Experts doubt Govt free education plan
NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 23: EXPERTS and education activists have expressed doubts about the Government's ability to provide the huge budgetary support needed to implement the Bill for free and compulsory education to children in the age of group of 6-14 years.
A Group of Experts (GoE) appointed by the Government had recommended way back in 1999, that an additional Rs 1,40,000 crore over 10 years be set aside for the same. Educating the age group from 0-6 years would require additional funding, which the HRD Ministry says will come from a Rs 15-17 crore World Bank loan. The NGOs in the elementary education sector point out that the Bill mentions an allocation of less than half the required amount.
Whether even this projected estimate will be realised is in doubt given that this year's budget allocated only Rs 500 crore for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan - the Government's all-window-one-scheme proposal for universalisation of education. While the HRD Ministry estimated the annual expenditure at around Rs 10,000 crore per annum, experts say that the figure will be much higher