A missed opportunity for education sector: Experts
Despite an increase of more than Rs 2,000 crore in the budgetary allocation for the school education department , experts say this year's budget does not seek to bring about changes in the education system or policy matters. Upgradation of infrastructure, supply of laptop-computer facilities and welfare schemes are the highlights of the Rs 26,932 crore package for the sector. Special emphasis has been given to infrastructure, including classrooms, science labs, drinking water facilities, compound walls and toilets.
However, educationists believe more could have been done. Calling it a "directionless budget," secretary of the State Platform for Common School System, Prince Gajendra Babu, said no fundamental changes were made. "There is nothing regarding the printing of text books to bring in the new syllabus, increasing faculty members in schools, or hostel issues," he said.
Educationist Jayaprakash Gandhi said, "It is good to see funds allocated for infra and welfare. But many of us expected some provision of transport facilities for government schools." A budget of Rs 3,680 crore has been allocated for higher education, including Rs 320 crore, for grants to universities. A major chunk of this goes to Annamalai University with educationists arguing that more assistance should have been given to engineering colleges for research.
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