KARACHI: The Sindh government has allocated Rs208.23 billion, or 27 per cent of the 2018-19 budget, for the education sector, against the health sector’s Rs96.38bn, budget documents show.

The amount for education includes allocation for higher education, technical education, special education and medical education. This allocation is an increase of 14.6 per cent over last year’s allocation of Rs181.5bn.

The provincial annual development programme (ADP) allocation for the education sector (excluding new schemes) has been kept at Rs24.4bn, including Rs3.2bn for the boards and universities, Rs958 million for the Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority, Rs200m for special education, Rs5bn for college education and Rs15bn for school education.

Besides the provincial ADP, Rs3bn has been allocated for foreign-funded projects of the education department.

More degree, community colleges in the pipeline

The documents show that 67pc of the budget will be spent on salaries, 22pc under non-salary heads and only 11pc of it will be spent on development projects.

Some of the major components consuming the Rs208bn education budget are: Rs84bn for primary and middle education, Rs50bn for secondary and higher secondary, Rs36bn for administration and works, Rs15.7bn for colleges, Rs9.5bn for boards and universities, Rs5.8bn for medical education, Rs5bn for technical education.

Some of the major heads under which the budget will be spent are as follows: The Sindh Education Foundation, engaged in increasing the quality of education for underprivileged areas and serving 555,943 students in 2,314 schools, would get Rs9.6bn as against Rs8bn it received last year. Rehabilitation and expansion of 4,560 schools will continue through 57 ongoing schemes at a cost of Rs8.69bn.

More colleges

Eleven degree colleges will be set up, one each, in Hyderabad, Korangi, Malir, Karachi West, Umerkot, Sukkur, Jamshoro, Shikarpur, Jacobabad and two at Sanghar. A law college would be set up in Sukkur and five IBA community colleges will be set up, one each in Naushahro Feroze, Sukkur, Jacobabad, Dadu and Umerkot.

Six cadet colleges will be set up, one each, at Karampur (Kashmore-Kandhkot), Mithi (Tharparkar), Kakar (Dadu), Khairpur, Badin, Jacobabad and one cadet college for girls will be set up in Larkana.

The establishment of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto University of Law at Karachi will be facilitated by provision of Rs250m. Rs125m has been allocated for strengthening and upgrading the Jinnah Sindh Medical University in Karachi.

Rs4.9bn is school-specific budget and will be spent on furniture, stationery, travelling etc. Rs1.2bn has been kept for girls’ stipends. Rs1.2bn will be given to the school management committees. Rs2bn has been kept for exemption of fees for registration, enrolment and annual examinations.

Rs1.2bn has been allocated for special education out of which an Autism Rehabilitation and Training Centre and audio-visual library will be set up in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.

The government has allocated Rs2bn for education management organisations (EMOs). Through the community mobilisation programme around 43 schools have been constructed and 23 handed over to EMOs under the PPP node.

Rs1.2bn has been kept for students securing A1 grade in SSC and HSC. Besides, 23 schools with Cambridge system (nursery to O level) and 25 Comprehensive high schools are being established across the province.

Rs267m will be spent on annual operational cost on 23 newly established degree colleges. Some 64 schools are being upgraded with donor assistance and Rs750m has been kept for innovative initiatives.

Health sector allocation

The Sindh government has allocated Rs 96.38bn for the health sector in the budget for 2018-19, an increase of 13.6 per cent against last year’s Rs84.4bn.

Next year’s ADP of health (excluding new schemes) is pitched at Rs12.5bn, including Rs6.5bn for various hospitals, Rs1.4bn for teaching hospitals and Rs3bn for preventive programmes. Besides the provincial ADP, Rs2.3bn has been allocated for foreign-funded projects of the health department.

Some of the major allocations under various heads include the establishment of a paediatric cardiac unit at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases at Rs250m under the ongoing scheme.

Renovation and rehabilitation of Chandka Medical College and Construction of Noori Girls Hostel at Benazir Bhutto Medical University Larkana will be managed with Rs234m against an ongoing scheme. Sindh Immunisation Support Programme (SISP) will continue with an allocation of Rs1.8bn.

The budget proposes a 20pc increase from last year’s allocation for the purchase of medicines for next year.

Budget for the NICVD has been enhanced by 54pc from last year’s Rs5.8bn to next year’s Rs8.9bn.

The allocation for the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation has been kept at Rs5.6bn. The allocation for the Institute of Medical Sciences at Gambat has been increased by 33pc from last year’s Rs1.5bn to next year’s Rs2bn.

Some 1,762 posts would be created at different levels of health management with Rs2.36bn. In addition to this, Rs581m has been allocated for new BDS and nursing schools and expansion of MBBS seats at the Lyari Medical College, Karachi.

The grant for the Indus Hospital has been kept at Rs1bn. The budget for the Institute of Medical Sciences at Sehwan has been enhanced by 45pc from last year’s Rs862m to Rs1.25bn. The allocation for the Kidney Centre has been enhanced by 150pc, from last year’s Rs40m to next year’s Rs100m.

A 230pc increase against last year’s allocation has been proposed in the Funds for Public Private Partnership, from 2017-18’s Rs697m to next year’s Rs 2.3bn.

To counter the challenges of malnutrition and stunting in children, the government has started a programme to reduce the rate of stunting by 30pc in the next five years. The government has proposed Rs5.1bn (an increase of 112pc) for the 2018-19 Accelerated Action Plan for the reduction of stunting and malnutrition as against Rs2.4bn allocated for 2017-18.

The allocations for the People’s Primary Healthcare Initiative has been enhanced by 17pc from last year’s Rs4.98bn to next year’s Rs5.84bn.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2018