Rajasthan budget: ‘Recruitment of teachers fine, but more funds needed to improve quality of education’
The government announced construction of additional classrooms and toilets in model schools with a provision of Rs 360 crore, recruitment of about 77,100 teachers, and introduction of fresh milk thrice a week in midday meals with an allocation of Rs 250 crorejaipur Updated: Feb 12, 2018 21:57 IST
In the state budget presented on Monday, the government announced construction of additional classrooms and toilets in model schools with a provision of Rs 360 crore, recruitment of about 77,100 teachers, and introduction of fresh milk thrice a week in midday meals with an allocation of Rs 250 crore.
The announcements for education evoked mixed reactions from experts and stakeholders.
“Recruitment of teachers is a welcome announcement as it was long overdue, but there’s little in the budget towards improving the quality of education,” said Kulbhushan Kothari of Pratham, an NGO working in the education sector.
“The learning levels of students in areas, such as arithmetic and basic reading, are particularly low. Most of the announcements are aimed at expansion of facilities, but expansion should be commensurate with quality. At least 30% of the budget should have been set aside for training and education of teachers,” he said.
Ramkrishna Agrawal of All Rajasthan School Teachers’ Union said the allocation was inadequate as it’s less than 6% of GDP as recommended by the Kothari Commission. He welcomed the announcement of two years’ childcare leave though.
On higher education, the government announced that self-financing scheme in government colleges will be converted to state financing with a provision of Rs 11.4 crore.
Narayan Lal Gupta, general secretary of Rajasthan University and College Teachers’ Association (Rashtriya), said, “The announcement will help the students as state financing will help get permanent faculty.” He expressed disappointment that there was no mention of 7th pay commission for the teachers in the budget.
The government announced that it will facilitate skill development courses in 50 government colleges to benefit over 12,000 students every year. In addition, new government colleges will be established at 17 sub-divisions in the state and new agriculture colleges will be opened in Kota and Alwar.