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'Fund infusion wont help education without correcting deficiencies'

Friday December 02, 2011 03:27:22 PM, IANS

New Delhi: Even as India readies to infuse huge funds into the education sector in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), the government will need to make sure that the quality of education imparted is drastically improved for any meaningful change, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said Friday.

"A lot of money is going to go in primary, secondary education in the 12th plan...more than ever spent. But simply pouring money into the system will not help without addressing structural problems," Ahluwalia said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here

Under the 12th plan, the government is targeting complete adult literacy, universalising secondary education and increase the gross enrollment ratio in higher education to 20 percent by March 2017.

As a proportion of the gross domestic product (GDP), the spending on health is proposed to be doubled from around 1.3 percent at present to at least 2-2.5 percent by the end of the next plan.

Ahluwalia said quality was a major issue in the education system. In some recent studies it was found that 50 percent of students in class 5 could not read the text of class 2.

Similar deficiencies was found in the case of mathematics.

The wide gap in quality was more so in government run schools.

"Its not realised the inequality of school education in India is much worse than some of the other developing countries," said Ahluwalia.

"Education inequality is at the root of income inequality."

There are similar concerns in higher education as well with many of the top technical, medical institutes, being criticised by leading educationalists and even industrialists of falling in terms of quality.

The planning commission deputy also said the private sector needed to be roped if the country's aim of expanding its educational infrastructure without compromising on quality was to be met.

"Currently, the rules under which private sector is allowed to expand are not very conducive."








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