Spending more on education


The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has brought yet another gigantic welfare initiative, this time in the shape of Insaf Taleem Card, to bear education expenses of students of intermediate and bachelor’s levels in public sector colleges across the province.
As higher education is noticeably more expensive than school education, this new initiative is not only going to help the students overcome their financial constraints arising from spiraling inflation, it is also going to lift their sagging spirits and provide them a vital reason for jubilation to be able to pursue higher education. And, this bodes well for the progress and prosperity of the society both in the long and short terms.
Making higher education accessible to people on the pattern of the PTI government’s signature healthcare and social security programs is a pivotal policy goal of the provincial government, which will have lasting impacts on improving and reforming the education sector. The Insaf Taleem Card program is worth Rs 1.5 billion and the funds will be utilized to bear educational expenses, like admission and tuition fees.
The decision taken by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in a cabinet meeting this week has received widespread appreciation from the people, particularly students, whose financial difficulties are major reason to impair their quest for higher education.
It is worth mentioning that provision of higher education is expensive ordeal for most of the governments even in developed nations across the world. Buildings, infrastructure, teachers, materials and management cost a lot.
Facing the worst economic downturn, the cost of each and every item we can imagine is getting higher, if minimum quality standard has to be observed. If public-sector colleges do not charge students for costs, the government takes this responsibility. In KP, now the government has girdled up to bear all expenses of students enrolled in public sector colleges.
As Article 25A of the Constitution of Pakistan stipulates, the government shall have to increase allocation for the education sector significantly, the KP cabinet’s decision is considered to be the practical demonstration of this.
The deserving students of the government run-colleges, who are always concerned about education costs, would be satisfied now to a great extent. The program will also bear admission, tuition and other costs of all students of intermediate as well as two semester fees of those enrolled in bachelor’s programs.
As per statistics, around 260,000 students enrolled in all 275 degree and commerce colleges would have the opportunity to waive their fee.
It is also commendable that the provincial minister also hinted at intention of increasing funding for higher education in the near future under the Insaf Taleem Card. It is true that our public-sector education system in colleges is underfunded in successive governments.
Spending less than two per cent of GDP on education will not get you quality education. But it is also true that the system has a limited capacity to absorb more. So, with the demand for more resources, we have to make the system more efficient too, otherwise even doubling the money will not get us results.