The Budget session of the Parliament would commence on January 29 with the presentation of Economic Survey. As the countdown for the Budget 2021 has begun, discussions over the sector-wise allocation have again taken centre stage in the national discourse.
If we consider the education sector, in the Budget 2020 the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated ₹ 99,300 crore to the education sector -- including ₹3,000 crore for the skill development initiatives.
This was a ₹ 4,500 crore rise from the allocation in Budget 2019 where the government had allocated ₹ 94,800 crore towards the education fund.
COVID-19 pandemic changed several aspects of our lives. And the education sector was not an exception in this.
The guidance note from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released on Monday stated that as governments grapple with the costs of health and economic recovery, it is vital to protect education budgets. Investing in reskilling and upskilling of workers who lost jobs during the pandemic will play a critical role in accelerating the economic recovery by getting people back in labour markets, it added.
Thus, the discussion as to why India needs to increase allocation for Education sector is imperative. We bring you the top five reasons for this WHY:
To deal with the unprecedented disruptions in the field due to pandemic:
Education and training systems experienced unprecedented disruptions due to coronavirus outbreak with an estimated 1.7 billion students affected by school closures worldwide. To bring back the children who were left behind in these difficult times, we need funds and good schemes.
For coping up with the post-covid world:
Technology has enabled distance and personalised learning and will probably continue to be instrumental to education post-Covid-19. To cope with the new learning system we will definitely need good infrastructure.
To provide digital access to every student:
In the pandemic, education like many activities went online. However, thousands of students from the rural parts of India were left behind due to lack of access to the required digital infrastructure. To address inequalities in digital access, expanding access to affordable and reliable internet connectivity for households and education and training institutions, including through public partnerships with telecommunications providers will help.
To support our New Education Policy:
The education sector went unprecedented changes with the declaration of New Education Policy in 2020. However, to support the implementation of the NEP we need good spending.
To provide the relief amidst the pandemic:
Several educational institutions faced economic challenges due to non-payment of fees in the last year. To support our ailing institutions, we might need a relief fund in this budget.
(With inputs from ANI)