Economic Survey: Lack of financial aid pushes out poor

Economic Survey: Lack of financial support pushes out poor, underprivileged

(Representative Image/iStock image)

The Economic Survey has highlighted the challenges faced by the students belonging to poor and underprivileged sections of the society in getting a formal education, observing that they are pushed out of the education system in absence of suitable financial support system and the high burden of the course fee, especially in the higher education sector.

“The poor and underprivileged sections of people prefer to engage themselves in economic activities for their survival,” it added.

Referring to a National Sample Survey (NSS) report for 2017-18, the Survey noted that the proportion of the course fees remained high both in the rural and the urban areas. The course fees included tuition fee, examination fee, developmental fees and other compulsory payments.

“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 contribute about half of the average expenditure of a basic course,” the Survey noted.

It, however, did not make any specific recommendation to make education affordable and accessible to such students. The Survey noted that the government has initiated a process of formulating a New Education Policy to meet the changing dynamics of the requirements of the population with regard to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower.

Referring to other “interesting findings” of the NSS report on the challenges faced by people in affording higher education, the Survey noted that the students pursuing education in private aided institutions were spending “significantly higher” as compared to the government institutions across rural-urban India.

“Also, due to the absence of competition in government schools/institutions, the quality of education in government schools/institutions is low. As a result, more and more students prefer to enrol themselves in private institutions,” it also observed.

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