Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training Baligh Ur Rehman on Tuesday informed National Assembly that a comprehensive plan is on way to have woman universities at each district.
Winding up discussion on a resolution to establish women universities at each district, the minister said, it is priority of the government to have women universities at each district and Higher Education Commission has prepared a comprehensive plan in this regard.
Almost two dozens members spoke on the resolution moved by MNA Shakeela Luqman and demanded either independent universities or affiliated campuses with existing universities as they laid stress on importance of education for country’s progress and welfare of people.
The minister said at present there are 14 women universities in the countries including Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Sialkot, Jhang etc in Punjab, Peshawar, Swabi, Swat, Mardan in KP and Sardar bahadur University in Quetta.
He said for university in Bahawalpur 150 acre land has been provided for expansion of the present university while Rs 200 million have been allocated in PSDP for establishing campuses of Sradar Bahadur university at Pashin, Noshki and Khuzdar.
For women university in Swat (Mangora), he said, the provincial government shall be allocating land for this university. About allocations for education, the minister said, the present government has increased allocations for education to Rs 800 billion in 2016 from Rs 500 billion of 2012-13 while for universities, the allocation have been increased to Rs 91 billion from Rs 41 billion in 2012-13. “By this way the overall allocation for education has been enhanced to around 2.5 percent of the GDP as compared to 1.9 percent in 2012-13.”
In the area of research, the minister said, the government has allocated highest ever grant and presently applied research is encouraged more than the past that will also benefit industry and our private sector.
He said the federal government is working in collaboration with provinces to promote education in the country and said, when Pervez Musharraf toppled the PML-N government in 1999, allocations for education were 2.56 percent of GDP that declined to 1.6 percent in 2001-02. “These allocations improved to 1.9 percent of GDP in 2012 but at presently it is around 2.48 percent.”
He also quoted the figures of educational assessment by world renowned institutions and said, education in Pakistan is showing improvement with five percent students shifting to public sector institutions from the private institutions.
The minister said, the number of out of school children has also declined by 26 percent during last four years with the number showing 50 percent decline in out of school children in Punjab, 86% in ICT, six percent in Sindh, eight percent in KP and five percent in Balochistan.
He said that enrolment rate has also increased three times as compared to previous decade and hoped to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals as he mentioned that presently10 Pakistani universities are among top 300 Asian universities.
Earlier, the House extensively dilated on this issue with members from across the divide expressed their view point urging the government for more steps to steer country out of the dilemma of illiteracy and unemployment.
The members included Shakeela Luqman (mover), Sher Akbar Khan, Siraj Muhammad Khan, Andul Qahar wadan, Aqibullah, Shazia Marri, Sheikh Salahuddin, Amir Dogar, Nawab Yousaf talpur, Aalia kamran, Maj ® tahir Iqbal, Engr. Usman Tarakai, Rana Qasim Noon, Raja javed Akhlas, Ghazi Gulab Jamal, Sardar Mansab Dogar, Sahibzada Tariqullah and number of other members spoke on the resolution.
Almost every member, especially those from KP and Balochistan demanded women universities in their respective districts as their culture and traditions make it difficult for girls to study in co-education system.
They also demanded to enhance allocations for education for a prosperous country and a better society besides seeking implementation of already taken decisions to establish universities in their areas. The members also demanded incentives for the poor people to encourage them for sending their children to schools.—APP