The investment in education sector
T he annual budget for the fiscal year 2016 – 2017 has been approved by the national assembly last Monday as per the motion moved by the Finance Minister. The annual budget for the financial Year 2016-17 amounts to Nu.54,828.228 million. About Nu.25,387.034 million are for the current expenditure and 29,441.94 million is for the capital expenditure.
About 20% of the annual budget allotted for the education sector, it is clear that the government is giving top priority to the development of the education sector and the education of our children. The sector also has to develop the capacity of our teachers and curriculum personnel who work on the development of the syllabus of the students studying in the schools.
In view of the importance of quality of education and in line with the Bhutan Education Blueprint 2014-2020, Nu.10,924.282 million is allocated to bring reforms for enhance access and quality of education.
As part of the school reform programme,24 central schools were established in 2015 and 27 in 2016 and as a provision for another eight central schools is earmarked to be established in 2017 academic year. A sum of Nu.1, 623.18 million is allocated for operation and maintance of central schools and Nu.1, 352.659 million for development of additional infrastructures and facilities. Of the total allocation for infrastructure development, Nu.661.569 million is budgeted under Dzongkhag Education Sector.
Enhancing quality of education emanates from a set of good facul- ties and facilities in all educational institutes. As such Nu.116.848 million has been allocated for professional development of teachers in schools and Nu.22 million and Nu.10.820 million for faculty development of Royal University of Bhutan(RUB) and Royal Institute of Management (RIM) respectively.
Further, Nu.23 million is embarked to initiate preparatory works for establishment of three collages in Mongar, Trashgang and Trashiyangtse.
In order to provide opportunities to pursue higher studies, a sum of Nu.1, 006.471 million is allocated for various scholarships within and outside the country and Nu. 25.8 million for assistance to privately enrolled medical students. Further, Nu.37.620 million is allocated for providing interest free education loans to economically disadvantaged students to pursue higher studies.. Moreover, Nu. 43. 651 million is allocated to strengthen Early Childhood Care Development (ECCD), Nu .82. 189 million for Non -formal Education (NFE) programme.
The Royal Education Council is allocated with Nu. 37.155 million to develop curriculum/textbooks, conduct seminars/ workshops , review, selection and approvals of teaching and learning materials.
However much needs to be done in the education sectors on decentralizing the procurement process, drafting national education policy and national youth policy.
As remarked by Brad Henry no other investment yields as great a return as the investment in education and the we are doing the same too.