Skip to main content

Stress on privatising education: Union Budget to 'adversely' impact marginalized kids


By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to what it called “insufficient allocation for education”, the Right to Education (RTE) Forum has said, the Union Budget 2020-21 shows “the government’s shrinking responsibility towards school education and implementation of RTE Act 2009.” It added, “Only digitization and online courses do not guarantee quality education, rather it widens the inequality,”.
Ambarish Rai, National Convenor, RTE Forum, in a statement on the Union Budget presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, said, “Union Budget 2020-21 again fails to provide an investment of 6% of GDP on education. A mere allocation of Rs. 99,300 crore for entire education sector and Rs 59,845 crore for school education (only minimal increase of 3308 crore from previous year’s Rs 56,537 crore) is grossly inadequate to universalise education.”
He said that it is very unfortunate that the share of education expenditure in total budget decreased from 3.5% in 2018-19 (A) to 3.3% in 2020-21 (BE) while it shows a drastic cut in budget for Rashtriya Uchhatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) from Rs 2100 crore in 2019-20 (BE) to Rs 300 crore in 2020-21 (BE). During her speech, the Finance Minister didn’t even mention school education, despite the fact that millions of children still remain out of school.
If the government intends to extend the Right to Education Act 2009, as recommended by the draft National Education Policy and ensure free and compulsory education to all children from pre-primary to Class 12 (3-18 years), it would have focused its attention on ensuring adequate allocation of budget along with clear roadmap for strengthening the public education system, he added.
Budget shifts focus from the issue of elementary education, fails to address the key issues like the huge number of out of school children
In a statement, Rai said, the budget has completely shifted focus from the issue of elementary education and has also failed to address the key issues of the education sector, like the huge number of out of school children (84 million as census 2011), 10.1 lakh vacancy of teachers in the country, closure of government schools (nearly 2 lakhs) across the country and only 12.7% RTE compliant schools (even after nearly 10 years of the RTE Act). With such a meagre budget, the government will not be able to ensure fulfilment of the provisions of the RTE Act.
Rai continued, it was disappointing that instead of increasing allocations to strengthen an Inclusive Public Education System, the government is paving the way for privatisation and public private partnership (PPP) model in education.
This neglect will adversely impact children, particularly those from poor, marginalised communities and also girls, adding to the already increasing number of out of school children in India. The commitment to universalize secondary education (Sustainable Development Goal 4) by 2030 will also remain a distant dream.
According to Rai, the budget is nowhere close to expectations and the government has failed to take in cognizance that investment in education will not only transforms the socio-economic status of common masses but boost the economic growth of the country also and is key to inclusive development of a nation.

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Dalits in India, Blacks in US suffer 'similar' humiliation: Macwan drafts letter to Trump

Counterview Desk
Well-known human rights activist Martin Macwan, recipient of the prestigious Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award in 2000, has drafted an open letter to US President Donald Trump following the disturbing turn of events with the murder of George Floyd, leading to widespread protests in the US. He has sought signatures of concerned citizens before sending it to Trump.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.