The Economic Survey 2017-18 on Monday pointed that education, skill development and health, sanitation would continue to be the priority areas for the Central government. However, the expenditure on social infrastructure has continued to be around six per cent.
“The expenditure on social services by the Centre and States as a proportion of GDP had remained in the range of six per cent during 2012-13 to 2014-15. There has been a marginal decline to 5.8 per cent in 2015-16 which has further moved up to 6.6 per cent in 2017-18 (BE),” the Survey said.
The Survey noted that there was an improvement in quantitative indicators such as enrolment levels, completion rates and other physical infrastructure such as the construction of school buildings and class rooms, drinking water facilities, toilet facilities and appointment of teachers etc. at the elementary school level.
It said the school classroom, which is defined as the average number of pupils per classroom in a school in a given school-year, has declined from 43 per cent in 2009-10 to 25.7 per cent in 2015-16. The deal size should be at 30 students per classroom.
Similarly, the pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) at primary level and upper primary level should be 30:1 and 35:1 respectively. “Most states reported an improvement in schools complying with PTR norms of RTE Act during 2009-10 to 2015-16. However, despite an improvement in the number of schools complying with PTR norms, States like Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh have a high percentage of schools with a PTR of more than 30 compared to other States,” the Survey said.