‘KP education budget to rise substantially’

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa budget for 2014-15 will see an increase in allocation for education, provincial minister Inayatullah said on Wednesday after the launch of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Budget analysis by the Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA).
“There will be (a) substantial increase in the education budget in the coming financial year,” he said, stressing that the issue of education was related to governance, and to improve education governance, a more participatory approach was needed. He stressed the need for more educational facilities for girls, and said that separate schemes for female education were required to fill the gap between female and male education. Inayatullah did not hint at the percentage the provincial government might have decided to increase the education budget with. 
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Education Secretary Afzal Latif also spoke on the occasion, saying that that Rs 355 billion need to be invested in the next five years to improve the education crisis faced by the province. He stated that even if Rs 335 billion were available there were huge capacity issues. He appreciated the role of the civil society organisations in promoting education, and said that the government and civil society needed to work together to make the education budget more transparent. 
The secretary also pointed that the tax base needed to be widened because the government functioning is dependent on direct taxes. The study reveals that in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Education, there is little coincidence of policy claims and actual practices. “The study analysis the elementary and secondary education budget of KP for 2011-2012, 2012-13 and 2013-2014 highlighting the trends in allocation, priorities of the government and budget-making practices that require involvement of citizens,” the organisation conducting the study said.
It notes that despite Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s commitment to meeting the Millennium Development Goals of ensuring 100 percent enrolment rate in E&S and ensuring 88 percent overall literacy rate, the current budget allocation trends “do not match the policy claims”. The study highlights gender gaps in both provision of educational facilities and budget allocations. While the population of the province is almost evenly divided between male and female, educational facilities meant for girls only constitute 35-40% of the total budget.

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