ISLAMABAD – The vice chancellors of all public and private sector universities have decided to launch a campaign to put pressure on government to invest 4 percent of Gross Domestic Production (GDP) in education sector, it has been learnt.
The campaign will be launched under the slogan of ‘Taleem ko 4 do (4pc of GDP) – qom ko sanwar do’ – give education its due share and make the nation prosperous. The slogan will be displayed at the notice board of all universities and other public places.
The decision was taken in 10th vice chancellors’ committee meeting, organised by the Higher Education Commission. The two-day meeting was held here wherein the vice chancellors and rectors of over 130 universities participated.
Pakistan is far behind in education sector as the country stands at 189th viz-a-Viz promotion of education.
Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design (PIFD) and its VC Professor Hina Taib has been assigned the task of preparing logo of the slogan.
“We are going to launch a campaign for increase in education budget. The minimum investment in education sector should be 4 percent of the GDP,” said vice chancellors’ committee Chairman Imtiaz Hussain Gilani while talking to Pakistan Today.
After attending the meeting, the office-bearers of VCs committee led by Imtiaz Gilani addressed a press conference. The chairman said that on inaugural session of the meeting, Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Shaikh had assured them that all financial commitments made to the HEC will be honoured by the government.
The VCs were very pleased with the assurance given by the finance minister and were hoping for quick-release for additional Rs 4.60 billion for the third and fourth quarter.
This will take care of 50 percent and 15 percent salary raise announced by the government in the last two years,” said a communiqué read by Imtiaz Gilani in the press conference.
It said the VCs also demanded the federal government to allocate and release the additional Rs 2.5 billion development grant to allow completion of existing projects.
Imtiaz Gilani said another theme that appeared through this conference was that higher education does not exist in isolation and it is integrally linked to the entire education sector.
He said the VCs pledged to enhance the role of universities to serve as engine of socio-economic growth of Pakistan support of national economic policies. The communiqué further stated that VCs believe that first charge on the national budget should be education which must be sacrosanct.
It said the government at federal and provincial levels must advocate an education emergency in Pakistan and start forceful campaign for awareness. “The minimum investment in education has to be 4 percent of the GDP. This is only sustainable solution to our education system and the only road towards sustainable development of Pakistan,” the communiqué added.
Later while talking to Pakistan Today, Quaid-i-Azam University VC Dr Masoom Yasinzai said if government wanted to pull the country out of prevailing crises and put it on the path to development, it had to allocate 4 percent of GDP for education sector.