Budget expectations


Budget expectations

Education and skill development

Anindya Mallick

As we are aware, the Indian education system needs to be overhauled and transformed so that it may harness the resultant talent pool for the economic growth we aspire to achieve. The draft National Education Policy is a step in this direction. It envisages a complete transformation of the education system during the student lifecycle, from pre-school to higher education.

Budget 2020 will need to be cognisant of the expected changes in infrastructure and facilities of the public-education institutions across the country; large-scale investments will be required to align classroom and institution facilities with the proposed introduction of modern pedagogy and teaching methods. Other areas that require large-scale budget allocation will be training of teachers to use new-age teaching aids and tools. This includes adopting smart classrooms alongside conceptual learning methods. The introduction of foundational learning as part of early-childhood care and education by setting up pre-schools across the country will require substantial resources. This refers to setting up or adding facilities along with building capacity of the teachers and anganwadi workers who are expected to take up this role in rural areas. To meet the expenditure we envisage, the annual budgetary allocation for the education sector needs to be increased from the current levels of around three percent of GDP.

In higher education, better performing public institutes are expected to be research-oriented and that those will move towards multi-disciplinary offerings in line with eminent institutes globally. This will require significant investments in modernising facilities. Budgetary allocation to Higher Education Financing Agency, as the nodal body, to make funding available for such transformation needs to be considered.

Investments in transforming the education system is expected to improve the quality of learning outcome which has been a concern per the Annual Status of Education Report, and prepare India’s youth to thrive in a disruptive world.

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