In the last couple of years, one sector of Pakistan that has gravely suffered is education. Successive governments have failed to prioritise the need to educate the citizens, and allot a significant amount of the federal budget towards its improvement.

The education budget for the year 2013-14 was a little over 2 percent, 537.6 billion to be precise. According to Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey (PSLM), the literacy rate which was previously 60 percent has gone down to 58 percent.

We are already lagging way behind on our Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reaching 88 percent in 2015. Intake in primary schools has decreased. Four out of every child is not going to school in the country.

This means that no significant policy making is being done with regards to the education system. This is especially true for the governments of Sindh and Balochistan. Both the provinces witnessed a decrease in their literacy rates. While terrorism, floods, lack of interest of parents, and non-availability of teachers is to be blamed; it is also the duty of the provincial government to ensure that education is promoted in the province.

Governments of both Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab have been quite vigilant in this area. KP witnessed an increase in the literacy rate due to an increase in female literacy. Similar efforts were made by the Punjab government, where 61 percent of the population is literate. But official statistics are not always reliable, and there is room for improvement.

Basic facilities such as education are key towards the progress of the country; and if they are not prioritised, no developmental project will be able to push the country out of its shambles.

The budget for the current fiscal year again only allotted 2.3 percent to the education sector. If this remains the case, we would have to start setting realistic MDGs.