Education budget increased by over 200pc

ISLAMABAD   -   The federal government has significantly increased the budget for the Federal Ministry of Education, allocating Rs25.75 billion for the fiscal year 2024-25 compared to that of the previous year’s allocation of Rs8.50 billion.

This suggests a 204 per cent increase from the previous year’s budget. According to the budget documents, an amount of Rs2 billion has been earmarked for the Pakistan National Endowment Fund. Additionally, funding for Daanish schools in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan will swell from Rs500 million to Rs5 billion.

The federal government has allocated Rs 250 million under the ongoing scheme of awarding 1600 scholarships to students from Indian Illegally-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) in the budget. The on-going scheme will get the amount under the head of Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). In 2019, under the Prime Minister’s directive, the federal government had planned to reserve some 1,600 scholarships for students from the Indian occupied territories so as to provide educational opportunities to students from the region.

The scholarship programme serves as a means to enable students from Indian Occupied Kashmir to pursue higher education. These 1,600 scholarships will be offered at educational institutions operating under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) in the federal capital.

Some new schemes in education sectors have also been added to the PSDP 2024-25. An amount of Rs 100 million has been allocated in the PSDP under the “Challenge Fund to Address the Out of School Children (OOSC) Crisis in Pakistan”. An amount of Rs 225 million has been allocated for establishment of Pakistan Boy Scouts Cadet College at Sharaqpur, Sheikhupura. Separately six Daanish Schools will be established in AJK and an amount of Rs 500 million will be allocated under the PSDP. One such school has also been proposed to be established in Karachi as well.