- At Least 20% budget increase in elementry and secondary education for development head by Sindh Govt
Education Reforms through Research and Advocacy. This petition calls for at least a 10% Budget increase in the Education Sector of development Head in Sindh Province Pakistan.
Pakistan is spending 1.8% of GDP on education which is lesser then any developed country, even somewhere equivalent to Sub-Saharan Countries while in case of Sindh Province, only 9 billion are allocated in the recent budget (2012-13) for education.
If we compare the budgetary allocations for education with the total provincial allocations, it is clear that educational allocation have remained between 7-8%, which is nevertheless higher than the national average of 4-5%. On the other hand we look at the challenges and issues of education sector, then there is a need to give importance to the education and increase budget of those area where enrolment ratio is very low.
This allocation and expenditure is directly and indirectly associated with the quality of the education. At provincial level the budget comes from ministry of finance. PIFRA (Project to Improve Financial Reporting and Auditing is responsible for the check on regulation of funds. These funds are allocated for province at the time of budget approval. Then at the set tenure the expenditure bills are submitted and next instalment is requested. Similarly the process trickles down to districts and at lower administrative levels.
Unreasonable allocation of budget for primary and secondary education is an issue but it is also issue that allocated amount is not properly utilized which is undermined by the Civil Society organizations because of lack of evidence based research and convincing advocacy campaign. Proposed project is based on such research and advocacy. Following is strong justification for the proposed initiative.
i. The government lacks the systematic publication process that translates the heavy budget books in the language of common man. There are heavy volumes of budget copies published but not reached to people. This reduces the level of confidence of public on government. Public feels ignored.
ii. There is no system available that is put in to carry out an analysis on regular basis that shows from per child investment to trends of variations in expenditure with reasons. And that analysis is easier to comprehend.
iii. The school specific budget is still an activity on its way to be realized in the province. Although government through Reform Support Unit (RSU) Sindh is trying to put in a system of school specific budget.
From this there are few strong needs emerging:
a) Strong voice of people to influence the policy makers and make them realized for increasing education budget and develop system or defined procedure that immediately disburses the funds to districts from provinces and then to schools on time.
b) A public friendly publication of accounts’ status and analysis of expenditure even up to per child investment in public sector.
From the general context if particularly seen, Government of Sindh needs a big support in implementing such a policy that helps in bringing public closer to their responsibilities of facilitation in educational process and financial transparency, besides the actual problem of releasing the funds on time and as per allocations.
This is most faced by primary education in Sindh. According to Government of Sindh, Ministry of Education and Literacy there are total 44,500 primary schools with a total enrolment of 3,285,218 and a total primary teaching staff of 96,243 teachers across Sindh with following notable statistics ( source: http://www.sindh.gov.pk/dpt/EducationFinal/index.htm ):
Boys Primary Schools = 18, 454
Girls Primary Schools = 7, 452
Mixed Primary Schoolschools= 18, 594
Boys Enrolment = 1,970,777
Girls Enrolment = 1,314,441
Male Teachers = 69,489
Female Teachers = 26,754
The specific problems include:
1. Delay in the release of budgets, under utilization of the released budget, no proper justification and need assessment of the development schemes. New dimension can be explored that what should be done when resources are limited but these should be used properly. This can be linked with ASER study that private schools having same per child expenses are performing better as for as their learning achievements are concerned ( http://aserpakistan.safedafed.org/admin/fckfiles/Press%20Release-Draft.pdf ). Expense per child cannot be tracked despite right to information laws in the country.
2. There is no school specific budget for primary schools as yet. The funds come in pool for whole Taluka/Tehsil under Assistant District Education Officer (ADEO). The male decides for boys and mixed schools whereas female for girls schools. The funds are awarded as per needs of school and influence of individuals. Unfortunately this even happens late. Funds arrive with delay and by that time the actual needs either gets worse converts into another.
3. There is no such analysis available or at least is not available for authentic use that can be referred to see the trends of budget expense during a year. There are variations noted and published for accounting purpose to see the expenditure flow but their effect on the quality of education is not seen or connected. Late release of funds causes an inappropriate spending and lapse. This must be recorded and its effect must be seen on the education.
4. Public level information of expenditure. Common man does not know where his money goes that he pays in direct and indirect taxes. The government may publish a half yearly supplement in the newspapers to show what exactly went where making it simple for people to at least be able to understand what are the uses of their money specially in the field of education.
At least 20% Budget increase in Education Sector of development Head in Sindh Province Pakistan.
SITUATION IN DISTRICT MATIARI
According to Sindh Education Management Information System 2010-2011, there are 1026 schools in district Matiari with the enrolment of 91348 and number of teachers 3492. It means number of students per school is 89 and number of students per teacher is 26. The ranking of district Matiari in enrolment of students at primary level is number 13 out of 23. The total number of students ever attended school in district Matiari is about 50%. The percentage of students that completed primary or high is about 41%. District Matiari is consists of three talukas namely Hala, Saeed abad and Matiari
SITUATION IN DISTRICT TANDO MOHAMMAD KHAN
There are 1056 schools in district Tando Muhammed Khan with the enrolment of 60990 and number of teachers 2186. It means number of students per school is 57 and number of students per teacher is 27. The ranking of district TMK in enrolment of students at primary level is number 23 out of 23. The total number of students ever attended school in district is about 40%. The percentage of students that completed primary or high is about 30%. District TMK is also consists of three talukas namely TMK, Shah Karim and Tando Ghulam Hyder
“Budget Advocacy is a strategic action that influences decision making in allocation and implementation of public budget, to enhance effective use of resources and provision of services, transparency and accountability.”
WHY IS BUDGET ADVOCACY IS IMPORTANT ?
To know what a government truly prioritizes, we must follow the money. Government officials can vocalize support for education reforms every day, but without committed financial support, they won’t get results. Money is needed to buy commodities, train staff and support education workers.
Saying education is a priority isn’t enough. How do citizens know that a government fulfilled its commitment? This is where budget advocates come in—to mobilize resources, assess how money has been dedicated to a given purpose, how much of this was actually spent as planned, and whether this was done efficiently.
Beyond determining what is being spent and by whom, examining national budgets enables groups to ask several critical questions:
· How well does a government prioritize education?
· Is funding increasing over time?
· Is spending equitable, or based on needs?
Are the interventions being funded the most cost effective.
The Education Reforms through more Research and Advocacy petition to At Least 20% budget increase in elementry and secondary education for development head by Sindh Govt was written by Civil Society Support Program and is in the category Education at GoPetition.