ISLAMABAD – About 24 per cent children are out-of-school in Islamabad and to ensure free education for all, as enshrined in Article 25-A of the Constitution, there is a need of annual 7 per cent increase in the federal budget and its effective utilisation.Keeping the above in view, Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) organised a pre-budget policy dialogue with diverse stakeholders to deliberate upon the critical relevance of resource allocation to education quality and accessibility especially focusing at federal level. ‘If we want to bring all out-of-school children into the system, we need 85 new schools, 4,072 new class rooms, and 4,568 new teachers in the next 15 years only in the capital’ shared Rizwana Shabbir, Research Fellow at I-SAPS, at the event.And for all the new induction and constructions we need Rs. 7.53 billion in 2025-26 as compared to Rs. 3. 045 allocated in 2010-11 and annual 7 percent increase in annual budget and 6 percent in development allocations, she added. Ahmad Ali, Research Fellow at I-SAPS, while giving a presentation highlighted that in the capital 24 percent school going age children are out-of-school while 19 percent primary schools in rural areas do not have toilets and 3 percent do not have drinking water facility. According to him out of allocated education budget only 8 percent goes out to educational institutions up to secondary level while 92 percent allocated to Higher Education Commission (HEC).   He stressed that the details of the expenditures of HEC be made public to ensure transparency. Talking about the article 25-A he said the legislation has loopholes that need to be plugged. The article is silent about the private school going children and it does not say any thing about the children who cross the age of sixteen and still at school level education. He proposed that the benchmark should be education not age while implementing the policies. Proposing a set of recommendations for effective and appropriate budget allocations for relevant education departments at federal level, the speakers recommended that the allocation of resources should be made in the context of article of 25-A that makes the State responsible to provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age five to sixteen years. They also sought allocation of budget in the upcoming fiscal year for National Education Assessment System (NEAS) so that the quality based allocations be made possible. They were of the view that there is no denying the fact that in order to provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years, appropriate and sufficient allocations to education along with effective utilisation of available resources is inevitable.The representative of private schools network, Afzal Babar, criticised the government for not streamlining the education system after devolution as educational institutions in the capital have been placed under different four ministries that has been causing hurdles for them. Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD) Joint Education Advisor Rafique Tahir maintained that the figures were exaggerated as the capital educational institutions are in better conditions as compared to provinces.  He informed that the Ministry has set up a unit to implement the legislation and ensure free education for all children.