Islamabad - The government failed in allocating the promised 4-6percent GDP for the education sector in the previous fiscal year and is nowhere near meeting the deadline of providing primary education to all children by 2030, said Human Rights Commission Report (HRCP), Monday.

The HRCP launched its report here with the assessment that Pakistan is due to report on Sustainable Development Goals to the UN in 2018.

The report said that Pakistan still has the highest absolute number of children out of school anywhere in the world, with 5.6 million out of primary schools and around 5.5 million out of secondary schools.

In the financial year 2017-18, authorities in Pakistan again failed to fulfil their promise of allocating at least 4-6% of their GDP and at least 15-20% of the total public expenditure for the education sector.

The HRCP 2017 report observed no improvement in education sector and mentioned that in most cases, budgetary allocations were decreased once again; inequalities in education, particularly gender disparity, could not be bridged; higher education remained neglected, and a large number of higher education institutions were without a head for the better part of the year.

Parents also protested against unreasonable hike in fees by private educational institutions, while students from various universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa took to the streets against the fee hike by the provincial higher education authorities.

Report said that medical education also suffered many setbacks, including the leak of entry test papers in the Punjab and Sindh to the disbanding of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council by the government authorities.

Reports and surveys with Pakistan set to report on its progress on Sustainable Development Goals to the UN in 2018, the United Nation’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report for 2017-18 released in October, titled Accountability in Education: Meeting Our Commitments, shows that Pakistan is not even close to meeting the deadline of 2030 for ensuring that all children receive their primary education.

The statistics supporting the GEM Report for 2017-18 are based on results reported to and processed by the Unesco Institute for Statistics (IUS) before the end of March 2017. Pakistan Report also said that authentic data reveals there is a wide gap between school completion rate and education attainment, between the rich and poor, the urban and rural based, and between boys and girls.

Poor rural males have a literacy rate of 60% while their female counterparts have an abysmal 14%.

HRCP also commented that higher education also remained neglected and according to the publication of the Quacquarelli Symonds-(QS) World Universities Rankings for the year 2017 saw only one of our 180 plus universities included in the top 500 universities, at 431st place on the list.

In the World University Ranking for 2017, issued by Times Higher Education, one Pakistani university made it to the top 500, whereas only two universities were included in the top 800. Despite the passage of over seven years, all the federating units and other territories have not constituted their own higher education commissions.

Under the 18th Amendment, the provincial governments were supposed to establish their own higher education commissions (HECs). Until now, only the Punjab and Sindh have set up their own HECs, while Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir failed to make any substantial progress on even this front in 2017.

Even those which are in place have continuously been at odds with the federal government’s HEC, the All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association, and other related bodies.

The focus has not been on promotion of higher education, but on legal battles and survival issues. Dozens of universities and colleges all across the country remained without a head through most of 2017. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone, no regular vice-chancellors and pro-vice-chancellors were appointed to the top 10 universities and colleges of the province for months.