LAHORE - Education department was perhaps the most vulnerable department to be made scapegoat to use its funds for political exigencies particularly the electioneering and campaigns of ruling party candidates. A source in education department revealed to The Nation that funds for second half of the fiscal year 2007-08 were even squeezed and diverted to other purposes. The development schemes so deferred are now being incorporated in the fiscal year 2008-09. This was not only happened in election 2008, but also in local bodies elections 2005, general elections 2002 and even during frequent dissolution of assemblies and subsequent elections after 1985, 1988, 1990, 1993 and 1997. It is for this reason that the target of literacy rate, increase in enrolment and expansion in infrastructure for quality education could not be achieved. The targets were left half through and ill conceived. The frequent revision of education policy draft, changing priorities at the political whim also led to chaos and confusion. The political instability and uncertainty also contributed to the degradation of education and literacy scenario in the country. The delay in the release of development funds, cut in education budget, increasing poverty and parents power to spend on education of their children, ignorance, teachers attitude are other reasons of poor quality education. Pakistan stands today at No 139 in literacy and education while 55 million people in the country are illiterate. The previous government proclaimed to allocate at least 4 per cent of GDP in education and also signed a declaration along with other political parties for 100 per enrolment in schools, increase in the literacy rate to 86 per cent, elimination of political interference in educational institutions and uniform education system but all these programmes were shelved later. The Education Executive Club devoted to research in education sector, in its recommendations called for involving senior academicians and experts in consultative process while formulating new education policy. Club also called for uniform education system both for public and private sector institutions for national unity and integrity. The body aslo demanded of the government to make Pakistan ideology, Islamic culture and health education compulsory subjects in schools. The heads of institutions be given financial and administrative autonomy and to provide higher education at the doorstep of rural population new higher secondary schools should be opened in rural areas, the Club further demanded. It also called for nonstop provision of funds for education sector and proper planning to enrol all who seek admissions for higher education. Prof M Sharif Malik of the Education Club said that the government had planned to impart computer education to some 3.5 million children of primary schools but no training to teachers in computer literacy while training workshops for them in computer application were necessary.