Govt stays invested in students, on track to achieving targets
- According to the outcome budget, education was among the sectors where the government was able to achieve maximum targets.
The per student expenditure incurred by the Delhi government has increased by around 35% in the last five years, according to the Economic Survey of Delhi 2020-21 tabled by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in the Assembly on Monday. The expenditure signifies the resources allocated to schools in accordance with their enrolment for education and learning.
The Delhi government on Monday also presented its outcome budget for the last financial year, highlighting the initiatives taken to ensure continuous teaching-learning process at a time when schools were closed and classes shifted online due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio, said despite the pandemic there has been no loss of days in the academic session. “The Covid-19 pandemic necessitated the schools to organise online classes for the benefit of students of government schools. Many creative initiatives were taken to reach out to the students who remained unconnected. The Delhi government has so far conducted educational activities for children for a total of 229 days in this session; a session normally is for about 220 days,” Sisodia said in his speech.
According to the economic survey, the per student expenditure in Delhi has gone up to ₹78,082 in 2020-21 from ₹50,812 in 2016-17. Explaining the reason behind the increase in per student expenditure, a senior government official said, “The overall expenditure on education has been rising every year, and as a result the money spent on each student has also gone up.”
According to the outcome budget, education was among the sectors where the government was able to achieve maximum targets. Delhi government’s 84% projects on education were on-track, according to the outcome budget.
The outcome budget was launched by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in 2017, which basically measures the government expenditure in terms of targets achieved as well as what percentage of intended beneficiaries were reached out.
Education has remained the focus of the AAP ever since they were elected to power in Delhi. The government allocated 23.2% of its total budget for education in 2020-21.
“Despite Covid-19, the schools distributed textbooks to students of classes 1 to 8. Food security allowances to all eligible students were paid for the month of March 2020 to June 2020 in lieu of cooked food. For the period July to December 2020, kits of dry ration are being provided to the students in lieu of mid-day meals,” Sisodia said.
Educationist Meeta Sengupta said education needs additional funding to make up for the lags in outcomes in the past decades, especially for students in government schools. “Both the quantum and quality of the investment matter. This is why transparency in outcomes should be encouraged and shared across states. Besides, increased investment in education should also be seen as an invitation to other states to join the reform story.”