Balochistan Budget: Analysis of Education Component

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Balochistan Government presented annual budget for the fiscal year 2016-17 in Balochistan Assembly, on Sunday.
Chief Minister (CM) Balochistan presented the budget where total outlay is Rs. 289 billion.
Total education budget for the year is Rs. 49.11 billion which is 17 percent of the total budget outlay.

Education budget for the year is Rs. 49.11 billion which is 17 percent of the total budget

Breaking down the Education budget reveals that non-development expenditure for education is Rs. 42.67 billion and development expenditure is Rs. 6.65 billion which is 9 percent of the total development budget.
A comparison with figures of the last year shows that non-development expenditure has increased by 15 percent and development budget has decreased by 40 percent.
Analysis of the sector-wise Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) shows that development budget of education has been reduced to contribute to increase in the development budget of Public Health Engineering.
Non-Development expenditure can be further broken down into Schools section and Higher Education.
In year 2015-16 non development budget for higher education was 7.6 billion which has increased to 13.7 billion this year, representing an 80 percent increase.
Similarly, non-development budget for Schools sections in 2015-16 was 29.5 billion which has now reduced by almost 2 percent to 28.9 billion.
So, it proves that government has increased focus on the higher education in terms of non-development expenditure.
Development budget of education can also be analyzed similarly by breaking it down into higher education and Schools section.
Development budget for higher education has increased from 3.7 billion in 2015-16 to 4.7 billion in 2016-17, marking an increase of 28 percent.

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On the other hand, the development budget for schools has reduced from 7 billion in 2015-16 to just 1.6 billion in the current budget. This is a reduction of almost 77 percent.

Government of Balochistan has shifted the focus from schools to higher Education in budget

This analysis clearly proves that the government of Balochistan has shifted the focus from schools to higher Education.
There are some question marks on this decision because primary and Secondary Education of Balochistan is the one that needs maximum attention.
According to District Education rankings, launched by Alif Ailan, Balochistan is ranked at bottom in terms of overall education score of Schools.
Abdul Saboor Kakar, Secretary Secondary Education, told Balochistan Voices that Development budget of education has been cut down because of increase in allocations by donor agencies for education.

International Donor agencies have pledged $60 million for schools in Balochistan – Saboor Kakar

“International Donor agencies have pledged $60 million for schools in Balochistan which is equal to our current education development budget,” he said.
He further explained that this amount is from the leading donors and the small contributions for education by donors are besides this.
$60 million translates into almost Rs. 6.27 billion and considering the logic of Mr. Kakar Right, education development budget in Balochistan is effectively Rs. 12.92 billion.
Other experts however contend that donor contributions can’t be used as justification by sitting government to justify their budgetary gaps.
Reduction in the development budget of Education, on overall basis, has raised another question that is education still a top priority for the government? And has the educational emergency started by Dr. Malik has finally been called-off by the current government?
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