‘State’s spending on school education poor’

Maharashtra spent just about 2.3 per cent of its GSDP, lags behind Bihar and U.P.

January 11, 2017 12:21 am | Updated 12:21 am IST

MUMBAI: A survey carried out by Child Rights and You (CRY) along with the Centre for Budgets, Governance and Accountability (CBGA) has found the State lacking in allocation of funds for school education.

The study found that Maharashtra spent just about 2.3 per cent of its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) on school education as against the requirement of 4 per cent of the GSDP as demanded by Kothari Commission in 1966. This percentage is much lower than States like Bihar (which spent 6.2 per cent of its GSDP) or Uttar Pradesh (which spent 5 per cent).

The NGOs studied education allocation and spending of 10 States, including Maharashtra since 2012, besides studying the ground situation in 127 schools across seven districts of Maharashtra. The survey found glaring deficiencies in basic facilities like classrooms, compound wall, drinking water and toilet as required under the Right to Education Act, which the schools claimed to have on government records.

The study found higher spending and better quality education in Navodaya Vidyalayas (where the government annually spends ₹85,000 per student), Kendriya Vidyalaya (₹32, 698 per student in 2015-16), the State-run Ashram schools (₹40,000 per student), and the government schools in the State (₹28,630 per student).

“Since the government started the system of providing grant-in-aid to private schools, the middle class abandoned government schools leading to their fall in standards. The government should enforce that the government officials send their children only to government schools; this would enhance the quality of education,” said Ravi Duggal, country coordinator of International Budget Partnership.

Subrat Das, executive director of CBGA, said, “If this state of affairs continues in government schools, in the next 10 years, people may question as to whether the government schools should be run at all?”

The survey found 4.8 million students were out of school, of which two million had never been enrolled. It also found a large number of drop-outs in students above Class IX because of shortage of government secondary and higher secondary schools.

The survey found that even though majority of the budgetary allocation (69 per cent) went towards the salary of teachers, contractual teachers in elementary education have gone up from 1.8 per cent in 2009-10 to 6 per cent in 2015-16.

It also found that the State spent poorly on training of teachers and monitoring of schools. Maharashtra, which has 24 per cent of its students from economically weaker sections, allocated just 1.9 per cent of its school budget for educational schemes for marginalised population.

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