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Budget 2024: Schools anticipate resource-backing amid NEP overhaul

Budget 2024: Schools anticipate resource-backing amid NEP overhaul

Schools have a long list of expectations from the interim budget, ranging from the establishment of a subject matter expert (SME) committee for teachers to specific resource allocation for cultural change in institutions.

The February 1 budget is an interim one, before the general elections are held by May. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has indicated that there will be “no spectacular announcements” in the interim budget, but some tweaks cannot be ruled out.

The allocation for the Department of School Education and Literacy was increased to Rs 68,804 crore in FY24 from Rs 59,052 crore (revised) in FY23. However, school administrators said the Union government must focus on quality control in light of sweeping changes proposed in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

“To enhance the academic delivery, we suggest the establishment of an SME committee for frequent teacher observations, incentivising high performance and providing extensive training for those in need,” Veda Bysani, VP of academics at Orchids International School, told Moneycontrol.

“The future-oriented pedagogical and curriculum goals in the NEP can only be achieved with extended pedagogical development for teachers and with guided processes for cultural change in schools – focusing on developing children’s emotional and social qualities,” said Allan Kjaer Andersen, director at Chaman Bhartiya School.

These changes can only happen if resources are allocated to develop modern teacher training and give teachers time for pedagogical development, he said.

‘Focus on consistency’

Since the NCF recommends three languages (including two Indian languages) for grades 9 and 10 and two languages for grades 11 and 12, experts anticipate increased thrust on the PM e-VIDYA scheme for the creation and dissemination of e-content in vernacular, local and foreign languages.

PM e-VIDYA aims to unify all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education to enable multi-mode access to education.

“There also has to be a concerted thrust towards promoting skill development in school education so that the learners who are out of schools can be brought back into mainstream education. This may be done by taking ahead initiatives aimed at setting more skilled e-labs,” said Neeta Bali, director at Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Schools.

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