Post budget reaction – Education sector

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National, February 02, 2022:

Dr Silpi Sahoo, Chairperson, SAI International Education Group

Right from the Finance Minister’s use of a Tablet to propose the budget explained that India is on the path of a digital revolution in the near future. As expected the government has well thought to reduce the digital learning gap between the urban and rural by introducing ‘1-Class-1-TV channel” covering multiple regional languages, which will not only counter the Learning losses but will bridge the learning gap. The PM’s e-Vidya will be further expanded from 12 to 200 channels to facilitate supplementary learning.

For the implementation of NEP 2020 great stress is implied on shifting the focus on Upskilling, therefore the launch of Digital DESH e-portal for skilling, upskilling and reskilling will be the key to newer dynamics. To develop the 21st century skills of critical thinking amongst students setting up of virtual labs and skilling e-labs will be valuable. To enable quality learning for each child quality e-content will be made through various means. Teachers will be trained to use better e-teaching outcomes and enhancement of learning experiences. Huge focus was laid on e-services in rural areas, it is proposed that all the villages will be laid with optical fibres by 2025, and villages will be at par with the urban areas.

Setting up of Digital University is a great step towards accessibility of quality world class education for all. As per the NEP 2020, Foreign Universities will be set up and Gujarat to set up the model Foreign University to make education accessible for all.

An increase in the  overall financial allocation for the education sector for 2022-23 to Rs 1.04 lakh crore from Rs 93,224 crore (Budget estimate) in 2021-22 in view of Samagra Shiksha is certainly a welcome move. It’s a great education budget; belling the cat at the right time though the implementation is to be thought upon. We are looking forward to a quick implementation of the proposals. 

Vaidyanathan V, CFO At Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai

The Budget 22 has provided a much-required push to the economy by increasing the allocation to Capital Expenditure by about 35%. The budget has given thrust to the Gati Shakti – for sustainable growth. The budget has also given a push to the digital economy, introduction of Digital currency starting 200 TV channels to fill the gap in learning of the children due to the pandemic are some of the welcome points. Repealing 1486 Acts, which were redundant, introduction of e-passport, thrust for EV (electric vehicle) by introduction of charging stations and battery swapping are all welcome moves. Modification to the filing of tax returns for rectification/ including left out income at a nominal fee is a welcome move to avoid litigation.

Post budget reaction quote from Prof. Hema Swamy, Assistant Professor, Finance at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai

While energy efficient trains like Vande Bharat or ‘eco friendly’ housing schemes are welcome, it is important to educate, support and improve sustainable lifestyles in as many spheres as possible. This could be through eco friendly educational initiatives through television like growing your own food or water conservation measures aimed at school children, allocation for urban kitchen gardens in PM housing schemes and government hospitals and other such micro level interventions can facilitate the conscious adoption of a sustainable lifestyle.

Views to be accredited to Avinash Kumar, Founder, Credenc

We welcome the Union Budget announced by the Finance Minister that is positively focused on e-learning to address the rising concern on education in the country. The development of a digital university & expansion of  the present PM eVidya Scheme from 12 channels to 200 channels will facilitate supplementary learning for all classes from 1 to 12 in regional languages. This will help students to access world class quality education, especially in remote rural areas. Moreover, An innovative and path-breaking initiatives of digital university and One Class One TV Channel was a much needed scheme to help overcome the loss of learning due to the pandemic. This much required shift to the digital learning will accelerate the growth of ed-tech companies and will fuel growth within the sector.

POST BUDGET REACTION QUOTE – DR MONA LISA BAL, CHAIRPERSON, KiiT INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

The Union Budget 2022 announced today was a hit and miss for the education sector. While it has finally addressed and recognized the learning loss the pandemic has created, the need to develop the digital infrastructure of the country was not adequately focused in the budget. The economically disadvantaged students especially in rural areas have lost essential years of education and introduction of supplementary teachers was highly necessary. Supplementary education can help bridge the gap to a large extent. Increase of ‘One Class One TV Channel’ from 12 to 200 TV Channels to provide supplementary education in regional languages for class 1-12 is a welcome move but it will not be enough. It is important that we adapt our education system, pedagogies, and assessments according to the changing times. Upskilling is the need of the hour. Thus, the launch of Digital DESH e-portal for skilling, upskilling and reskilling will be key to adapting to the shifting dynamics of our present. Setting up of virtual labs and skilling e-labs will be valuable in developing critical thinking amongst students. Access to high quality e-content can help enhance the quality of education received by students. Making this accessible in regional languages additionally is a positive step towards a wholesome education. Development of a digital university to provide access to students for world-class quality education with ISTE Standards will be beneficial in the long run by making education available for a wider audience through the power of the internet. However, the much-needed increase in budget allotment for the education sector was missed. Further constructive measures towards digitization and resuming physical classes are needed.