Students were among the worst-hit victims amid coronavirus-induced lockdown, as the pandemic pushed back the progress in the education system by years. While it was largely expected that the allocation to school education would be higher than last year, Budget 2021-21 has slashed the allocation for the education sector by 6.13 per cent to Rs 93,224.31 crore from Rs 99,311.52 crore in FY20. Of this, the department of higher education has been allocated Rs 38,350.65 crore while the school education and literacy department has been given Rs 54,873 crore (the lowest in two years).
However, funds for the Kendriya Vidyalayas has seen an increase. The KVs have been issued Rs 6,800 crore for the upcoming financial year, compared with Rs 5,516 crore last year.
The Budget allocation to Navodaya Vidyalayas has been increased by Rs 500 crore. Last year, Rs 3,300 crore was allocated to Navodaya Vidyalayas while for this year the funds have been raised to Rs 3,800 crore.
The mid-day meal scheme has seen an increase of Rs 500 crore as the total allocation has been raised to Rs 11,500 crore from Rs 11,000 last year.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that over 15,000 schools would be qualitatively strengthened in line with the reforms proposed in the new National Education Policy (NEP). A total of 100 new Sainik Schools would also be set up in partnership with NGOs, private schools and states.