KARACHI – Teachers of public colleges on Thursday asked the provincial government to make sure that the budgetary allocation of Rs111.96 billion for the education sector is utilised in a transparent manner. In its annual budget, the Sindh government earmarked Rs 111.96 billion, including Rs12.39 billion in the ADP, for education for the financial year 2012-13, showing a 50 per cent raise in education spending. It allocated Rs4,117.43 million for around 52 schemes for promotion of the sub-sector of college education.The college teachers, however, warned the government of the rampant illegalities in the Education Department. Expressing dismay over the misuse of the college funds, Prof Iftikhar Azmi, general secretary of the SPLA Karachi, complained that public colleges were not provided sufficient funds to cater to their needs. The Sindh Education Department used to provide equipment, lab chemicals, stationary, furniture to colleges, he said, adding that the amount of such stuffs were not as per their demands.The SPLA official also said that libraries of public sector colleges were always cash-strapped due to which their maintenance could not be ensured. “Similar is the case with computer labs,” he added. “There are several examples of the misuse of funds. The department assured colleges that they would get branded computers of Apple, but they received “fake” systems.” It is also worth mentioning that the State Bank of Pakistan, in its annual report 2009-10, declared that “with comparatively low literacy rate and low public spending on education in the region, Pakistan lags behind compared with other regional countries. Despite showing improvement in various education indicators, a regional comparison shows Pakistan’s performance being relatively weak, the report said and adding that literacy rate improved slightly in Financial Year (FY) 2009 reaching 57 percent as compare to previous years; latest available data shows that literacy rate improved slightly in FY09 reaching 57 percent compared to 56 percent in FY08. Further analysis of the domestic education indicators show that Pakistan is unlikely to meet its targets associated with MTDF and MDGs (2015).According to the document of the current budget, “As many as 157 development schemes have been introduced in various sub sectors of education in the province at a cost of Rs12.39 billion. These sub sectors included elementary education (13 schemes), teacher education (four schemes), Sindh Education Foundation (seven schemes), secondary education (34 schemes), college education (52 schemes), higher education (19 schemes) and miscellaneous (28 schemes). As many as Rs Rs768.621million allocated for elementary education, Rs.139.996 million for teacher education, Rs1,313.622 million for Sindh Education Foundation, Rs.2524.708 for secondary education, Rs4,117.430 for college education, Rs.1545.644 for higher education and Rs1,589.989 for miscellaneous accounts.”A senior college professor, declined to be named, said that no matter how money has been allocated for the uplift of education sector in the province the issue is the proper use of funds by the government authorities. He said that education has been remain in the less priority of various governments, while it is out of question that funds could be used transparently in the province.