Analysis: Education in a crisis: How Does India Cope and Improve
By Neelam Makhijani
Children’s development cannot wait, yet concerns related to their development have taken a back seat in the past year and a half as the country tries to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. With the future of 320 million learners at stake, the pandemic has played havoc with the educational progress made so far and pushed us back by at least a decade. The education sector is suffering as much as the economy and healthcare, yet it stays abandoned. However, while lamenting over progress lost, let us not forget that much progress was yet to be achieved, even before the pandemic hit.
The Right to Education (RTE) Act was poorly implemented with just a 12.7 percent compliance rate. The long-standing recommendation to invest at least 6 percent of GDP in education is still a dream. Last year’s Union Budget allocated around 3.5 percent towards education. This year, it has come down to 0.42 percent, of which spending on school education is merely 0.25 percent. However, around 97 percent of these allocations come from the education cess, which is even lesser than the actual amount from the gross allocation.
Photo courtesy of TESS India.