ISLAMABAD (APP) - Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday said there will be no cut on the budget allocated for the universities despite serious financial crunch the country was facing.
Addressing Vice Chancellors of around 70 public sector universities from all over the country here at the Prime Minister House, Gilani however asked them to improve the quality of education to match international standards.
The prime minister said the government has allocated an amount of Rs31.57 billion for the education sector during the current budget and said the Education Policy of 2009 envisages an allocation of 7 percent of the GDP by 2015.
We will ensure that funds for education, particularly the higher education, are available, Gilani said and added even under extreme financial crisis we have made a commitment not to cut education budget.
He said he has also got an assurance from his finance minister that there would be no cut in the education budget and the universities can continue with their capacity building and future expansion programs.
He said the Education Policy was finalized in consultation with all the stakeholders and aims at taking the country forward and help it meet all future challenges. Gilani said the government accords top priority to education and health sectors and would ensure that enrolment is tripled over the next six years.
He vowed to take education to the doorsteps of the people and said more universities and their campuses would be opened in far off areas of Balochistan and Sindh.
The prime minister urged the Vice Chancellors to work with the government and help exploit full economic potential of the country.
He however pointed to the need of improving the quality of education being imparted by these universities as their rating has declined internationally.
The prime minister said the success of the country depends on the success of its education sector and said it was vital to help the country overcome the challenges it was facing.
He said the private universities were doing better than the public sector ones in imparting modern technologies and this needs to be emulated by the public sector universities.
Later during an interactive session the prime minister to an appeal by the Vice Chancellors assured that the federal government agencies and the provincial government would be tasked to track the whereabouts of Dr Latifullah Kakakhel, Vice Chancellor of the Kohat University of Science and Technology, who was abducted over three months back.
He said law and order were the top priority and pointed that the country was passing through difficult times and was engaged in the war against terror. The prime minister said his fore fathers had done a great deal for the education sector and added that education is an obsession with our family and will continue to further improve it.