The government has very calmly decided to scale down the education budget from the projected 7 per cent of the GDP to 4 per cent, as was promised in the National Education Policy (NEC) 2009. Why? Because the projected GDP allocation for the education sector in 2009 is ‘irrational’. Therefore, the government in consultation with the provinces is planning downward revision of the GDP allocation.

The NEC’s Review Committee has already approved the road map of the policy and formed a focus group consisted of the representatives of all provinces, one that will forward its recommendations. Besides adding new targets in accordance with Pakistan’s international commitments such as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), the committee will also delete some ‘unreasonable’ items. These include a 7 per cent GDP by 2015, 16 years of education for teachers and attaining the literacy rate of 85 per cent’. Are these clauses so easily unattainable in the future that we have simply decided to not even considering them? Is education that much of a burden, that we cannot even think about improving conditions?

The allocation of the education budget for 2015-16 is a miserly 2.5 percent of the GDP. The government wants to set the target of 4 per cent of the GDP allocation, for the education sector in the revised NEP, which for them would happen after a 0.5 annual increase by 2018. A 3 per cent rise could have done so much to help education in Pakistan, but a 3 per cent decrease in the military budget will not impact the security situation or the military much. Year after year, it is appalling to see how the military is getting more than half the budget for the country. In contrast, catering to education is seen in increments- that too to rise from a measly 2.5 per cent to a paltry 4 per cent.