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Unveiling the Education Sector Wish-list for Budget 2024: Human Resource Investment and NEP Goals in Focus

EducationUnveiling the Education Sector Wish-list for Budget 2024: Human Resource Investment and NEP Goals in Focus
The upcoming Interim Budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 is anticipated to shed light on the estimated receipts and government expenditures across various economic sectors, including education. As stakeholders await the budget presentation by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, experts have weighed in with their suggestions for the education sector, emphasizing the need for strategic investments and alignment with the objectives of the National Education Policy (NEP).

Infrastructure Expansion and Capacity Building

Shashi Banerjee, the Director of Education at Shiv Nadar School, highlights the imperative of additional infrastructural facilities and teacher capacity enhancement to support initiatives such as integrating Anganwadis with elementary schools and introducing a ‘Preparatory Class’ before Class 1. These measures necessitate not only investments in infrastructure but also the recruitment of additional teachers in elementary schools to lay a solid foundation for realizing the vision and objectives outlined in the NEP.

Budgetary Support for Key Schemes

With a focus on budgetary support, Banerjee underscores the significance of schemes like PM Poshan and Swayam, which are instrumental in driving holistic development and educational empowerment. The allocation of resources to these initiatives is deemed essential for their effective implementation and impact across the education landscape.

Bridging Global Education Disparities

Vishwanathan Iyer, a Senior Associate Professor and Director of Accreditation at Chennai’s Great Lakes Institute of Management, underscores the pressing need to align capital expenditure with investments in human resources to bridge global gaps in education. Emphasizing the urgency for substantial fiscal support, Iyer draws attention to disparities in the faculty-student ratio and internationalization indicators, underscoring the transformative potential of a substantial increase in the education budget.
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Integration of Indian Knowledge System

Anand Achari, the Principal of Vivekanand Education Society’s College of Architecture, advocates for the incorporation of the Indian knowledge system into the curriculum, necessitating curriculum development, faculty training, and the engagement of artists and artisans in higher education institutions. Additionally, Achari underscores the importance of strengthening industry-academia collaboration to align academic curricula with the evolving job market, calling for enhanced financial support to foster robust connections between educational institutions and industries.

Budget Allocations in the Education Sector

In the financial year 2023-24, the education sector witnessed its highest-ever allocation, with significant budgetary provisions for school education, higher education, and the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, signaling a commitment to addressing the diverse needs of the education landscape through substantial financial allocations.

Conclusion

As the education sector eagerly anticipates the unveiling of the Interim Budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, the recommendations put forth by experts underline the critical areas that warrant attention and investment. The alignment of budgetary allocations with the goals of the NEP, infrastructure expansion, faculty capacity building, and the integration of indigenous knowledge systems are key focal points that can shape the future trajectory of the education sector in India. With the potential to exert a profound influence on the education ecosystem, the budget for FY25 holds the promise of nurturing an inclusive, progressive, and sustainable educational landscape in the country.
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