ISLAMABAD - Speakers at a seminar called for increase in Overseas Development Assistant (ODA) at least 50 percent and make the process transparent. They remarked this at the launching ceremony of A policy scan of official development assistance in the education sector in Pakistan on Friday. Abid Sher Ali, Chairman National Standing Committee on Education was chief guest on the occasion while Mukhtar Ahmad Ali, Muntasim Tanvir and Dr Kaiser Bengali were the speakers on the event. The share of grants in the assistance, especially for education sector, should be at least 50 percent, they remarked. For the least developed countries facing serious challenges like internal violent conflicts, all assistance for education sector may be in the form of grants, they further held. The causes of the gap between ODA commitments and disbursements should be effectively addressed, it was also noted during. This gap may be due to certain inefficiencies on part of the donors or capacity constraints on part of the recipient countries in terms of meeting procedural and reporting requirements or ensuring efficient utilisation of funds already disbursed. In view of serious challenges related to corruption, government and donors must ensure transparency in all education-related matters, especially by disclosing all relevant information to the public. The report highlighted that the over ODA, its total size, sector-wise distribution, commitments vs disbursements and utilisation lacks transparency. Neither the government nor the donors have established a transparent system to track the development assistance, the report says. In general, even for the education sector, where investments do not produce returns in short run, the share of grant is very small as most of the assistance is provided as loans. Study of selected years, however, show, better trends but it is due to short-term political considerations and not really a result of a genuine and long-term commitment for education sector. The donors are more responsive to the needs and demands as articulated by officers and policy leaders. In rural areas, improving roads or transportation system might increase access more than building additional schools. Students who are hungry or suffering from infections cannot concentrate. These factors are outside the control of education officials. While donors must not narrowly direct their aid programme, a broad-based and coherent consultation should be part of planning. Study of selected years, however, show, better trends but it is due to short-term political considerations and not really a result of a genuine and long-term commitment for education sector. The donors are more responsive to the needs and demands as articulated by officers and policy leaders. In rural areas, improving roads or transportation system might increase access more than building additional schools. Students who are hungry or suffering from infections cannot concentrate. These factors are outside the control of education officials. While donors must not narrowly direct their aid programme, a broad-based and coherent consultation should be part of planning.