Ahead of the annual budget 2021, educationists say the allocation of funds for the education sector should increase considering the introduction of the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, paradigm shift from offline to online education, new academic pedagogies and broad scope for higher education in India.
Niranjan Hiranandani, provost of HSNC University said, "The Union Budget 2021-22 is expected to meet the cabinet approval for the increase in public investment in the education sector from the current 4.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 6 per cent."
Hiranandani further added, "Educators and stakeholders of the entire education community also look forward to a cushion for private investments, especially the ones that focus on building up technologies that are instrumental in the teaching and learning process of education. This paperless budget is expected to meet a lot of prospects and introduce provisions for advanced blended learning."
Tanuja Gomes, CEO, Furtados School of Music, said, "With the given focus on education, it is imperative that the entire sector receives a higher allocation of government budgets, at least by 10-12 per cent. NEP 2020 focusses on extracurricular and vocational learning integrated with academics. Companies that are focussing on such activities should be encouraged and special tax benefits should be considered for them."
Rustom Kerawalla, chairman of Ampersand Group, said, "As the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is hoped that the budget 2021-22 kickstarts the economy while boosting expenditure on education and healthcare infrastructure. In this regard, the government could plan to forego fiscal restraints and increase capital expenditure in these particular sectors. It should ensure transparency and accountability in every rupee spent on education with equitable distribution of funds."
Kerawalla added, "It is expected that the budget should look at boosting private investments and give a fillip to avenues of employment generation. The focus should be on upgrading the basic infrastructure and digitalisation of educational institutions, measures to encourage student retention, and comprehensive teacher training programmes to remain updated with global learning standards."