PESHAWAR - The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa coalition government allocated Rs73684.438million for elementary & secondary education in the fiscal budget for 2014-15, marking a 14 percent increase against the outgoing year.

The KP government is committed to provide free quality education to all till higher secondary level. Besides up-gradations of government run schools, the higher education sector has also planned to establish new degree colleges, a Higher Education Teachers' Training Academy in Peshawar and to establish cluster hostels across the province.

New blocks & hostels will be constructed and computer equipment will be provided in various colleges for imparting education in information technology and other sciences. An amount of Rs14312.000million is allocated for funding of 112 projects out of which 68 are ongoing while 36 are ongoing with allocation of Rs8820.832million and new projects equal to 44, with allocation of Rs5491.168million.

New hostel in Booni district Chitral will be constructed and establishment of Khushal Khan Khattak Memorial Library at Akora Khattak Nowshera and provision of computer equipment to various colleges for information technology and other sciences education.

The total budget estimated for Higher education for the financial year 2014-15 comes at Rs7044.880million. However the budget for elementary and secondary education for the financial year 2014-15, both Provincial & Districts were Rs73684.438 with 22 percent increase for salary and non-salary in shape Rs 33409.796million for Government Primary schools (male and female), and Rs621.070million for Administration.

The Sub-divisional Education Officer (male and female) are allocated Rs 621.070million, whereas Rs260.547 (Rs255.246 and Rs5.301) against the last year Rs237.626 million for other purposes like Regional Institutes for Teachers Education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Budget document said that a sum of Rs35918.072million were kept for Middle, High/Higher Secondary Schools, and Rs1747.273million against the last year Rs938.091 million for administrative purposes, while Rs1077.283million for colleges/professional colleges and institutes, while Rs 650.397million were reserved for Elementary and Secondary Department.

Besides the above, Rs 376.219 grants in aid was also released for autonomous and semi autonomous institutes during the current fiscal year.Rs123.539million for Akram Khan Durrani Public School and College Bannu, Rs81.890million for Abbotabad Public School and College, Rs150.000million for Elementary Education Foundation and Rs20.790million for Cadet College Swat.

Similarly, government showed firm commitment to support and provide a strong financial back to grants-in aid. Rs262.112million were released to semi-government autonomous institutions from time to time during fiscal year 2013-14 to supplement their financial resources. Like grant in aid to Gomal University DI Khan Rs100.000million, Rs2.000million to Hazara University, Rs0.112million for printing of books (Hayat-i-Mashwani) and Rs160.000million for Frontier Education Foundation (FEF).

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government according budget document reserved a total Budget Estimates of the Higher Education for the financial year 2014-15 as Rs1013.828million in revised estimates Rs7044.880with, against the previous Rs6055.093million. It was stated as Rs 102.900million for salaries and Rs56.572million for non-salaries purposes.

The budget statement said that education plays a pivotal role in the progress of the nations, and Pakistan in general and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular lags behind in the field of education from many countries of the region. The overall literacy rate in Pakistan is 58 percent (70 % male & 47 female) whereas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the literacy rate is 52 percent (72% male & 35 % female).

Keeping in view the above, education sector has become the top priority of the incumbent provincial coalition government.

The main focus of new projects is to promote the education at the primary level, create a gender balance, and fulfil the infrastructural requirements of existing institutions including staff, equipment, furniture, teachers training and essential repairs, said the budgetary document.