The Ministry of Human Resource Development in the 15th Finance Commission meeting conducted discussed the development of the education sector post the COVID-19 era. Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Niskank in the meeting presented a budget of over Rs. 10 Lakh crore for the education sector for the next five years.
Educational Programmes for the next five years
In the meeting, the Minister emphasised on the development of online courses and projected a requirement of Rs. 2306.4 crore in order to achieve the same in the course of the next five years. The Minister also presented a requirement of Rs. 55,84 crore for the upcoming ICT enabled classrooms in 3.10 lakh government schools in the country. The minister has also proposed providing digital services to 40 percent of the students pursuing higher education courses in the next five years. The government has also asked for Rs. 1000 for each teacher for their safety in schools according to the COVID-19 guidelines along with Rs. 1500 per school for media and community mobilization and safe school operational grants worth Rs. 25,000 per school consisting of up to 100 students and up to Rs. 1 Lakh per school with 1000 or more students.
Including all these, a total of Rs. 10.37 lakh crore budget was presented by the Ministry for the education sector which includes Rs. 4 Lakh crore for higher education and Rs. 6.37 lakh crore for school education and literacy over the next five years.
In the meeting conducted, the Minister has also presented some reforms in the education sector to be taken in the next five years. The reforms planned include increasing the present gross enrolment ratio of 28 percent to 50 percent by 2035. The reforms planned also include more programmes to be delivered, multiple entries and exit options during the course of study and technology-driven education.
The Ministry has also demanded Rs. 4 Lakh Crore over the next five years for implementing the Education Qualify Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP) from 2020-21 to 2025-26.in the reform strategies planned, more number of proposals are from the National Education Policy 2020 which is yet to be announced. The final recommendations of the government will be made by the finance commission based on the discussions held.