Centre links education funds with states' performance

The Centre has linked funding provisions with the states' performance, earmarking a budgetary outlay of Rs 34,000 crore for fiscal 2018-19, against the Rs 28,000 crore earmarked for 2017-18. PTI file photo

States will have to face cuts in funds under the Centre's integrated school education scheme if they fail to deploy an adequate number of teachers, create a separate cadre of headmasters, improve learning outcome of students and gender parity index.

The Centre has linked funding provisions with the states' performance, earmarking a budgetary outlay of Rs 34,000 crore for fiscal 2018-19, against the Rs 28,000 crore earmarked for 2017-18.

The Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan — an integrated scheme on school education created by subsuming the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and teachers' education programmes — was rolled out by Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar here on Thursday.

"States will get funds on the basis of their performance," the minister said.

Explaining the funding provisions under the integrated scheme, a ministry official said that there will be an increase in the budgetary allocations to states by 5% in 2018-19 over the amount allocated in 2017-18. This will come to Rs 29,400 crore.

The rest of the funds out of the total Rs 34,000 crore earmarked for this fiscal will be released on the basis of the states' performance.

Thirty percent of the remaining funds (Rs 4,600 crore) will be allocated to improve students' learning outcome, 10% for separate cadre of headmasters, 10% for teacher transfer policy for a minimum tenure in rural areas,10% each for improving teacher-pupil ratio in elementary and secondary schools, and 7.5% each for improving gender parity index in schools.

"These funds will be allocated on the basis of performance. Data from the National Achievement Survey and other national surveys on school education will be used to assess states' performance," the official said.

The integrated school education scheme, cleared by the Union Cabinet recently, seeks to treat school education "holistically" without segmentation from pre-nursery level to class XII (pre-university).

"The average teacher-pupil ratio at the national level is 1:30. There is no dearth of teachers in the country. States are only required to ensure that they are deployed properly. Many of the teachers want to remain posted in cities only. Deploy them properly and you (states) will get more funds, else there will be cut in funding," Javadekar said.

He also appealed to the states to reserve one hour every day in schools for sports and other physical activities.

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