ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Senate was told on Friday that the federal government made an eight percent deduction in the budget grant for the Public Sector Universities in the Country in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-20 as compared to the budget for the FY 2018-19.
In a written reply submitted in the Upper House in response to a question by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, the Minister for Federal Education, Professional Training, National History and Literary Heritage Shafqat Mahmood admitted that there has been a small reduction in budgetary allocations to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) under recurring and development grants for Universities.
The minister told that the allocation for 2019-20 has been made keeping in view the fiscal constraints and challenges to public exchequer during the current financial year.
However, he further said that the government has recently allocated Rs 5 billion for scholarships in Private Sector Universities under the Ehsaas program.
1st phase of Single National Curriculum to be finalized by March 2020
Replying to another question by Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, Shafqat Mahmood told that the National Curriculum Council (NCC), Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training has initiated the process of developing Single National Curriculum, with input from all federating units of Pakistan.
Shafqat Mahmood told that the exercise of development of Single National Curriculum is planned in three phases; Phase I: Grade Pre-I to V (to be finalized by March 2020), Phase II: Grade VI to VIII (to be finalized by March 2021), and Phase III: Grade IX-XII (to be finalized by March 2022).
The minister further said that this step will ensure equal learning opportunities for all students, social cohesion and national integration, equal opportunities for upward social mobility, and opportunity for quality education for every child and addresses equity concerns.