Education is the centre of development for every country and more so in India where the major chunk of the population is between 5- 14 years. Uttar Pradesh is a state that has the highest population. While a quarter of this population is of school-going age, the education facilities are not really in par. The education situation of the state of UP is not very promising. There is a huge gap in the supply and demand of teachers, schools, and facilities. The state is trying to make amends to its rotting education infrastructure with the upcoming budget.
Uttar Pradesh rates the lowest among all the states in India in terms of education. As per a study by MHRD in the year, 2016 more than 15 lakh students were not even enrolled in schools and their age was in the range of 6- 13 years.
The enrolled students did not have teachers either. There is a vast gap between the number of vacant posts and employed teachers. More than a lakh teacher posts are vacant across various districts in Uttar Pradesh.
More than 5 lakh teachers are appointed against 7 lakh positions. A huge number of schools in the state of UP are even run by single teachers. The pupil to teacher ratio, enrollment of students, the fulfilment of teacher positions is all worrisome. Questioning the depleting numbers is the need of the hour. As per the Union budget of 2020, the UP state has released more than five crores to the education department making it the vital focus.
The budge has also mentioned the initiation of Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram in a few minority-dominated districts. The program concentrates on the development of infrastructure for the education sector, the madrasas are to be better equipped, and a medical university to be built. The budget has also allocated a whopping 11 crore rupees to improve higher education in the state of UP.
States like Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Maharashtra have a higher share of spillover (unused budget from the previous fiscal year). Uttar Pradesh has a spillover of only 3% of its total allocated budget. This means the approved funds have usually spent the question however is whether they were wisely spent. There is a huge gap between the allocation and usage of the budget at the state level and the allocation of it into education. The state also had over 140 students selected over merit for the Rani Lakshmi Bai award among which more than 90 students were girls.
The improved significance over budget allocation and overall prioritization to education in the 2020 budget is a welcome change however the road to improvement is a long way ahead.