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 BuildingShashi 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 SchemesWith 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 DisparitiesVishwanathan 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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