Stakeholders argue for a higher budget allocation for girls' education

Stakeholders argue for a higher budget allocation for girls' education

Stakeholders argue for a higher budget allocation for girls' education

Stakeholders at an advocacy forum emphasised the importance of girls' education in nation-building and called for allocating a significant portion of the annual budget for girls' quality education, particularly at the secondary level, in Punjab, as it would go a long way toward ensuring an educated women population, which is a guarantee of economic and social stability.

The Awaz CDS Pakistan organised the advocacy forum with the goal of highlighting the importance of quality secondary education for girls, gathering input from experts and stakeholders, and pressurizing the government to increase funding for this important sector in the upcoming provincial annual budget.

Punjab MPAs Raheela Khadam Hussain (PML-N) and Ayesha Iqbal (PTI), Mina Umer Hayat from the Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Department Punjab, and Additional Secretary (Budget & Planning) School Education Department Punjab the event was attended by Qaiser Rasheed, Inayat Ullah Lak, Director General (Parliamentary Affairs & Research) Punjab Assembly, Muhammad Khalid, Coordinator National Commission for Human Rights Punjab, and NGOs.

Zia ur Rahman, in his introductory remarks, emphasised the importance of females receiving a high-quality secondary education and outlined the grey areas in Punjab to begin with the approach to girls' education.

He requested the Punjab government to provide a quick notification of the Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Act 2014, which had previously been passed. He emphasised the importance of increasing development budgets in school education because development budgets are currently only distributed to PEF and PEIMA, rather than being used to develop public schools, particularly for girls, where lack of facilities and accessibility remains a major challenge.

He also advocated for mainstreaming those with disabilities and the transgender population to ensure that they have access to education. During the discussion, Punjab MPAs Rahila Khadim and Ayesha Iqbal stated that education is a top priority for all political parties, and that every effort will be made to have the Act notified as soon as possible.

Ayesha Iqbal proposed combining all PEIMA and PEF schools under one roof to cut down on bureaucracy and other unnecessary costs. It would also aid in the accountability of systems, she added. In her remarks, MPA Raheela Khadam Hussain agreed that girls' education is not being given the attention it deserves in order to ensure that girls in the province receive a high-quality education.

Mian Umer Hayat said in his speech that their department is continually working on this area and that they will make significant efforts to raise public awareness about girls' education in order to reduce the number of girls who drop out of school.

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