No big measures, say educationists


Educationists looking forward to > big announcements in the budgetary allocation are a disappointed lot.

The figure of Rs. 71,139 crore, the total allocation to education, comprises 3.7 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, a fall of one per cent from last year.

From the perspective of GDP, education has seen a fall since last year. To top it all, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement that universal education has been achieved has been viewed with cynicism as it is still a distant goal.

The marginal increase in the allocation to primary education, says educationist Kiran Bhatti, raises several questions. Namely, does the government expect the private sector to fill the huge gap? What is the government agenda for primary education?

Quite a similar view is held by Pratibha Kundu, who has noticed that the >allocations have also overlooked the Niti Aayog’s recommendations.

She says, “The Aayog had recommended skill development for students studying in madrasas which does not find mention in the National Education Mission announced by Mr. Jaitley.”

The emphasis on vocational skills, many educationists fear, will come at the cost of education. The government, they say, is not looking at educating its population as there are no figures yet on the school dropouts despite announcements like the setting up of 62 Navodaya Vidyalayas and a digital literacy scheme for rural India — as there is little mention of quality education.

Similarly, the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), both part of the 12th Five-Year Plan, found no mention in the budget.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2017 8:09:05 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/union-budget-2016-no-big-measures-say-educationists/article8297299.ece