The Khyber Pakhtunkhwagovernment has allocated PKR 143.43 billion for education in 2016-17, representing anincrease of 19.8% from last year’s allocation of PKR 119.72 billion. The education budget is 28% of the total provincial budget outlay. The development funds for education however have been reduced from PKR 25.27 billion in 2015-16 to PKR 24.059 billion in 2016-17. The government has also made a provision of PKR 8 billion for the provision of missing facilities in the current budget.
Increased funding is an important step in addressing the triple challenge of ensuring that all children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa attend school, that attendance results in real and meaningful learning for all children in school, and that education data is public and accessible. However, increased funds alone will not be sufficient.
The presence of locally-elected representatives provides an excellent opportunity for the activation of Parent-Teacher Councils, which will help in the timely and effective utilisation of funds. Greater parental engagement with government schools will also result in an increased focus on holding teachers, education managers, and politicians accountable. The data collected by government through its new IMU and the actions taken by the department must be publicized in order to enable this process of accountability in education. The importance of this data was emphasised when MPAs passed a resolution in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly in May 2016 on constituency-wise reporting of education indicators by the department.
Speaking on the occasion, XYZ noted that, “improvement in quality of education requires immediate actions. Lack of learning assessments at primary and middle levels affect the learning outcomes of children in school. It is equally vital to invest in teachers’ training programme, especially in Maths and Science”.
Education Profile of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
According to a report released by Academy for Educational Planning and Management (AEPAM), a Federal Government institution, more than 2.5 million children are out of school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.According to KP’s Annual Statistical Report 2014-15, even though enrolment has increased by 18% since 2005, teachers and functional schools have only increased by 13% and 5% respectively. There are not enough teachers and functional schools to provide quality education for the increasing number of students.