Education Budget 2021: Online Classes, COVID19, NEP & Others- What the Education Sector Can Expect

Education Budget 2021: Online Classes, COVID19, NEP & Others- What the Education Sector Can Expect

There are lots of expectations from Union Budget 2021 as the country’s economy has been paralyzed due to COVID19. The education sector in India has also been affected immensely due to the pandemic and has also witnessed some major changes in the history of the world. Starting from online classes, to the implementation of NEP, struggling with the pandemic, cancellation of exams, and more, the country has seen it all.

The education sector is looking forward to this year’s budget to make up for the losses that happened due to the pandemic. Many experts suggest that post-pandemic ecosystem, digital education has been embraced in the country, but India still needs to build capabilities to support blended learning completely. Check some of their opinions below.

Zishaan Hayath, CEO and Founder, Toppr: Past year has not only changed education as we know it, but it has also coerced all stakeholders of education to find better learning solutions. The changes edtech has brought will continue to influence classroom teaching even after schools reopen. The Union Budget 2021 should give guidelines on the ‘NEP implementation plan’ and further strengthen the focus and investment in Edu-tech to enhance experiential and immersive learning and reinforce the skill development process at par with the global education standards. Currently, India has about 70 million students who are paying for after-school learning. We predict, over the next 2-3 years, about 20 million paying subscribers from this segment will migrate to digital learning.

Manoj K. Arora, Vice-Chancellor, BML Munjal University: The new National Education Policy is an ambitious one and focuses on: improving the quality of higher education at all levels, increased use of technology in education, equity in education, teacher education, and cultivating research for the social good. However, the government expenditure on education is too meager. The current public expenditure on education in India has been around 4.4% of GDP. This needs to be significantly increased to 6-7% of GDP with the combined contribution of Centre and State governments.

P.C. Chhabra, Executive Director, Sanskriti University: The Union Budget for 2021-2022 is a much-awaited one as it will be the first since the New Education Policy was introduced last year. The Union budget 2021 should give guidelines on the ‘NEP implementation plan’ and further strengthen the focus and investment in Edu-tech to enhance experiential and immersive learning and reinforce the skill development process at par with the global education standards. The stakeholders are eyeing Budget 2021 with a lot of expectations as the government has already signaled allocation of 6% of the GDP towards education.

Aman Mittal, Additional Director at Division of International Affairs, Lovely Professional University: The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 sharply focuses on higher education as well, and to fulfill the objectives defined by it, a large allocation of funds is needed. Funds would be required for both buildings the framework as well as creating the required technical infrastructure. We should also reduce the taxes on online courses. Online education presently falls under the 18 percent tax bracket. This should be brought down substantially to make high-quality education more accessible for everyone.

Manek Daruvala, Founder and Director, T.I.M.E: This budget is important for many reasons, most of them related to COVID. However, this is the first budget after the new National Education Policy has come into being, which makes this budget special for the education sector. NEP has largely seen positive feedback from multiple quarters, making it essential for the government to now move with it at the fastest speed. The NEP aims for the allocation to be increased to up to 6% as soon as possible. This is a big jump from the current three odd percent. The size of the jump the allocation for education sees in this year’s budget would be a very good indicator of the seriousness/commitment of the government to the NEP.

Academicians and experts do not expect budget 2021 to be the repetition of budget 2020. This budget needs to allocate funds for establishing new departments with quality educators in the existing national institutes and universities for skill development.

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