Educational Planning is defined as:
“The process of determining the objectives of education, educational institutions, or educational programs and the means (activities, procedures, resources, etc.) for attaining them.”
“The process of making arrangements or preparations to facilitate the training, instruction or study that leads to the acquisition of skills or knowledge, or the development of reasoning and judgment.”
Need and Scope of Educational Planning
Educational planning and decision-making, like planning in other social sectors, is a complex, interactive process involving many policy-making, technical, and administrative bodies at the National and Provincial levels.
The general purpose of national educational planning in any country is to assist and facilitate the development of the educational system. At minimum, this task includes: linking education to the economy, culture, and society; maintaining the integrity of the system in order that the different levels and kinds of education reinforce one another; and, developing a system which monitors its own performance and responds accordingly. The educational planning process typically includes the interaction of sets of activities and feedback loops, including: an articulated vision of the future education sector; creation of the setting of objectives; the review of existing educational policies and consideration of needed new ones; explication of programs, projects and targets; and, assessment of needed human, fiscal and physical resources.
Simple as well as complex methodologies are available to assist each stage in the process. Effective planning requires relevant and reliable data, both as feedback to assist system adjustments, and also to allow meaningful budget development. Matching priorities to a feasible budget is a crucial step in the process without which planning has little potential for influencing change.
Examples of Types of Education Projects
Educational projects can be classified in different ways and several criteria can be applied when putting these projects in types. Projects can be classified according to their objectives. These objectives can be:
- Expanding the education system. This will include:
- Increase in the output of qualified manpower
- Increase in the opportunities for general education
- Improving the quality of education. This will include
- Increasing the number and/or quality of qualified teachers
- Improving the quality of support facilities/infrastructure
- Improvement in the text books, curriculum content etc.
- Development of planning and management capacities in the field of education.
Projects can also be classified according to the type of activities or inputs e.g.:
- School construction
- Staff training
- Textbook development
- Research projects
- Development of audio-visual aids
Education Planning in Pakistan
This manual emphasizes the development of realistic, cost effective, and implementable plans for national development. The use of well-established principles, frameworks, methodologies, tools and techniques are a pre-requisite for successful plan development. Equally important is availability and use of accurate, reliable and timely data to aid the planning process. Detailed and concrete implementation plans, supported by well thought-out monitoring, supervision and evaluation mechanisms are required for successful plan implementation. However, history indicates that most of the education plans in Pakistan were more of an optimistic wish list, and the same objectives were repeated again and again in succeeding plans with minimal success.