Sindh Government Allocates Rs454 Billion for Education 

KARACHI, Jun 14 (APP): The Sindh government has earmarked Rs454 billion for the education sector in the budget for the fiscal year 2024-25. This allocation covers primary, secondary, middle, higher secondary, college, and university education levels, and accounts for 25% of the total Current Revenue Expenditure (CRE) for the upcoming fiscal year.

Significant Budget Increase

Announced by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who also holds the portfolio of finance ministry, this proposed budgetary provision marks a 36% increase compared to the previous year’s allocation of Rs334 billion. This substantial rise underscores the government’s commitment to enhancing the educational infrastructure and literacy rates in the province.

Higher Education and Technical Training

A significant portion of the budget is dedicated to the Sindh Higher Education Commission (SHEC), which is set to receive Rs34.5 billion, up from last year’s Rs23 billion, reflecting an increase of approximately 50%. Additionally, Rs6.9 billion are proposed for technical education, highlighting the government’s focus on advancing vocational and technical skills among students.

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Free Textbooks Initiative

The government continues its initiative to provide free textbooks to all students from pre-primary to matriculation in government schools and partner institutions. The budgetary allocation for this initiative has been significantly increased from Rs2.53 billion to Rs7.5 billion for the 2024-25 fiscal year. This move aims to alleviate the financial burden on families and ensure that all students have access to essential learning materials.

 

Infrastructure and Furniture Upgrades

To improve the learning environment, the Sindh government has proposed Rs12 billion for the purchase of furniture and fixtures over three phases, with Rs4 billion earmarked for the fiscal year 2024-25. This investment is expected to enhance the physical infrastructure of educational institutions, providing students with better facilities and a more conducive learning environment.

Sindh Government Allocates Rs454 Billion for Education

Support for Flood-Damaged Schools and Non-Formal Education

An allocation of Rs6.875 billion is proposed under the Sindh Reform Support Unit, which includes Rs2.375 billion for the restoration of flood-damaged schools. Additionally, Rs1.654 billion has been allocated to operationalize non-formal education centers in various districts. These centers aim to reduce the rate of out-of-school children and provide alternative education pathways for those who have missed out on formal education.

Encouraging Female Literacy

To encourage female literacy, Rs800 million has been allocated for stipends for girls. These stipends are intended to support and motivate female students, particularly in grades 6, 9, and 10, to continue their education. Despite this allocation, some officials suggest that the stipend amount of Rs3,500 per year per girl is insufficient and recommend providing transport facilities as a more effective solution.

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Comprehensive Budget Overview

The following table provides a quick summary of the key budget allocations for the education sector in Sindh for the fiscal year 2024-25:

Category Budget Allocation (Rs Billion)
Total Education Budget 454
Sindh Higher Education Commission (SHEC) 34.5
Technical Education 6.9
Free Textbooks 7.5
Furniture and Fixtures 12
Restoration of Flood-Damaged Schools 2.375
Non-Formal Education Centers 1.654
Girls’ Stipends 0.8

Conclusion

The Sindh government’s proposed budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 demonstrates a strong commitment to improving the province’s educational landscape. With a 36% increase in the overall education budget, significant funds allocated for higher education, technical training, infrastructure improvements, and initiatives to support female literacy, the government aims to create a more educated and skilled society. Despite retaining all previous schemes without introducing new initiatives, the enhanced budget allocations are expected to have a substantial impact on the quality of education in Sindh.

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