The need of increasing Budget allocation for Education Sector in 2017

The education sector is set to receive a major portion in the upcoming budget 2017. The allocation of budget in the education sector is expected to be increased by 10-12%.

This time, a lot of emphases is being laid in this sector, with a special focus on improving the quality of education in schools. Government sources told Live Mint, “In the last meeting with economists and experts at Niti Aayog, the Prime Minister listened carefully to issues related to education and reiterated his demand for excellence.”

Until last year, the increase was always 5% and the government spent an amount of Rs. 72,300 crore in the education sector. But in the upcoming budget, we can expect to see an increase of 10-12%, which will be almost double the current increment.

The two key projects under Education sector: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) & Mid-day Meal Scheme are likely to get somewhat same allocations in the budget as the government would want to shift focus on achieving the main goal – quality of outcome in schools.

It has been seen in the past that the quality of education is decreasing every year in the country. It has also been seen that a lot of students drop out of the schools at a very early age and the quality of education is also one of the reasons for that. India is a country that believes in competition and this has affected the competitiveness of the country.

A report by Annual Status of Education says that every second child in class 5 cannot read a textbook of a class 2 student. This report was published by Pratham. The report also revealed that though the enrollment is much higher, 60 percent of students can barely read their own names, even after being in school for three years. In that case, it has become very important for the government to focus on improving the quality of education. Not only that, the government should also measure the outcomes which will help in improving the steps taken.

While the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has done its best in reaching to a large number of students, but when it comes to quality of education, SSA seems to have not done so well.

Live Mint quoted an official saying, “Assessment of learning is likely to get a leg-up. The HRD ministry too has been advised from the top to monitor and assess academic progress and you may see good allocation for this. Both Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) may be asked to keep a tab on learning outcomes in schools.”

The budget that was presented last year talked about setting up 20 world class universities. And the regulations for the same are expected to be finalized this year. HEFA, a non-banking agency will soon be set up and this agency will take care of the world class university plan.

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