Inflation Impedes Education in Pakistan; Delayed Salaries Result in Closers

Inflation can have a devastating impact on economies and societies. The effects of soaring inflation in Pakistan have become evident in the education sector, with several universities being unable to pay their staff due to the rising costs of living. The current situation not only threatens the financial well-being of academic staff but also jeopardises the future of students who are already struggling to afford higher education.

The Impact of Inflation on Pakistani Universities: 

According to the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA), many universities in Pakistan have been forced to stop issuing salaries due to budget shortfalls. The crisis has been in the making for years, with universities often delaying payments to their employees. 

The two largest universities in Balochistan, including the University of Balochistan, have been closed for weeks. Kaleem Ullah Bareach, president of FAPUASA and chair of the history department at the University of Balochistan, Quetta, warns that other institutions may also be forced to close in the coming days due to insufficient government funding for education.

Dr. Bareach blames the “extremely insufficient” allocation of government funding for education, which sets aside only PKR 102 billion for salaries and PKR 46 billion for development. This amount is meant to cover 200,000 employees and pensions at roughly 170 public universities. In Balochistan, the provincial government has allocated only PKR 2.5 billion to its 13 public universities, which is inadequate to meet their needs.

The Impact on Students: 

The impact of this crisis on students is equally concerning. Many students cannot afford tuition fees, and some are currently receiving remuneration from provincial departments. Dr. Bareach believes such students need to be fully subsidised by the government. The low per-student spending also leads to a lack of accessibility to higher education for students from low-income families. 

It can also result in a higher dropout rate, as students may not have the financial means to continue their education. The flood that devastated Pakistan last year hit the province hard, pushing many families dependent on agriculture and livestock into poverty. For rural students living far from their institutions, the costs are especially hard to bear.

The Big Picture Impact: 

The education sector serves as the backbone of the economy, and neglecting it can have dire consequences for the future of the nation. The lack of government funding for education could lead to a decline in the quality of education, fewer opportunities for students, and an overall reduction in the number of people who can contribute to the growth of the country. The government of Pakistan must increase its investment in education to ensure that universities can pay their staff and provide quality education to students.

The current inflation crisis in Pakistan is impeding education, making it difficult for universities to pay their staff and provide quality education to students. The lack of government funding for education is the root cause of this crisis, and urgent action is needed to address the issue. The government of Pakistan must increase its investment in education to ensure that universities can meet their expenses and provide quality education to students. Only then can Pakistan’s education sector contribute to the growth and development of the country.

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