New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Budget 2022-23 on February 1. Ahead of the most important financial event of the year, education sector has very high hopes as last year there was a reduction of 6 per cent in the annual allocated spending.
The Budget for the sector was slashed from Rs 99,311 crore in 2020-21 to Rs 93,224 crore in 2021-22.
Here are the expectations from this year’s Budget:
“At least 8-9 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product) should be put aside for education. More allocation isn’t only necessary at primary, secondary and higher education but, we need to also look at schemes for skilling our youth that is outside of the education system and make them eligible for employment opportunities currently there,” Prateek Shukla, co-founder and CEO Masai School said.
He also emphasised the need for skill education. Mr Shukla said, “Our education system is too focused on examinations and marks. We are really not looking at skilling. All over the world, we are seeing governments moving to outcome-based learning as the future of education. Private universities are now working with the government in the US to move to an ISA (Income Share Agreement) model as an alternative to education loans. This is something we need to focus on too when it comes to promoting Skilling in India.”
“Communication and interpersonal skills, cognitive abilities, logical thinking need to come to the forefront,” he added.
Mr Shukla also called out for tighter controls on the education technology (Ed-Tech) companies. “This is something that needs to come out in the policy of the government and not just in the Budget, but right now we are seeing predatory practices in the education tech space. More and more customers are going in with big bucks to take certifications that have little or no value in the marketplace. We are seeing courses being turned into trends, with people buying courses out of FOMO (fear of missing out). This needs to be flagged and addressed,” he stated.
In December last year, the Centre had issued an advisory to parents regarding the use of caution against Ed-Tech companies. The advisory had mentioned that the offer of free services — promised by some companies — has to be carefully evaluated.
Separately, Prashant Jain, CEO, Oswaal Books, stated that the education budget should be increased by 50 per cent. “Last two years already saw a cumulative 15 per cent decrease in the education budget. If we as a country boast about the human capital or demographic dividend we have. We need to realize our luck and immediately begin with investing in it. This decade is the best time to encash on the demographic dividend we have,” Mr Jain said.