Mumbai: Principals, teachers and students have criticised the budget stating that it has no provisions for school education, improving the quality of teachers, encouraging research and providing incubation centres or think labs for entrepreneurships. On the other hand, they have welcomed the proposal for Digital education through online Bachelor degree programmes, apprenticeships for engineers and boost of new medical colleges.
There is no mention of school education in the budget 2020, claim school academicians. Kalpana Dwivedi, Principal of St Joseph School, Panvel, said, "There is no focus on strengthening school education. The government wants to promote 'Study in India' when school education which is the foundation is facing difficulties. Teachers are being paid low salaries. How does the government expect to have quality teachers in schools when there is no fund provision for them?"
Courses like engineering and medicine are losing their demand, the budget should have focussed on humanities, art and creative skilled courses, according to educationists. Marie Fernandes, Principal of St Andrew's College, Bandra, said, "It is good to have new apprenticeship courses, internships through urban local bodies and medical colleges. But the government should realise the ground reality as the demand for engineering and medical courses has been decreasing drastically. The government should have allocated funds for humanities, arts and other creative skilled courses where we have increasing number of students."
Students claim there is no allocation for research, incubation centres or think labs. Dheeraj Shah, a student, said, "We need funds for research so that we can contribute to the society at large. Incubation centres and think labs provide us a platform to start our own innovations and businesses. Higher education entirely relies on research and innovation. But the government wants to focus on starting new universities instead of improving the existing ones."
On the other hand, educationists claim digital education and apprenticeship courses is the way forward. Fernandes added, "Online courses and digital universities are the future. Though these digital courses miss the human touch, it gives flexibility to students, saves time and infrastructure costs. Also, internships and apprenticeship courses help students who are in technical fields." While Shardul Kane, a medical student said, "We need more doctors, nurses and paramedics in our country. It is good to hear that new medical colleges and a forensic university will be established."
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