18 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2007
Date Written: January 30, 2006
Government expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP is the measure often employed to gauge the quantity of public resources devoted for the purpose. However a better measure is per student expenditure, for two reasons. First, it does not require an arbitrary base like the GDP. Second, due to the unit of measure it is useful in input-output comparisons.
The first section of the paper explain the flow of funds amongst various government department and local bodies, illustrating the challenges that such a federal structure creates for effective accountability.
The second sections argues that expenditure as a percentage of GDP is not a good judge of quantity and quality of education, and per student expenditure is of far greater use of public policy purposes. It also provides data on per student expenditure, in state government, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) schools, from 1998-99 to 2003-04. The gender-wise break-up is also given.
The third section focuses on schedules castes, especially the Special Component Plan started by the centre government since the 6th Five Year Plan.
The last two sections are on Vocational Education and Non-Formal Education. Vocational education is meant to improve the livelihood opportunities of the poor, and there had been increased expenditure towards this end, however its objectives are ill-conceived. Non-formal education is meant of the poorest of the poor (street children for example), though large amounts were budgeted year after year, little was actually spend. The scheme was finally dropped despite the fact that there are millions of street children in Delhi.
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