How is it going to happen?

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National education policy making it work
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With the policy done and grand plans unveiled, the big question on everyone’s mind will be how is it going to be executed financially?.

NEP 2020 was sure different to the way education was handled in India. It certainly was a big step in changing the education face of India.

NEP needs to be implemented with proper understanding so that the plan is successful.

Having a plan is one thing and execution of the grand plan is another.

Also it is not the government alone, but the involvement of the community, students, teachers and parents together which will determine the end result of the plan.

The education system built must be robust and free from the external challenges such as socio-economic factors and all these problems must be addressed simultaneously at the same time for the plan to prosper.

So to tackle the problem, a lot more investment is needed to keep up with the demands of the policy and to execute the plan. Finance will be of utmost importance which will require expertise along with proper execution and provisioning.

As PM Narendra Modi has already said in his speech that the spending on the education sector is far less than what should be done.

He has promised to spend 6% of the GDP in education related matters.

Currently India spends about 2.7% of the GDP on education which is way less than what the other countries spend on their education department.

Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog:

“Synergistic functioning of India’s education system, to deliver equity and excellence at all levels, from vision to implementation, led by a new Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog”.

Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog definition
Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog

A good education system is central to realizing the ambitious socio-economic development goals of new India.

On the other hand, education is also an extraordinarily complex field by its very nature and goals. India’s vibrant diversity exacerbates this complexity. Furthermore, this Policy, as is evident

from the foregoing chapters, emphasizes the creation of a knowledge society that recognizes the multiple dimensions of education as well as its holistic nature. The current governance of education in this country falls far short of being able to achieve this goal.

This, in turn, will create additional complexities and challenges in the implementation of this Policy. Against this backdrop, there is a need to revisit the existing system of governance, its structures and leadership mechanisms.

Achieving successful implementation of this Policy thus demands a long-term vision, availability of expertise on a sustained basis, and concerted action from all concerned actors, encompassing national, state, institutional and individual levels.

In this context, the Policy envisages the creation of a National Education Commission (NEC)/RSA as an apex body for Indian education.

As the highest level functionary of the government, the Prime Minister (PM) will chair this body and bring to bear the vision of education and the authority of the office in directing the educational endeavour.

This Policy, for its realisation in the coming years, would certainly call for extraordinary steps in governance, which are unprecedented, and in a sense will precede similar action that India would have to adopt in other national endeavours, in the context of realizing the totality of development.

RSA will be responsible for developing, articulating, implementing, evaluating and revising the vision of education in the country. MHRD to be renamed Ministry of Education(MoE).

RSA will consist of approximately 20-30 members. At least 50% of the members will be eminent educationists, researchers and leading professionals from various fields such as arts, business, health, agriculture and social work.

Financing:

It is well known that India doesn’t spend a lot on education in India. With its current spending of 2.7% of GDP in 2017-18, India Spends less on education than Bhutan, Zimbabwe, and Sweden(7.5%), Costa Rica and Finland(7%), Krygyzstan, South Africa, and Brazil(6%), U.K and Netherlands(5.5%) and Malasiya, Kenya, Mongolia, Korea and USA(5%).

GDP spend in different countries
GDP spend in different countries

So we can see that India is spending a lot less on education and hence the shortfall in education in India. The large deficit in the public financing that is required versus what has been made available eventually manifests in compromised quality of educational outcomes and lack of improvement.

A large proportion of public expenditure on education comprises salaries of people (including teachers) existing in the system, with grossly inadequate amounts allocated for other matters, e.g. learning resources, school maintenance, laboratories, midday meals, etc.

Even lesser amounts are allocated for real changes and development of the system, which are necessary for the improvement of key educational outcomes. Also, urgently needed manpower (e.g. teachers, support staff) is not added, or added with temporary contracts and low salaries.

All of this is directly a result of inadequate financial resources being made available. 

The Policy envisions significant increase in public investment in education. This would go up from the current 10% of overall public expenditure in education to 20%, over a 10-year period.

Two important trends of the Indian economy will support these increased
investments. First, the rapid pace of economic growth will increase the size
of the Indian economy, making it the world’s third largest economy by 2030.

The estimated size of the Indian economy (according to NITI Aayog,
2016) then is USD 10 trillion, up from the current USD 2.8 trillion. Second,
driven by the systematic measures of the government, the tax-to-GDP ratio
is likely to improve, continuing the trend of the past 4 years where it has
improved by 1.5%.

Thus, the Policy is confident of the rising public investment in education,
which will be appropriately allocated as per the directions of this Policy.

