He stated, “We were looking forward to the budget with an increased allocation to education to meet the urgent needs of implementation of RTE Act through sustainable infrastructure of schools, recruitment of trained teachers and timely disbursal of learning materials etc. But this budget has just limited its focus on promoting some skill development programs, setting up of 62 new Navodaya Vidayalyas and launching digital literacy schemes for rural households. In fact, to achieve the goals of universalisation of education, we need to add quality to government schools by establishing a strong National Public Education System. We need to enhance the level of all the government schools like Kendriya Vidayalayas and Navodaya Vidaylayas and mere setting up of few quality schools is not going to fulfil the constitutional obligation of ensuring quality education reach to masses as mandated by RTE Act 2009.”
Mr. Rai said further that RTE Act, 2009 - even after nearly 6 years with less than 10% of schools being RTE compliant- education does not seem to be the priority of the government. During the pre-budget consultation, the RTE Forum had demanded to increase the expenses on education to up to 10% of GDP. But, the budget presented today has again proved to be an empty basket, totally ignoring the rights of children to have quality education.
Mr. Rai said that we cannot address the issue of equity and equality in education, an urgent need of the hour, only through skill development programs. But primary education has been neglected completely. He said that the central government is talking about the reforms in education sector but how is it possible without a holistic vision towards Right to Education and inclusive education? He said that it can never be a reality until and unless appropriate resources and budgetary allocations are provided by the State and the budget presented today reflects the unwillingness of the government towards real reforms.