LAHORE:A SUB-committee, comprising parliamentarians, constituted by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for budget formulation of the education sector, has recommended an allocation of about Rs 20 billion under the Annual Development Programme 2011-2012, it is learnt.
The sub-committee held a number of meetings and finalised its recommendations in a recent meeting on May 17 which was also attended by the secretaries of relevant departments of education sector.
The committee unanimously recommended to the Punjab government to allocate Rs 14 billion for school education for the ADP 2011-2012. It also recommended to the government to include provision of 1,000 science labs, conduct of science fairs, provision of interactive smart board, 1,000 computer labs in elementary schools, missing facilities in 1,000 high schools to convert them into model schools and reconstruction of dangerous buildings, etc. in the development programme of upcoming fiscal year.
On the higher education side, the sub-committee recommended an allocation of Rs5 billion while adding that in the mid of upcoming financial year, needs of higher education be reviewed and additional funds be provided. It also directed the Higher Education Department Punjab to propose development proposal keeping in view the quality.
The sub-committee also recommended allocation of Rs 627 million for literacy and non-formal basic education besides allocation of additional resources for the sector on demand. It also called for strengthening of primary schooling and launch of functional literacy programme programmes, including provision of vocational training for learners.
For special education, the committee recommended budgetary allocation of around Rs 300 million for the next fiscal year’s development programme with additional funding of Rs 166 million.
The body, however, did not recommend allocation for sports sector which is usually reflected in the education budget. As the department of sports has recently been merged into the Punjab Higher Education Department, it is likely that the allocation for higher education would also include the funds for sports.