KP budget 2016-17: Cadet college for girls, 200 smart schools envisagedPakistan
PESHAWAR: The establishment of the first-ever cadet college for girls and setting up 200 smart schools are prominent features of the development schemes for elementary and secondary education department reflected in the annual budget of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for year 2016-17.
The provincial government has allocated Rs12.53 billion for development schemes in elementary and secondary education department as compared to Rs11.5 billion revised estimates for the current fiscal year while original allocation was Rs15.9 billion, according to budget documents.
Besides the provincial allocation, Rs 4.462 billion will come through foreign project assistance for the development schemes in the education department.
Keeping in view the revised estimates for the ongoing fiscal year, only Rs1 billion has been increased for education sector in the next budget. A total of 72 projects have been reflected in the budget out of which 64 are ongoing with allocation of Rs10.3 billion while eight are new schemes having allocation of Rs2.422 billion.
The establishment of cadet college in Swat (Phase-III), construction of 160 primary schools, 100 secondary schools and conversion of 100 Maktab schools into regular primary school, six cluster hostels for female teachers, reconstruction of 50 old schools and establishment of 1,300 community schools, construction of monument on the premises of Archives Library Peshawar in the name of victims Army Public School attack are also included in the education budget.
The upgradation of 50 primary schools to middle level, 50 middle schools to high level and 50 high schools to higher secondary level and standardisation of 200 higher secondary schools are also reflected in the development schemes.
No details have been given in the budget documents about the nature of the new idea of construction of 200 smart schools. The officials in education department, when contacted, expressed ignorance about the nature of the smart schools.
They said that no one knew in education department about the smart schools as it was the idea of planning and development department. The education department was not consulted about the establishment of 200 smart schools, they said.
The officials in planning and development department were not available for comments.
Finance Minister Muzaffar Said, in his budget speech, said that standardising primary education across the province and encouraging completion of full primary schooling by all children was a vision of the provincial government.
According to its vision, the provincial government is striving for addressing gender disparity by promoting gender quality, affirmative action and empowerment of women and improving quality of education infrastructure, facilities and services, he said.
HIGHER EDUCATION: The provincial government has allocated Rs4.784 billion for development schemes to be carried out in the higher education sector during year 2016-17. The revised estimates for higher education in the outgoing fiscal year were Rs 5.787.
Prominent feature of higher education budget is establishment of a university in Chitral.
The total amount allocated for higher education would be spent on 60 projects. Of the allocated amount, Rs3.638 billion has been earmarked for 45 ongoing schemes while Rs1.145 billion is specified for 15 new projects.
Establishment of 10 government colleges in the province, institute of criminology and forensic sciences at University of Peshawar and establishment of sub-campus of University of Engineering and Technology in Dir Upper are some of the important projects, reflected in budget for higher education department.
Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2016