Minister of State for Education and Professional Training Engineer Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman attends the ‘Seoul Financing for Sustainable Development Forum’

Islamabad, May 19, 2015 (PPI-OT): Minister of State for Education and Professional Training Engineer Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman attended the ‘Seoul Financing for Sustainable Development Forum’ on 18th May, 2015 at Seoul, Republic of Korea.

In his statement, Minister of State presented country-specific point of view on education with reference to Pakistan. He stressed the importance of aid to financing education in a country like Pakistan. Mr. Rehman also emphasized that Pakistan has had a tumultuous political history, and has only had the first transition from a democratic government to another, which reflects the upward trajectory of the country.

Minister of State shed light on the fact that Pakistan had a tax to GDP ratio of 13.5% in 1999, which has now fallen to 9% in 2014. “Despite this decrease, if you look at our education budget of 2%, it is essentially more than 20% of our receivables from tax”, stated the State Minister. Hence the actual figures spent by Pakistan are far larger than what would appear on a casual observation. Similarly, he presented many positive outlook indicators for Pakistan and highlighted that Pakistan needs global support at this critical juncture to continue the positive changes brought about by the current government.

Minister of State raised a pertinent point that government irresponsibility should not be made a cost that public has to pay, and donors must make education a universal provision for all. He continued with stating that cost of educating is never as high as the cost paid by a nation for not educating, in the forms of terrorism and extremism, evils that Pakistan has successfully fought with. Panellists for the session were Dr. Liesbet Steer, Ms. Julia Gillard, Mr. Jeffry Sachs, and Mr. Sung-ssang Yoo (from Seoul National University to present country specific view of Korea).

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