By: Qasim Nawaz Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: In the upcoming fiscal year of 2023-24, the budget for the Higher Education Commission (HEC) under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) is set to be 45 billion rupees, according to official sources. This represents a one billion rupee increase compared to the previous fiscal year’s budget of 44 billion rupees.
However, alongside this proposed increase for HEC, there is a contrasting proposal to reduce the budget for the Federal Ministry of Education. Sources indicate that there is a recommendation to cut one billion rupees from the budget for the fiscal year 2023/24 under the PSDP.
Under the current financial year, the Federal Ministry of Education had a total budget proposal of 6 billion rupees, as per sources. This is a significant decrease from the previous fiscal year, where 7 billion rupees were allocated to the ministry under the PSDP.
The proposed budget allocations have sparked a debate regarding the prioritization of higher education and overall education funding. Supporters argue that the increase in HEC’s budget reflects the importance of investing in higher education to improve the quality of academic institutions and research capabilities. They believe that this additional funding will contribute to the growth and development of the country’s education sector.
On the other hand, critics express concerns over the proposed cut in the budget for the Federal Ministry of Education. They argue that reducing funding for the ministry may have adverse effects on primary and secondary education, which form the foundation of the education system. They emphasize the need for a comprehensive approach to education funding that addresses the requirements of both higher education and basic education.
As the budget proposals for the upcoming financial year are further deliberated and finalized, stakeholders in the education sector will closely monitor the outcome to assess the potential impact on educational institutions, research endeavors, and the overall education landscape in the country.