Union Budget 2021-22 Expectations for Education: The education sector in India witnessed two key developments in 2020 – National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) and Covid pandemic. Both NEP 2020 and Covid pandemic have underscored the priority requirements of the education sector especially the K-12 education from the Government of India. In Budget 2021, which is likely to be presented in less than a month’s time, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman should look to increase budgetary allocation towards the Education sector.
K-12 education refers to the primary and secondary phases of school life. The K-12 education sector covers education from kindergarten to class XII. Meanwhile, Budget estimates for Financial Year 2020-21 towards the Education sector was 99,312 crore out of the total Union Budget for the same period of 30,42,230 crore, according to the details shared by the Union Ministry of Finance.
“K12 Education is at an inflection point – NEP 2020 and COVID-19 are two significant factors that have made it amply clear that this is a sector that needs far more attention and priority from Government of India in Budget 2021. Allocation of 6 per cent of the GDP towards Education can be a healthy start in this direction. Opening FDI into education, inculcating stronger Public-Private Partnerships with education institutions for more efficient execution and designing better models for the deeper spread of internet bandwidth, and making hardware devices more affordable for accessing good education content by children in rural areas would need to be the key themes for Budget 2021,” Vinesh Menon, CEO, Ampersand Group said.
“Studies of the cost and benefits conducted by the United States show that the returns to investment are very positive in early childhood care and education programs. It is said that every dollar spent on early childhood education generates USD 4 benefits. This was published in a UNESCO Publication Early Childhood Care and Education in E-9 countries. To keep this in mind we need to support Budget schools, NGO’s and Voluntary organization by the government of India so other than the Anganwadi children will also benefit and they can use part of the Budget to train the teacher for quality education which is the mandate of National Education Policy 2020,” Dr. Reeta Sonawat, Member, Advisory Council, Association of Indian Schools said.