KARACHI: The Sindh government has allocated 27 per cent (Rs 208.23 billion) of the 2019-19 budget for the education sector, a local media outlet reported on Thursday.
The health sector was allotted Rs 96.38 billion, according to budget documents.
The Rs 208.23 billion allocated for the education sector includes funding for medical education, special education, technical education and higher education. The Rs 208.23 billion figures represents an increase of 14.6 per cent over the previous year’s budget, which stood at Rs 181.5 billion.
Under the Provincial Annual Development Programme (ADP), funding for education sector (excluding new schemes) has been set at Rs 24.4 billion – Rs 3.2 billion for boards and universities, Rs 20 million for special education, Rs 15 billion for school education and Rs 958 million for Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority. In addition, another Rs 3 billion has been allocated for the education department’s foreign-funded projects.
67 per cent of the allocated budget will be spent on salaries, with another 22 per cent under non-salary heads. Only 11 per cent is set to be spent on development projects.
Of the total education budget, Rs 84 billion would be spent on primary and middle education, Rs 50 billion for secondary/higher education, Rs 15.7 billion for colleges, Rs 9.5 billion for boards and universities, Rs 5.8 billion for medical education, Rs 36 billion for administration and Rs 5 billion for technical education.
The funding would be used to set up eleven degree-colleges across the province in addition to a law college in Sukkur and five IBA community colleges.
Furthermore, six cadet colleges will be set up in the province, establishment of the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto University of Law at Karachi and upgrading for the Jinnah Sindh Medical University in Karachi. A total of 23 schools with the Cambridge Education system will also be established in addition to 25 Comprehensive high schools.
For special education, an Autism Rehabilitation and Training Centre and an audio-visual library will be set up in Gulistan-e-Jauhar.
The 96.38 billion allocated for the health sector represents a 13.6 per cent increase over last year’s budget.
Health’s ADP is set at Rs 12.5 billion, including Rs 1.4 billion for teaching hospitals, Rs 3 billion for preventive programmes and Rs 6.5 billion for a number of hospitals. In addition, foreign-funded projects of the health department have been allotted Rs 2.3 billion.
A paediatric cardiac unit would be set up at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Chandka Medical College and Construction of Noori Girls Hostel at Benazir Bhutto Medical University Larkana would be renovated, and the Sindh Immunisation Support Programme (SISP) will be allocated Rs 1.8 billion.
A 20 per cent increase over the last year has been proposed under the budget for the purchase of medicines. NICVD budget has also been increased by 54 per cent at Rs 8.9 billion.
The Sindh government has also initiated a programme to combat stunting and malnutrition in children across the province. The target is to reduce the rate of stunting by 30 per cent within the next five years.