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May 23, 2019

Resolution seeks allocation of 6pc of GDP for education


May 23, 2019

PESHAWAR: A woman lawmaker has moved a resolution in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly seeking allocation of 6 percent of the total gross domestic product (GDP) for education particularly of girls.

Awami National Party (ANP) Member Provincial Assembly and Sustainable Development Goals Task Force member Shagufta Malik moved the resolution in the KP Assembly.

The resolution demanded that the government should allocate 6 percent of total GDP for education particularly for girls’ education in compliance with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Free Compulsory Primary and Secondary Education Act, 2017 and the international commitments of Pakistan made in the Universal Periodic Review in Human Rights Council (HRC) of United Nations (UN).

In budget 2019-2020, it said the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should ensure the equitable approach to resource allocation towards girls’ education to close the gap between girls and boys enrolment and increase retention of girls’ at secondary schools. “According to Pakistan Education Statistics 2016-17 by the Academy of Educational Planning and Management (AEPAM), an autonomous organization of Ministry of Education, in newly merged tribal districts 73 percent of school-going age girls are out of school, compared to just 43 percent of all boys,” the woman lawmaker mentioned in the resolution. She mentioned that this was followed by other districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where 49 percent of girls were not in school compared to 21 percent of boys. Recalling the commitment under Article 37 (b), Part II, Chapter 2, and Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 and” Article 25 A, Part-II, Chapter 1, “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 5 to 16 years in such a manner as may be determined by law.”

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa civil society organizations and education right activists lauded the introduction of the resolution calling for an increase in resource allocation for Girls Secondary Education in 2019-2020 Budget. Qamar Naseem, Programme Coordinator Blue Veins and Gulmakai Champion Working to promote girl’s education appreciated the move and said the budgets reflected the government’s priorities.

“Without the allocation of resources, especially financial, the government cannot realize the right to education. Pakistan cannot meet its minimum core obligations, such as securing free compulsory primary and secondary education for all, or the obligation to progressively realize certain aspects of the right to education, such as the progressive introduction of free secondary, vocational and higher education,” he added.

He said that lack of resources has grave effects on the enjoyment of the right to education because of the lack of investment hinders the proper implementation or formulation of education policies. Qamar Naseem lauded the efforts of Advisor to Chief Minister on Elementary and Secondary Education Ziaullah Bangash in bringing revolutionary changes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that because of the interest and commitment, Ziaullah Bangash has led to an ever-increasing focus on the primary and secondary education sector of the province in general and on girl’s education in particular.

Education rights activist Sana Ahmad said that Pakistan was now geared up to achieve the more rigorous post-2015 development agenda particularly SDG 4 and its targets.

“It is imperative that urgent action be taken in order to make education accessible to all children by investing more financial resources in the education system and utilizing it in a strategic manner,” she added. Taimur Kamal, Coordinator of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network, demanded the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to ensure that funds allocated for education were not be diverted to other sectors.

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