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Islamabad: The cumulative education expenditures by federal and provincial governments in fiscal year 2020-21 declined to 1.77 percent of GDP as compared to 1.9 percent during the fiscal year 2019-20, revealed the Economic Survey 2021-22.

Expenditures on education-related expenditures during fiscal year 2021 witnessed an increase of 9.7 percent, reaching Rs 988 billion from Rs 901 billion.

During 2021-22, PSLM Survey was not conducted due to upcoming Population and Housing Census 2022. Therefore, the figures for the latest available survey regarding GER and NER may be considered for the analysis.

However, according to Labour Force Survey 2020-21, literacy rate trends show 62.8 percent in 2020-21 (as compared to 62.4 percent in 2018-19) more in males (from 73.0 percent to 73.4 percent) than females (from 51.5 percent to 51.9 percent). Area-wise analysis suggests literacy increased in both rural (53.7 percent to 54.0 percent) and urban (76.1 percent to 77.3 percent).

Male-female disparity seems to be narrowing down with time span. Literacy rate has gone up in all provinces i.e. in Punjab (66.1 percent to 66.3 percent), Sindh (61.6 percent to 61.8 percent), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (52.4 percent to 55.1 percent) and Balochistan (53.9 percent to 54.5 percent).

The total number of enrolments during 2019-20 was recorded at 55.7 million as compared to 53.1 million during 2018-19, which shows an increase of 4.9 percent. It is estimated to increase to 58.5 million during 2020-21. The number of institutions recorded at 277.5 thousand during 2019-20 as compared to 271.8 thousand during 2018-19. However, the number of institutions is estimated to increase to 283.7 thousand in 2020-21. Similarly, there were 1.83 million teachers in 2019-20, as compared to 1.79 million last year. The number of teachers is estimated to increase to 1.89 million during 2020-21.

The survey noted that an amount of Rs 9.7 billion was allocated in PSDP fiscal year 2022 for 24 on-going and four new development projects of the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training. While, an amount of Rs 2.8 billion was also allocated for six on-going and three new education related development projects sponsored by Finance, Defence, Housing & Works and Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit-Baltistan Divisions.

During fiscal year 2022, an amount of Rs 54.3 billion was allocated by Government of Punjab for 110 on-going and 405 new development projects of education sector. Out of which Rs 35.5 billion was allocated for school education, Rs 15.1 billion for higher education, Rs 0.8 billion for special education and Rs 2.9 billion for literacy and non-formal education.

During FY 2022, the Sindh government dedicated Rs 30.3 billion for 225 on-going and 283 new development projects of education sector. Out of which an amount of Rs 18.3 billion was allocated for school education, Rs 4.0 billion for college education, Rs 0.8 billion for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Rs 1.2 billion for Sindh TEVTA and Rs 6.0 billion for universities & boards.

The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has allocated Rs 24.6 billion in fiscal year 2022 for 172 on-going and 39 new development projects. Out of which, an amount of Rs 4.3 billion was allocated for primary education, Rs 12.1 billion for secondary education, Rs 1.2 billion for elementary & secondary education and Rs 7.0 billion for higher education. This amount is 94 percent higher than the last year allocation.

The Balochistan government allocated Rs 31.4 billion for fiscal year 2022 for 510 on-going and 380 new development projects. Out of the total allocation, an amount of Rs 2.3 billion was allocated for primary education, Rs 1.9 billion for middle education, Rs 8.6 billion for secondary education, Rs 8.5 billion for college education, Rs 9.5 billion for university education, Rs 0.2 billion for general education and 0.4 billion for technical education.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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