LAHORE: The Punjab government has allocated Rs383 billion for education in the financial year 2019-20 with an increase of 2.7 per cent from last year.
Out of Rs383bn, Rs336.5bn have been allocated for the school education department, including Rs304.5bn for current expenditure and Rs32bn for development. Rs273bn have been allocated for the District Education Authority, Rs19.5bn for benefiting 2.6 million children via multiple initiatives through Punjab Education Foundation, Rs12.9bn for school councils, Rs2.84bn for free textbooks, Rs5bn for Punjab Education Initiative Management Authority to achieve the target of 697,054 new student enrollments by the end of June 2020, Rs1.5bn for Daanish Schools for completion of nine ongoing projects, Rs1.5bn for out-of-school children for evening classes under Insaf School Programme to enrol 50,000 children, Rs730m for provision of missing facilities and reconstruction of old school buildings and Rs350m for establishment of IT labs in elementary/secondary schools of the province.
The higher education department has been allocated Rs42.4bn out of which Rs35.1bn is for current expenditure and Rs7.3bn for development. Out of this, Rs2.12bn has been allocated for construction and completion of 64 new colleges in the province, Rs1.54bn for rehabilitation of 51 colleges, Rs540m for the Chief Minister’s Merit Scholarship Programme and Rs400m to assist newly established universities in Jhang, Okara, Sahiwal and Narowal.
Moreover, Rs350m have been allocated for establishment of North Punjab University in Chakwal, Rs370m for expansion of Khawaja Farid University of Engineering and Information Technology (Phase-II) Rahim Yar Khan, Rs100m to upgrade University of Mianwali and Rs45m for promoting sports activities in education institutions.
Special education, literacy and non-formal basic education have been allocated Rs4bn, including Rs0.4bn for current expenditure and Rs3.6bn for development. Rs210m have been allocated for establishing 11 special education institutions, Rs110m to upgrade nine special education institutions, Rs233m for construction of 16 new buildings, Rs1.36bn for provision of non-formal basic education to 574,000 children, Rs159m for provision of basic education to 63,000 out-of-school children and Rs50m for provision of literacy with skills to illiterate youth in four low literacy rate tehsils of south Punjab.
The government also announced establishment of at least one university each in all 36 districts of the province and one each degree college for boys and girls at tehsil level. Establishment of six new universities across the province -- one each in Murree, Chakwal, Mianwali, Bhakkar and Rawalpindi – has also been announced besides establishment of Baba Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahib where minorities would be given maximum representation and also a children’s library in Bahawalpur.
Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2019