Thursday, March 03, 2011

Pakistan spends 7 times more on arms than on schools

By Amin Ahmed, Dawn.com, March 3, 2011  
 
“Just one-fifth of Pakistan`s military spending would be sufficient to finance the universal primary education.” – File Photo  
 
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, with one of the world`s largest out-of-school population, about 7.3 million, spends over seven times as much on arms as on primary schools, says a report of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).


The discrepancy between primary education and military expenditure is so large that just one-fifth of Pakistan`s military spending would be sufficient to finance the universal primary education, asserts the `Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report 2011` published on Tuesday.

It said that diversion of national resources to the military and loss of government revenue meant that armed conflict shifted the responsibility for education financing from government to households. The report called on national governments and donors to urgently review the potential for converting unproductive spending on weapons into productive investment in schools.

The 1999-2008 period which was marked by high economic growth, real growth in education spending was higher than the rates of economic growth. The total public expenditure on education as percentage of GNP was 2.9 per cent in 2008, compared to 2.6 per cent in 1999.

The report says that the impact of armed conflict on education has been widely neglected. This hidden crisis is reinforcing poverty, undermining economic growth and holding back the progress of nations. In Pakistan, some 600,000 children in three districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were reported in 2009 to have missed one year or more of school because of conflict and displacement.

Continues >>
Post a Comment