As the ‘education for all’ and ‘beti bachao beti padhao’ narrative can be heard around and seen written on the dilapidated school walls in the rural areas, the reality stands afar. According to the National Statistical Office or NSO survey report, cost of primary education i.e. from classes 1 to 5 has spiked by 31% between 2014 and 2018 after the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power.
The information was gathered from the leaked data of the NSO as the Centre prevented NSO to release the data claiming that the information is flawed.
This is primarily propelled by a staggering increase in private schools, both aided and unaided varieties. Higher education price has not been left from its lash either. Secondary education saw a surge of 21%, senior secondary 10%, graduate 6%, and postgraduate by 13%.
The increase in the cost recorded by the NSO comes after the omission of certain parameters. This means that the real increase in the cost will likely rise after the full survey report disclosure.
It has only released ‘Key Indicators’. As a result, they have not provided the discipline-wise costs for technical and professional courses (specifically medicine, law, engineering and so on) across the type of institution (private or government).
These were earlier available in the previous report for 2014 (71st Round).
In rural areas, the average graduation cost is Rs.16,485 per annum compared with Rs.25,204 per annum in urban areas.
In a government college, the average cost for graduation is Rs.9,703 per annum compared with Rs.14,037 in private-aided colleges and Rs.20,462 in totally private colleges.
The whopping increase of education cost validates the point that education in India still remains beyond the access of people from the lower rung of society and especially in rural areas.
About 70% of rural Indians are not able to complete 10th class education. The same number stands at over 40% for urban India. In higher education, only one in every ten Indians has a graduate degree and above.
The surge in education cost is observed even when the Centre has added Rs 10000 crore in education budget this year which now stands at ₹94,853.64 from an earlier amount of ₹85,010 crores.
(With inputs from the News Click)