ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Inclusivity in School Education and the Budget

As a signatory to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, India is committed to ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for vulnerable children. However, children with disabilities continue to be excluded from India’s education system. This article tries to examine how states are budgeting for education of CWDs by analysing existing interventions both by union and state governments, through a detailed analysis of school education budgets for six states.

Deteriorating Quality of Education in Schools

The role of government school teachers in India is being questioned because of the deteriorating learning levels of children. There is constant criticism of teachers’ performance on the grounds that despite paying high salaries to teachers, children are not performing well in examinations because the majority of teachers are not competent enough. An analysis of six Indian states offers the opportunity to address this debate from the lens of public provisioning for teachers in the school education system. The performance of teachers needs to be judged on the basis of factors like their training, working conditions, and, above all, resource allocation by the government.

NITI Aayog’s ‘Three Year Action Agenda’

A closer scrutiny of the NITI Aayog’s “Three Year Action Agenda” for education and skill development agenda makes it appear a mere technical exercise towards developing a set of unfounded strategies. The overemphasis on learning outcomes, obsession with technical education, and preference for skills over basic education have missed the broader and more meaningful vision of inclusive quality education.

Education Budget Lacks Imagination

The education budget for 2017–18 lacks imagination. There is a systematic defunding of important services and a renewed focus on tertiary educational institutions by the central government. The centre’s share of financing the education sector has decreased, placing the burden of implementation and funding on state governments. Further, promises made last year found no mention in this year’s budget which speaks volumes for the government’s educational development strategy.
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