‘Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) by 2022’’ with a total investment of Rs 1,00,000 crore in next four years.
The most anticipated announcement, what we know as the Union Budget 2018 has been unveiled, promising a great opportunity for the government to introduce some revolutionary changes specifically for the education sector.
Presenting the Union Budget, Arun Jaitley has unveiled a plethora of changes ranging from teacher training to quality of education, developments in higher education to promoting skill development amongst the youth.
The Indian education sector today is in an inflexion point. Learning systems in the country have undergone a systemic evolution over the years changing the functional paradigms of the academic ecosystem.
Talking about Tribal Education, the government is aiming to move from black board to digital board schools by 2022. Every block with more than 50 per cent ST population will have Ekalvya schools at par with Navodaya Vidyalayas.
Budget 2018 focuses on propagating the technology tool to make education universally accessible which will boost investment in the sector and bolster a student-centric learning model.
Let’s find out the industry experts' opinion on this revolutionary change.
Sivaramakrishnan V, Managing Director - Oxford University Press India
“It was heartening to hear the honourable FM state that while ‘the Government managed to get children to school but the quality of education is a concern’ – the focus on quality and learning outcomes is key to the longer term success of any education programme.
“The allocation of 1 lakh crore for the development of education infrastructure responds well to the needs of India’s schools and colleges that need upgradation in facilities. This allocation ties in well with the intent to augment digitization and the ‘shift from blackboard to digital board’, which is consistent with the Digital India mission, and will resonate with India’s young demographic.
“Integrated Education is a worthy mention in the budget and we hope that it leads to a teaching-learning process that combines print, digital, assessments and teacher training. The focus on teacher training continues from last year’s budget announcement and it exemplifies the renewed focus on this noble profession given that teachers are the principle pivot in the learning eco-system.”
Sardar Taranjit Singh, MD, JIS Group
“I welcome heartily the government's plan and focus to move classroom black boards to digital boards. I also welcome the emphasis to be given to training of untrained teachers and allocation of 1 lakh crore for education research. It’s also very commendable about the plans of coming up with 24 new Medical colleges. Also commendable is the plan of at least one medical college every three constituencies."
Lina Ashar, Founder, Kangaroo Kids
"The key expectation from 2018 budget for the education sector is to ensure collaboration between private and public sector by introducing streamlined and well thought out policies.Reforms in the education sector that encourages more and more private institutions to expand or modernize to give our students a more global perspective as part of their learning process.Given that the Education Sector has seen 16% growth in the recent years, it is bound to be one of the major sectors in focus for the Budget'18.Due to the major involvement of Technology in all our lives, it is but imperative to create provisions for the same, by increasing the technological and digital intensity in the field of Education, so as to provide a more global connect whilst educating children how to handle this tool as well. This will go a long in way in making the concept of 'Blackboard to Digital Board' a reality.Since the previous Budget reports are a testament of prioritizing employment creation, this year will be no different. Special emphasis will be put on creating more jobs which will help in the overall development of the economy.Special emphasis on Higher Education as well, to create an environment that provides a platform for technology, research and resource-development.Treating the Education in a holistic format rather than a segmented one will be an ideal route to take.There is a need for transparency regarding all the education taxes being paid for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan."
Mr. Mahesh Tejwani, President of Vivekanand Education Society’s, Mumbai.
"The rapid emergence of education-startups on the Indian education horizon has changed the quality and scope of education delivery in the country. Budget 2018 should focus on propagating the technology tool to make education universally accessible by reducing angel tax on edu-tech startups, which will boost investment in the sector and bolster a student-centric learning model. There should be higher budgetary allocation to facilitate the assimilation and integration of ed-tech in traditional education processes. The government should also place high emphasis on technology enablement in schools and make academic campuses tech-friendly to build a technologically robust national learning framework and solve the problem of a skewed student-teacher ratio. Budgetary provisions also need to focus on reducing tax burdens, particularly the 18% GST slab on ed-tech products and services to make education broadly affordable.
The “Skill India” campaign launched by the Modi government is a key corollary in imbibing industry-relevant skill in students and helping augment their employability skills. The government has initiated several noteworthy skill development initiatives and it is greatly hoped that the forthcoming budget will provide a much-needed impetus to early-age skill development with the onus on advancing the communication, computing and numerical faculties of students with a view to enhancing their professional competitiveness. Higher funds should be allocated for advanced teacher education programs by setting up training institutions for boosting their teaching competencies and equipping them with the necessary skills and training to enhance their theoretical and practical teaching abilities. The budget should also concentrate on broadening the use of digital tools in the classroom and acclimatizing teachers on the finer tenets of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) modules. The budget also needs to focus on providing a competitive remuneration structure to teachers to ensure their economic well-being and concentrate on imparting quality education to students. A competitive wage structure will also ensure in attracting qualified professionals in the teaching profession and plug the dearth of qualified teachers, leading to improved student-teacher relationships, better mentoring of pupils and enhanced student proficiencies. The budget should also increasingly concentrate on consolidating teaching learning outcomes. An Outcome-based Education (OBE) system is an effective tool to monitor the academic performance and intellectual development of a student on a periodical basis. The government needs to formulate a competent assessment model for improving the efficiencies of learning outcomes. The government should aim at streamlining education processes and encourage student exchange programs. The budget should also focus on providing grants to Indian schools and colleges to enter into tie-ups with globally reputed and accredited academic institutions to place India on the global education map."
Mr. Sanjay Padode, Secretary, Centre for Developmental Education, IFIM Institutions
“The move to expunge segmentation and treat education holistically is a great step by the government. There is a dire need to provide students with quality education to ensure a successful future. The 2018 budget seems promising to work toward the same.
Although the quality of education is still a concern, the implementation of the Institutes Of Eminence is set to fast track the sector onto a smoother and up skilled one. Following the re-skilling movement, the country is set to employ 50 lakh youth where the government will share the cost of training. This works as an added advantage to the education sector where the government is also looking to increase the digital intensity.
The budget announcement sees great improvements and an optimistic future for the education sector. These alterations will definitely improve the quality of education and in turn result in a more skilled India.”