Education sector receives about 20% of the estimated budget for FY 2016-2017
The budget estimated for the financial year 2016-2017 was Nu.41, 605.862M of which the domestic revenue is Nu.27, 247.169M and external grants is Nu.14, 338.693M.
But the national budget FY 2016-17 which was presented to the National Assembly by Finance Minster last Wednesday shows that total estimated expenditure of Nu. 51,884.364M which consists of about 49 percent of current and 51 percent of capital expenditure.
The budget report stated that, social service which includes health and education receives the second highest share of budget with Nu.15, 430.078M which amounted to 28 percent next to economic and public services. Out of that, education sector receives with Nu.10,924.282M which amounted for 20 percent of the allocated budget for the financial year.
According to the budget report, the highest share allocated for education which is under social
service, the report stated that it has been allocated that in view of the importance of quality of education and in line with the Bhutan Education Blue Print 2014-2024. For the education sectors, 20 percent of total budget had been allocated to bring reforms to enhance access and quality of education in the country.
As a part of school reform programme, 24 central schools were established last year and another 27 will be established this year and also provision for another eight central schools to be established in 2017 academic year.
The report stated that a sum of Nu.1,623.18M has been allocated for operation and maintenance of central schools and Nu.1,352.659M has been allocated for the development of additional infrastructures and facilities.
Of the total allocation for infrastructure development, Nu.661.569M has been budgeted under Dzongkhag Education Sector, stated the report.
The report also stated that, a sum of Nu.116.848M has been allocated for professional development of teachers in schools and Nu.22M and Nu.10.820M for faculty development of Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) and Royal Institute of Management (RIM) respectively.
In addition, to set up computer laboratories and introduction of IT courses in schools, a sum of Nu.30M has been allocated, RUB is also been allocated with Nu.437.872M to improve infrastructure and other facilities in all the colleges. Furthermore, Nu.23M was embarked to initiate preparatory works for establishment of three colleges in Mongar, Trashigang and Trashi Yangtse.
According to the report, in order to provide opportunities to pursue higher studies, a sum of Nu.1, 006.471M is allocated for various scholarships both within and out the country and Nu.25.8M for assistance to privately enrolled medical students.
Further, Nu.37.620M is allocated for providing interest free education loans to economically disadvantaged students to pursue higher studies.
About Nu.24M has been allocated for infrastructure development and training for differently abled students to improve the facilities and access to education.
Moreover, Nu.43.651M has been allocated to strengthen Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) and Nu.82.189M for Non-Formal Education (NFE) programme, stated the report.
A report also stated that a sum of Nu.37.155M has been allocated to Royal Education Council for the improving quality and maintaining relevance of curriculum in the education sectors.
While, of the total allocated for the sector, Nu.6,373.264M has been budgeted under Dzongkhag Education Sector.
Meanwhile, the annual budget report has been referred to Finance Committee for review and will be presented in the house on 9th and 10th June, 2016 for deliberation.