92% education budget goes to HEC

ISLAMABAD: Around 92 per cent of the federal budget for education goes to the Higher Education Commission, with the remaining eight per cent financing educational institutions which fall under the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

Ahmad Ali, a research fellow at Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) stated this on Monday during a pre-budget policy dialogue on the federal education budget for 2013-14 at a local hotel.

“The name and lists of the expenditure must be transparent so that it can be known for what purpose it is being spent,” Ali said.

He said 24 per cent of children in ICT are out of schools and 19 per cent of schools lack proper toilets, while five per cent lack boundary walls.

Rizwana Shabbir, another research fellow, was of the view that in light of the 18th Amendment and Article 25-A of the constitution, financial implications are the emerging challenges at educational institutions and at policymaking level.

“There is a need of 85 new schools, 4,072 classrooms and almost 4,568 teachers to cater the fast growing population of ICT,” she said.

Rafique Tahir, joint education advisor at the Capital Administration and Development (CAD) Ministry, said “If you want to make a real nation there must be a uniform curriculum in place.” To bring educational institutions under one umbrella, he said, CAD wants to bring the National Education Foundation and National Commission for Human Development under the ministry.

“Appearing before the Lal Masjid commission, they asked me if it is possible to bring the madrassas under the ministry, but it is a complex issue,” he said. CAD is trying to bring madrassas within ICT limits in the mainstream, with mathematics, English, and Urdu as compulsory subjects in their curriculum, he said.

“We are looking to build 20 schools along with two federal government colleges and two model colleges in rural areas. Also, the British Council has trained 700 English teachers,” he concluded.