PESHAWAR - Despite the fact that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and especially provincial metropolis Peshawar is worse affected due to the prevailing law and order situations over the last one decade but even then the steps taken by the government for increasing the budget of elementary and secondary education of district Peshawar is encouraging.
The overall education budget of district Peshawar has substantially increased by 85 per cent during the last three years, from estimated budget Rs1880 million in fiscal year 2010-11 to estimated budget of Rs3484 million in 2013-14, a research study conducted by Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA) a non-profitable civil society organisation.
The statistics given in the report said a sharp increase in budget allocation in head of basic pay for the concerned staff was witnessed over the year, as it was increased from Rs733 million in 2010-11 to 1.62 billion in 2013-14. Similarly, a trend of continues increase in staff members was also observed, as the number of staff increased from 12489 in 2010-11 to 12832 in 2012-13.
The research study further states that in 2010-11 an estimated budget of 46 per cent and 49 per cent was kept for primary education and secondary education respectively, however, the trend has been changing in favour of secondary education. In fiscal year 2012-13 an estimated budget for primary education was kept at 41 per cent while secondary education was allocated 53 per cent of the total district education budget.
It was too encouraging that the pay and allowances of staff of district education department consume almost all the district education budget, as in 2010-11 95 per cent was allocated for pay and allowances of staff which increased to 97 percent in 2012-13.
But interestingly, there is no mechanism in place to elicit feedback from concerned Parent Teachers Council (PTC), teachers’ association or civil society groups in Peshawar on allocation of education budget in district Peshawar. Likewise, budget was not related to any output whatsoever, the study maintained.
In the last of research study, certain recommendations were also put. It was recommended to change the overall mechanism for allocation of budget, as there should be some performance indicators based on which each school be allocated specific budget. But presently there was no such mechanism in place.
Furthermore, there is also need of involvement of beneficiaries of education services, that include parents of students, civil society groups, and other interest groups for finalization of the proposal of education budget.
Similarly, there was also need for increase in the operating expanses of schools. In the last budget, schools were absolutely not able to fulfill the need of conducive school environment. There should also be budget for teaching aid materials, kids play gadgets, and other important materials required for schools, and the operating expanses shall be raised to at least 5 per cent of total district education budget.