The alarm bells sounded in the economic survey over quality of education and the need for skill enhancement haven’t gone unheard. Arun Jaitley has launched ‘revitalisation of infrastructure and systems in education’ (RISE) scheme with a targeted spend of Rs 1 lakh crore till 2022.
Under ‘Operation Digital Board’, the government aims to replace blackboards with elearning platforms by 2020. Two new schools of planning and architecture and 18 other IITs and NITs will also be set up.
Budgetary allocation for school education and literacy recorded a 7.86% increase as the government committed to treat education “without segmentation” from pre-nursery to high school.Stating that education accounts of 5% of budgetary allocations, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said: “The government is planning a non-segmented school education scheme to replace SSA and RMSA, which will include children from pre-nursery to Class X.”
The hikes are, however, seen as insufficient by activists. “The 11.6% increase for SSA is insufficient for realisation of RTE. Even secondary education has been neglected. The promised allocation of 6% of GDP has not yet been achieved,” said Ambarish Rai, national convener, RTE forum.
Despite the digital drive, allocation for Digital India e-learning for school and higher education has decreased from Rs 0.14 crore to Rs 0.01 crore. The Rs 125 crore for language teachers in the last Budget is missing.