Affordability of learning, quality of teaching in govt schools are key issues: Economic Survey
The Economic Survey has brought to the fore key issues that affect the education sector – the quality of teaching in government schools and institutions and the affordability of learning in the private ones.
The survey observes that students pursuing education in private aided institutions are spending significantly higher as compared to government institutions across rural-urban India.
Due to absence of competition in government schools or institutions, quality of education in such schools or institutions is low. As a result, more and more students prefer to enroll themselves in private institutions, the survey says.
The National Sample Survey (NSS) Report on ‘Key Indicators of Household Social Consumption on Education in India 2017-18’ also reflects the increased participation in education system across various indicators and highlights some challenges in terms of affordability, quality, distribution of educational infrastructure etc.
In 2017-18, as reflected in NSS Survey, there were about 13.6 per cent persons of age 3 to 35 years who were never enrolled, the survey points out.
“The reasons they cite for not enrolling were ‘not interested in education’ and ‘financial constraints.’ Among those who were enrolled, drop-out rate was as high as 10 per cent at primary level, 17.5 per cent at upper primary/middle and 19.8 per cent at secondary level. The poor and underprivileged section of people prefer to engage themselves in economic activities for their survival. In the absence of suitable financial support system and high burden of course fee especially in higher education pushes them out of the education system,” says the report.
The composition of various components of expenditure on education indicates that the course fees which is 50.8 per cent at all India level (including tuition, examination, developmental fees and other compulsory payments) among others contributes about half of the average expenditure of a basic course, it adds.
“The proportion of course fee is also high in rural and urban areas. The second largest component of average expenditure on education by student is books, stationary and uniform where an average student in the rural areas is surprisingly spending more than 10 percentage points as compared to urban areas,” says the survey.