This gradual increase will ensure that as all the actions of this Policy come on stream, adequate funding is made available, while giving the government room to plan and accommodate these increases.

The public system is plagued by lack of timely disbursement of funds. An even more fundamental problem is that the investment in creating and developing human capacity is highly inadequate.

This has a cascading effect across the education chain through many pathways, deeply affecting educational outcomes. From a financial perspective, this drives suboptimal utilisation of funds.

It is critical that all allocated funds are released on time by the Central and State governments, and disbursed such that the flow of funds aids on-time utilisation. Once the budgets are approved, there should not be any reason for withholding any part of the allocated funds.

Where will the additional resources be required?

The implementation of this Policy will require additional resources. Some of the additional investment will be of ‘one-time’ nature, and some will be of continuing/recurring nature.

The increase in public expenditure on education from the current 10% of
the overall public expenditure in the country to 20% over a period of time
will support the Policy implementation.

NEP additional expenditure requirement details
NEP additional expenditure requirement

The breakup of additional expenditure that will be disbursed is given below.

Expansion and improving early childhood education

Early childhood education will be improved and will become an integral part of school education, and also be included in the RTE Act.

ECCE additional expenditure details
ECCE additional expenditure

The investments in early childhood education will be on creating adequate
infrastructure, developing learning resources, building teacher capacity and ensuring nutrition.
Infrastructure has to be improved on two fronts. Existing Anganwadis have
to be improved and on the other hand, new infrastructure has to be created wherever early childhood education groups will be added to existing schools.

All early childhood education centres have to be adequately and substantially resourced, including for safety, creating a cheerful environment and providing comfort. Learning resources have to enhanced and improved.

The current Anganwadi workers will require substantial training to develop as early childhood educators. Subsequently, they will need continuous professional development like other school teachers. Additional teachers have to be appointed to have an adequate number of teachers at this level.

Also, the service conditions of Anganwadi staff will have to be improved.
Nutrition has to be improved for all children, for which early childhood centres are important. The nutritional related aspects the current Anganwadi system focusses on are a bare minimum, and need to be enhanced considerably.

Foundational Literacy and Numeracy

Basic literacy and numeracy require immediate attention, as currently there is a huge deficit of learning. In this regard, it is important to actionize the NTP and RIAP; these two programmes with their large teams of well trained volunteers will help teachers in schools bridge the gap on an immediate basis.

Foundational literacy and Numeracy details
Foundational literacy and Numeracy

Adequate and appropriate resources at all schools, leveraging the efficiency of school complexes

All schools will be adequately and appropriately resourced, including physical infrastructure, learning resources, and human resources, including teachers.

For this, school complexes will be looked at as the basic unit of educational
administration, so that maximum efficiencies can be obtained.

Additional resources details
Additional resources details

Food and nutrition

The importance of adequate nutrition cannot be overemphasised. The mid-day meal in public schools has played a critical role in the well-being of children, however it has over time become very insufficient because of inadequate financial allocation.

Food at all levels of the school will be improved to provide full and adequate nutrition to all students.

Food and nutrition expenditure details
Food and nutrition expenditure details

Teacher education and continuing professional development of teachers

The improvements in the teacher education system and effective continuous professional development of teachers will require significant specific support.

Teacher education in the country will move towards a high quality fouryear
integrated B.Ed. programme. This will require substantial investment
and capacity creation. To enable these high quality teacher education
programmes, significant investment will be required in facilities, as also in the development of teacher educators.

The approach of continuous professional development of teachers will be changed completely to provide effective, multimodal and high quality professional development opportunities.

This will be very important in the short- and mid-term improvement of
educational outcomes.

Expenditure on teacher education and assessment details
Expenditure on teacher education and assessment

Universities and colleges

The new institutional architecture of higher education with large
multidisciplinary institutions, with a liberal education approach, will require significant investment.

This will range from faculty, learning resources, infrastructure, maintenance, etc.

HEI investment details
HEI investment

Research

Funding for research has to be accessible and broad-based across disciplines.

High quality research will require the development of an overall vibrant system.

The NRF will be a new apex body set up to facilitate research. The NRF will
be an autonomous body that will establish mechanisms to fund and mentor research capacity creation.

Support to NRF details
Support to NRF

One time expenditure

In addition to the above recurring investments across various segments,
there will be one-time expenditure as well on some things. These one-time
expenditures will primarily be for resources, which includes infrastructure
related work.

One time expenditure details
One time expenditure

With the complete picture on financing along with the relevant expenditure on various aspects, the policy can be a game changer for the future generation of kids.

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