Partners: Action Aid Pakistan, Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives, Save the Children Fund and Voluntary Services Overseas.
Financing of public education has been a perennial problem in Pakistan. Public expenditure on education has been very low, resulting in non-availability of education to nearly a third of school-age children, and rapidly decreasing quality of education. Schools are not in general financed according to their needs. The concept of school based budgeting makes schools determine the resources it needs rather than the other way around, as is prevalent in Pakistan these days.
SDPI partnered institutions like Action Aid Pakistan to form a consortium to conduct a study on budgeting mechanism for public schools. A survey-based study was conducted in which representative districts from each of the four provinces, the Northern Areas, the federally Administered Tribal Areas and Azad Jammu and Kashmir region, were selected. Respondents included school administrators, teachers, students, parents, community members and district education officials.
The analysis of the collected data revealed the extremely poor state of infrastructural facilities in public schools in Pakistan. These included class-rooms, furniture, backboards, which in most cases were far short of the required number.
The report also made a district-wise assessment of salaries of schoolteachers. It concluded that, should all the present public schools be staffed with an adequate number of teachers in appropriate grades, the total expenditure on their salaries would come to nearly Rs. 450 billion. This need ought to be contrasted with the total national public sector expenditure on education at all levels, including universities, which is less that Rs. 300 billion.