crucial to recognize the importance of early education as the foundation of a strong education system. A significant allocation is needed to improve early education and ensure adequate infrastructure for young learners.

Addressing Secondary Education Needs


Rs. 10.778 billion has been set aside for Secondary Education Affairs and Services, demonstrating a commitment to addressing the needs of the secondary education sector. Additional support may be required to enhance access and ensure quality education at this level.

Concerns over Administrative Support


Rs. 3.698 billion has been allocated for administration to support educational institutions’ management and coordination. However, concerns have been raised regarding the adequacy of these funds to address administrative needs and enhance the overall education system. A more substantial allocation is necessary to strengthen administrative support.

Higher Education Commission (HEC) Funding


In line with the devolution of education to the provinces, the federal government primarily focuses on financing higher education. The HEC has been allocated Rs. 59.71 billion under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2023-24. This allocation aims to support the development and improvement of higher education institutions nationwide.

Conclusion:


While the marginal increase in the education budget allocation for the fiscal year 2023-24 demonstrates some attention to the sector, concerns persist regarding the government’s commitment to comprehensively addressing education challenges. Adequate funding for all education levels, especially pre-primary and primary education, is crucial to building a strong foundation. Moreover, ensuring efficient administrative support and making substantial investments are necessary to bridge the gaps in education access, quality, and inclusivity. By prioritizing education and allocating appropriate resources, the government can pave the way for a brighter future for Pakistan’s youth and contribute to sustainable development.

Source: www.finance.gov.pk/budget/Budget_2023_24/Speech_english_2023_24.pdf

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