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Policy Dialogue on "Countable Resources Allocation and Spending in Education"

A policy dialogue on countable resources allocation and spending in education was held in Hospitality Inn on 26th March, 2015.

"Absence of quality standards and weak coordination between implementers stays a challenge". This was said by Mr Kashif Ali, Deputy Director Coordination, Program Monitoring and Implementation Unit at a Policy Dialogue on COUNTABLE RESOURCE ALLOCATION AND SPENDING ON EDUCATION hosted by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA).

Pakistan is currently spending around 2 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education with an education expenditure which is lowest in the region. According to the United Nations Development Programme the completion/survival rate has declined in the recent years where more than quarter of students enrolled at primary leveldoes not complete their education. Pakistan's literacy rate stands at 58 percent which is well short of the targeted 88percent by 2015.Gender disparities and rural-urban divide are also some of the issues which have plagued a sustainable education development in the country.

Although fundamental, the challenge faced by Pakistan is not only limited to the lack of budget for the education sector but is significantly linked with the way public financing is planned, managed and monitored. Some of the considerable issues in this context include inadequate engagement of legislature in the budget-making process, insufficient allocations compared with the actual needs, untimely fiscal flow, corruption, huge administrative expenditure, lack of transparency etc. Also there is a weak link between policy provisions, education data and the budgetary allocations.

Against this backdrop, the aim of the dialogue was to bring all important stakeholders on board and have a discussion on the trends and priorities of the federal, provincial and district governments related to public financing of education. The dialogue touched upon the following themes: 

Theme 1:  To discuss the allocation of budget being spent on education in comparison to other indicators such as health, defence etc.

Theme 2:  To discuss the pattern of spending in different heads for Punjab only and other initiatives being taken by government.

Theme 3: To discuss the progress being made till date by the political parties in increasing financial allocation of education as per their mandate / manifesto.

Theme 4: To discuss the flow of funds in schools of Punjab versus the performance of the schools. 

Representative from School Education Department, Directorate of Staff Development, Program Monitoring and Implementation Unit, Usaid, JICA etc highlighted different initiatives taken by the Government of Punjab and also for effective resource allocation. Mr Qaiser Rasheed, Deputy Secretary, School Education Department, said that allocation is now being made keeping in mind regional and gender disparities to not only bridge the gap but also achieve the goals of 2018 envisaged by the Government.

 
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