Congratulations for presenting a well-researched analysis of the Union Budget 2020-21 (‘Bare cupboard for world’s most high potential children’, EW March). Slashing the Centre’s allocation for public education by 6 percent in the pandemic year, during which all education institutions were shut down for almost ten months, is a telling indicator of the low priority accorded to human capital development by the BJP/NDA government at the Centre.
The overwhelming majority of children in government schools, especially in rural areas, have no access to online learning, and experts predict that it will take decades to make up for the massive loss of learning they have suffered. It’s scandalous that the budget contains no provision to enable government school children to purchase digital gadgets or access online learning.
It’s doubly curious that Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman didn’t think it apposite to provide resources in the budget for implementation of the National Education Policy 2020 released in July last year by her government with great fanfare.
Missed liberalisation opportunity
Thanks for your hard-hitting cover story on the Union Budget 2021-22 (EW March).
I appreciate your exposing the double standards of the BJP which professedly believes in free-markets and private enterprise. This is BJP’s second government at the Centre and it has not lifted a finger to liberalise the heavily regulated education sector. On the contrary, its education policies are a continuation of Congress policies and continue to discourage private edupreneurs from promoting schools, colleges and universities. As you rightly say, if the government doesn’t have the money to invest in upgrading Indian education, it should move out of the way and open doors to private capital.
Jignesh T on E-mail
Inspiring special needs school
YOUR EYEWITNESS reports including your latest ‘Model school for special needs children’ (EW March) never fail to inspire. Chettinad-Sath Sadhana, Chennai, is doing a fantastic job amidst all challenges of the pandemic to continue the learning of special needs children.
It’s also creditable that the institute is now focused on delivering life skills development and skills training programmes to enable children to lead financially independent lives.
Reema Srivastava on E-mail
More than money
I was pleased to read that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) — India’s wealthiest local government — has put its money to good use and launched ten greenfield CBSE-affiliated schools (Education News, EW March). The children of the poor deserve equal opportunity and access to high-quality schools affiliated with CBSE and other pan-India exam boards.
However, given the past record of BMC in managing its state board affiliated schools, I am skeptical about the success of this initiative. It’s not enough for the corporation to invest in infrastructure such as digital classrooms, computer labs, science labs, playgrounds and libraries, it needs to focus on recruiting and training high-quality teachers and efficient principals committed to delivering quality education. This is what will determine whether BMC’s new CBSE schools will succeed.
The rankings of Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet are misprinted in EW February (pg. 64).
Please note our school is ranked #3 in India, #1 in Telangana and #1 in Hyderabad in the day-cum-boarding school category in the EW India School Rankings 2020-21. However, in your February issue our ranks are printed as #3 in Telangana and #2 in Hyderabad. This misprint may affect our image as it shows rankings which are different from what we have been sharing publicly. Please rectify the error immediately.
Dr. Skand Bali
Principal, HPS, Begumpet
We regret the error. Please see your award photograph and correct ranks reprinted on pg.70 — Editor
Thank you for the book review on My Good School (EW March). Just one fact needs to be corrected. This is not a “…second edition.” It is a new book and the very first edition published by Rupa Publications.
Sandeep Dutt on e-mail
The error is regretted and has been corrected on our online edition www.educationworld.in — Editor