RTE Forum demands hike in govt spending on education

Right To Education Forum demands increase in govt spending on education ahead of budget

“It is clear from the data that the states spending more on education have scored higher on the E&E Index. The government must increase public expenditure. Kothari commission's recommendation for raising expenditure on education to 6% of the GDP is yet to be implemented,” the national convener of the RTE Forum Ambarish Rai said.

Ahead of the Union Budget, a prominent civil society collective has raised the pitch for increasing public expenditure on school education, releasing a fact-sheet which indicated that the majority of the states which spent more on the education scored higher on Education and Empowerment (E&E) Index.

Kerala, which topped the index with a score of 0.98, has been spending Rs 11,574 per child per annum on school education from 2012-13 to 2018-19, according to the fact-sheet released by the Right To Education (RTE) Forum here on Friday.

As the average annual expenditure on education per child remained at Rs 2,869 in Bihar for the said period, the state secured the lowest position securing 0.23 score.

Karnataka grabbed the fourth position with a score of 0.7. The average spending on education in the state was pegged at Rs 10,071 for the period 2012-13 to 2018-19.

While the fact-sheet on the Status of School Education Financing in India was prepared by the Centre for Budget and Policy Studies (CBPS) based on its research on public expenditure on children in 16 states, the E & E Index was computed using the indicators from the fourth round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) and 71st round of NSSO (National Sample Survey Organisation) report.

Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Maharashtra, where average expenditure on education remained high, grabbed second, third, fifth and sixth positions on the E&E Index, according to the fact-sheet released by the RTE Forum

“It is clear from the data that the states spending more on education have scored higher on the E&E Index. The government must increase public expenditure. Kothari commission's recommendation for raising expenditure on education to 6% of the GDP is yet to be implemented,” the national convener of the RTE Forum Ambarish Rai said.

The RTE Forum noted that the government spending on education was decreasing every year since 2014 and expressed concern over the trend.

“30% of girls from the poorest families never set foot inside a classroom. Girls are twice less likely as boys to receive 4 years of schooling. 40% of adolescent girls between ages 15-18 years are not attending any educational institution. Literacy rate of women in India is still staggering at 65%,” Rai claimed, demanded that the government must make education free for all up to Class XII.