The Delhi State elections are approaching fast. While Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP has sparked a public education revolution in Delhi, Narendra Modi’s BJP is slicing the education budget, hiking fees across educational institutions under the central government and lathi-charging students standing up to demand their right to affordable education. So as citizens, which model do we prefer?
According to The Print reports, ‘financial crunch’ is forcing the central government to reduce the estimated education budget by ₹3,000 Crore. This can very well be seen as an extension of the recent developments in the domain from fee hikes, brutal handling of student protests, delay in examination results and massive job losses for teachers across public education institutions that come under the BJP-led Central Government.
While national public education system under the BJP government is in tatters, AAP government has spurred an educational revolution in Delhi.
On the other hand, the AAP-led Delhi Government has made educational infrastructure one of the biggest pride points of the capital. While BJP and Congress in opposition kept criticizing CM Arvind Kejriwal and Dy. CM Manish Sisodia’s reforms, the party made education its priority. AAP revitalized public education and brought around a sense of egalitarianism in primary education in the country. The quality and consecutive results of children today transcend class in Delhi.
Budget allocation to education: Where priorities lie
Education’s share in the Union budget of 2019-20 is approximately 3% or ₹94,853.64 Crore. Of this, ₹56,536.63 Crore was pegged for the school education and remaining ₹38,317.01 for higher education.
As if the minuscule share wasn’t enough mockery of the future generations of India, now the BJP government is most likely to further cut down the allotted union education budget 2019-20 for the school sector by ₹3,000 Crore.
On the other hand, the Delhi Education budget is the highest single area of the total Delhi budget with a 26% share that amounts to ₹15,601 Crore. Furthermore, the AAP government has also kept aside ₹7,818 Crore for implementing more schemes, programs, and projects in the education sector.
It is clear where the priorities of the AAP government lie when considering the vision for a more educated, liberal and equal India. However, the same can’t be said about the Narendra Modi-led BJP government in the center.
BJP’s (Lack of) Education Model for India
It almost feels like the central government is adopting a stand against education as a right for all. Recent fee hikes in some of the premier higher education institutions in the public domain like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) to name a few have seen students come down in angst.
India’s students adopted the Ambedkar model – Educate, Agitate, Organize. They went on peaceful marches and demonstrations. While their voices remained unheard, they are instead subjected to police brutality.
Furthermore, agitations haven’t been limited to students. Delhi University Professors recently came out against the appointment of Guest lectures instead of Adhoc professors. Moreover, thousands of teachers awaiting government posting and salaries are demonstrating across states.
In spite of the HRD Ministry pushing the Finance Ministry to release complete funds for schools totally dependent on government funds like Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas pan-India, many teachers in these schools still await salary dues.
AAP’s Education Revolution in Delhi
While the news from the BJP’s center is a ₹3,000 cut in the education budget, the recent news from the AAP government is a plan to build a state-of-the-art sports university in Delhi.
In the span of 5 years, the AAP-led Delhi Government has introduced a plethora of schemes. All aimed at improving the conditions for students from poorer sections of society. The AAP Model for Delhi aims to boost student productivity and building them into better citizens. Initiatives like the ‘Happiness Curriculum’, ‘Cleanliness Curriculum’ ‘Chunauti Scheme’, ‘Mission Buniyad’, and ‘Kala Utsav’ have shown quick results.
Further, the Delhi Government’s model of education invests ₹42 Crore as seed money under an initiative encouraging entrepreneurship among class 11 and 12 students. Similarly, AAP incentivizes poor students to do well with schemes like the Pratibha fellowship.
What’s Crucial To A Better Educated Future – Great Teachers
While we have often seen the BJP’s top brass including Modi singing praises of the importance of the Guru in India’s culture, they fall short of showing the same enthusiasm when it comes to creating them in modern India.
India needs more and better-trained teachers at par with the contemporary global approach to imparting education. So, AAP sent public school teachers abroad for training. But it seems like a good idea for BJP to ensure there aren’t many academics and luminaries in the country.
The budget allocation for teachers training and adult education was ₹871 Crore in 2018-19. But the BJP government slashed it to just ₹125 Crore for 2019-20.
In contrast, the Delhi government trained over 1,500 teachers abroad and in the Indian Institute of Management (IIM). It also allocated ₹32.5 Crore for the cause in 2018-19.
Voting For AAP or BJP in 2020 On Education? There’s a clear winner
Conceptual clarity, knowledgeable teachers, good infrastructure, better opportunity and the overall physical, as well as mental development, are the milestones that are hallmarks of a good education system.
Above all education provides every individual with the tools to succeed in life. It is very difficult for students to develop their progressive minds if they struggle socially, emotionally and also academically.
In fact, this is exactly what lakhs of students in our country face today. However, like a ray of hope, AAP has shown that with extreme diligence and political will, everything is possible.
Voting for whom in 2020 will create a better future for Delhi’s people is crystal clear.
Perhaps its time the Modi government learns the Kejriwal way to an educated society. But voting for whom in 2020 will create a better future for Delhi’s people is crystal clear.