Prompt Release Of Funds Urged For Universities

Since the budgets for the fiscal year 2014-2105 were released, universities have grown quite impatient to receive their funds. The assigning of greater funds for education this year has been seen as a step to take Pakistan one step further in the field of education. The 18th Constitutional Amendment has led to the promotion of high quality education and has made it compulsory for provincial and federal governments to further promote good quality education. On May 2011, the Council of Common Interest held a meeting and the federal government was given the responsibility to fund the universities being developed in the provinces and for the welfare of the citizens until the next NFC Award took place.

However, Provinces were also asked to fund as many universities in their respective provinces as much as possible to make progress and reach high standards and it was told that at the next NFC Award, the provincial governments would be responsible to fund the Universities in their respective provinces. Despite the fact that improvements have been made in budget this year, Pakistan is way behind the other countries in the field of education. In international cities or countries, the budget is not less than 25%. But, in Pakistan, it is a whole lot less than 25%.

However, it cannot be denied that in the last decade Pakistan made some serious developments in improving its education standards. Only in the past two years, at least a dozen universities have been developed. Currently, the number of Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) is 158. Out of 158 HEIs, 92 are located in the public sector alone, 23 HEIs are in Punjab, 24 in Federal, 19 in KPK, 6 in Balochistan, 16 in Sindh and at last 4 in AJK. The funds assigned to the provinces also take care of college education while no such rule is applied in the federal government.

To make sure that the degree colleges in Punjab were able to match international standards, the formation of an autonomous commission, namely the Higher Education Commission was also suggested. The idea for an autonomous body was appreciated by the Chief Minister who is determined to bring quality education to the people working in Punjab and match the international standards. While in Sindh, the government assigned a total of RS 134 billion to speed up the process of bringing high quality education to the citizens. Funds were also allocated Sindh Education Reform Program and other universities and training authorities.

Previously, the funds assigned to education remained unutilized but the experts have made it clear that taking important steps can only improve Pakistan’s chances of good quality education. Steps such as proper utilization of funds, prevention of delay in while delivering funds, launching and developing new and effective university campuses, improving the administrations and the need of a few experts for guidance could help solve the educational issues. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman is very confident that Pakistan can very well improve its education standards and he believes that Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad, the Chairman Of HEC can make sure that HEC is making progress on the right path and can  lead it to being a success.