Education and reforms are the need of the hour and the 2018-19 Budget did not leave any stone unturned to ensure that the sector gets it's much required boost and support. The 2018-19 budget clearly defined how serious the government is to uplift the status of education in the country and the extent to which they are willing to support.
Finance Ministry, Arun Jaitley, announced a series of reforms and allotments for the sector some of which were first of it's kinds like promoting tribal education by starting 'Eklavya' schools, announcing a post graduate PM Research Fellow Programme for 1,000 B TECH students and many more initiatives.
The sector was overwhelmed with the infusion and welcomed it with open arms. Most of the industry experts believe that this was a much-needed step and the government has given immense confidence to the system.
One of the leading international schools in Delhi-NCR, Lancer's International's Director Rohit Mann said, "The Government's plan to leverage technology in the education sector is a big leap forward. The allocation of Rs. 1 lakh crore for research in the field of education is also a much-needed step."
Jaitley also introduced measures to improve the quality and training of teacher. A special training programme for 13 lakh teachers has been introduced under the Right to Education.
Emphasizing on the importance of this step, Sumeet Nath, Secretary and Treasurer of the Baptist Church Trust Association (BCTA) said, "It is indeed heartening to note that the Government shall now be treating education holistically, sans any segmentation, from pre-nursery to Class 12. A vast improvement in the quality of education shall be seen as an integrated B.Ed. programme has been initiated for teachers. We at BCTA welcome this move for we firmly believe that pedagogy should be an ever-evolving phenomenon and we are more than happy that the Government is investing a sizable amount in it."
BCTA administers several schools pan-India and is committed to providing education to the economically backward children of the country. "There is a great disparity in terms of education infrastructure and systems in private schools and state-run schools and a scheme like this shall be instrumental in bridging the gap. We are delighted to hear about the RISE scheme (Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education) wherein a budget of Rs. 1 lakh crore has been allocated over 4 years," Nath added.
Bangalore based Foundation, Akshaya Patra, also welcomed the move. The Foundation has been not just been providing quality education to children but also, they are providing quality meals to them. "With the recent allocations in Education sector and expected higher concentration in Rashtriya Ucchtar Shiksha Abhiyan, the MDM programme under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan can be expected to further enhance and develop into a sustainable nutrition charter to combat hunger issues, improve the nutrition status of a child and provides boost for quality education. We look forward to the detailed budget for further analysis," said Chanchalapati Dasa, Vice Chairman Akshaya Patra Foundation.
The sector has also expressed it's joy over the digitization of education. "The black boards will be replaced with digital boards," Arun Jaitleys vision for quality education has been received well and experts believe that the government has taken the necessary steps in the right direction. "The proactiveness of the Government in making the education system digitalized takes our nation closer towards achieving SDG - 4. Implementation of 'Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education by 2022' will provide a much needed boost in education sector. Children will also benefit from expected increased allocation of funds to allied programmes such as the Swachh Vidyalaya Programme under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan," added Dasa.
Overall, the education sector is happy with what the initiatives and believes that they have embarked upon a path in the right direction. Reform in education is the only way for us to create a better future.