Goal 4: To ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (Blog 2 of 3)
Though there are multiple factors that constitute towards the the worst measures of educational sector in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan but the following factors are the major source that have aggravated the situation in the Province over the decades:
Corruption in Education Sector: Due to widespread corruption, the quality of education of Balochistan’s public sector institutions have been declining over the last decade and the complete educational setup witnessed catastrophic decline. Beside other corrupt practices, non-transparent and non-competitive selection of teaching and administrative staff is the worst of all which don’t only negate the merit but also cause to the long lasting destruction of educational foundation. Historically, teachers associations, political and bureaucratic illegitimate interference and influence have proven fatal for the entire educational system. Even today corruption continues unabated as the induction of teachers at all level is done on a political basis in most parts of the Province, which is utter denial of merit and a cause to the fragility of system. Recently, Mushtaq Raisani the Ex-Finance Secretary , who is an example of prevailing set up of deep rooted corruption, Raisani was arrested and taken into custody after a team of the NAB recovered sensitive documents and Rs. 603 million in cash and jewelry worth Rs 40 million during a raid in 2016 at his residence. Similarly, Pakistan’s education sector is widespread with corruption from top to bottom and there are many corrupt practices committed with the connivance of treasury officials that is not limited to withdrawing of ghost teachers salaries, unauthorized pension and provident funds.
Lowest Spending on Education: Beside the deep-rooted corruption in the sector, the Country’s expenditure on education at the national and provincial level are the lowest compare to the rest of the countries in South Asia. This policy of lowest spending over the decades led the country to left way behind its Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) to attain 88 pc literacy rate by 2015. Furthermore, Pakistan with 24 million children out-of-school is second to the Nigeria in worldwide. The average spending on education in Pakistan has been around 2 percent of the GDP in every budget. However, it was raised slightly in 2016-17 budget and it comprised the 2.83 percent of the GDP. Similarly, the provincial education sector budget for financial year 2016-17, was Rs 49.1 billion, which was a mere increase of two per cent compared to the last year budget and this increase is the lowest among the four provinces. But the percentage share of education was reduced significantly from 20 percent to to 17 per cent compared to the budget of 2016-217. Moreover, Baluchistan’s share for education in the budget is lowest percentage among other provincial budgets for education.
To fulfill the promise of universal primary and secondary education, it is pertinent to uproot the corruption and corrupt practices from the education sector by adapting strict administrative and disciplinary measures. Corruption is a menace that don’t only strip of the people’s very basic rights to education but also their liberty and pursuit of dreams. Moreover, as the current ruling party, Pakistan Muslim (Nawaz) is determined to increase the national spending up to 4% of GDP on education collectively by 2018 but this ambitious vision should not be proved another distant dream to the nation. The goal of sustainable human development wouldn’t be achieved, even if a single children is left behind and no one should be allowed to stay behind for a better future and a better world.