The term "brain drain" designates the international transfer of resources in the form of human capital i.e., the migration of relatively highly educated individuals from the developing to developed countries.
This phenomenon, in the terminology of development economics refers to the loss of high quality manpower, which was once productively employed in the native country. The last decade has seen an increase in the international mobility of highly skilled, talented individuals in response to the expansion of the knowledge economy accompanying globalization.
This international movement of human capital can be identified, in practice, as the movement of scientists, doctors, educationists, engineers, executives, and other professionals across frontiers. These are people with special talents, high skills and specialized knowledge.
The irony of international migration today is that many people who migrate legally from poor to richer lands are the ones that the Third World Countries can least afford to lose: the highly educated and skilled. Since the great majority of these migrants move on a permanent basis, this perverse brain drain not only represents loss of valuable human resources but could prove to be a serious constraint on the future economic progress of Third World nations.
Expenditure on education in Pakistan and other developed and developing countries: Research undertaken both in developed and developing countries reveals that for an increase in output, the quality of labour is more important than the quantity. A clear picture emerged if one looks at the experience of different countries. No country with educated and technically trained human resource is poor and no country with a predominantly illiterate, untrained human resource is rich.
In general the quality of human resource is much more critical in economic development than the availability of natural resources. Japan is a country which has almost no mineral or energy resources but has high economic productivity because of highly literate, trained and an efficient workforce. Rapid progress of the East Asian countries is largely attributed to their excellent system of education.
Unfortunately, in Pakistan we have not paid due attention to the general education of the masses and as a result, the country is far behind than others of the region in education sector. According to official sources, the current literacy rate in Pakistan is 51.6 per cent where female literacy rate is 39 per cent while that of male is 64. It means that two women out of every three and one man out of every three men are illiterate.
The following table shows the national actual expenditure on education in Pakistan as a percentage of the GDP.
Table 1 reveals that the expenditure on education as percentage of the GDP is much below than what it actually deserves. The GDP percentage from 1998-99 onward was behind as compared to 1997-98. This reflects how the education sector has been neglected.
|TABLE 1: NATIONAL ACTUAL EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION AS A PERCENTAGE OF GDP (Rs IN MILLION)|
|% of GDP||1.83||1.68||1.71||1.66||1.8|
|Source: Government of Pakistan 2004|
Table 2 shows the comparison of education expenditure with other countries brings forward a picture which exhibits the importance of this sector in Pakistan. It reveals that our expenditure on education is the second lowest and it is amazing to note that we are far behind in expenditure on education as compared to the countries that are not much economically sound i.e., Bangladesh and Nepal .
|TABLE 2: PUBLIC EXPENDIUTRE ON EDUCATION AS PERCENTAGE OF 2001-2002 GDP|
|COUNTRY||PUBLIC EXPENDIUTRE ON EDUCATION|
|Source: World Bank|