Sindh Government Proposes 36% Increase in Education BudgetSindh Government Proposes 36% Increase in Education Budget

Sindh Government Proposes 36% Increase in Education Budget

Overview

The Sindh government has announced a significant hike in its education budget for the upcoming fiscal year, reflecting its commitment to improving the educational infrastructure and literacy rates in the province. The proposed budget stands at Rs454 billion, marking a substantial 36% increase from the previous year’s Rs336 billion. This allocation constitutes 25% of the total current revenue expenditure.

Key Allocations and Initiatives

Addressing Out-of-School Children

In alignment with Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s ‘education emergency’ initiative aimed at enrolling around 26 million out-of-school children across Pakistan, the Sindh government has allocated Rs1.654 billion for the operationalization of non-formal education centers in various districts. These centers are crucial for reducing the number of out-of-school children and promoting literacy.

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Stipends for Female Students

To encourage female literacy, Rs800 million has been set aside for stipends for girls in grades 6, 9, and 10. However, each girl will receive only Rs3,500 per year, a sum considered insufficient by some education department officials. They suggest that providing transport facilities for all girls would be a more impactful measure.

Higher Education Funding

The Sindh Higher Education Commission (SHEC) will receive Rs34.5 billion, up from Rs23 billion last year, indicating a near 50% increase. Additionally, Rs6.9 billion are earmarked for technical education in the upcoming budget.

Free Textbooks and Infrastructure

The government will continue to provide free textbooks to all students from pre-primary to matriculation in all government and partner schools, with Rs7,500 million allocated for this purpose. For the enhancement of school infrastructure, approximately Rs12 billion have been allocated for new furniture and fixtures over three phases, with Rs4 billion designated for the 2024-25 budget.

Sindh Government Proposes 36% Increase in Education Budget

Flood-Damaged Schools and School Upgradation

The Sindh Reform Support Unit’s budget includes Rs6.875 billion, with Rs2.375 billion dedicated to restoring flood-damaged schools. The government also plans to upgrade 60 secondary schools to higher secondary schools, proposing 355 new posts with a financial implication of Rs400.6 million.Sindh Government Proposes 36% Increase in Education Budget 2024

Scholarships and Support for Needy Students

Scholarships totaling Rs1.2 billion have been proposed for students securing A-1 grades in SSC and HSC. Furthermore, Rs60 million are allocated for scholarships to needy and meritorious students studying in various institutions in the next financial year.

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Support for Higher Education Institutions

Approximately Rs35 billion have been proposed for the Sindh Higher Education Commission (SHEC). This includes Rs23.4 billion for 30 public sector universities under SHEC and Rs4 billion for newly established universities in Mirpurkhas, Larkano, and Karachi Metropolitan University.Sindh Government Proposes 36% Increase in Education Budget 2024

Budget Overview

Category Budget Allocation (Rs Billion)
Total Education Budget 454
Non-formal Education Centers 1.654
Stipends for Female Students 0.8
Sindh Higher Education Commission 34.5
Technical Education 6.9
Free Textbooks 7.5
Furniture and Fixtures 12
Restoration of Flood-Damaged Schools 2.375
School Upgradation 0.4006
Scholarships for A-1 Grade Students 1.2
Scholarships for Needy and Meritorious Students 0.06
Public Sector Universities under SHEC 23.4
Newly Established Universities 4

Conclusion

Despite the substantial increase in the education budget, the Sindh government has retained all previous schemes without introducing new initiatives. This steady approach during the interim setup and general elections last year means that the focus remains on enhancing existing programs and infrastructure, aiming for a significant impact on the province’s educational landscape.

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