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Budget 2023: What the Education Sector is expecting for early education, anaganwadis in India

Indian Government will be presenting the Union Budget 2023-23 on February 1, 2023. With the massive push to implement NEP 2020, the education sector experts from KLAY, Reach to Teach and Deloitte India are hoping for an increase in allocation for the development and improvement for early and anganwadi education.

Indian Union Budget

The Indian Government will be presenting the Union Budget 2023-24 on February 1, 2023. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would be presenting and announcing the Budget 2023 for all departments and ministries. As we come closer to Budget Day 2023, experts from the education sector and various industry experts have pushed for betterment of the early education sector in India.

Under the National Education Policy, NEP 2020. the school system of India was changed from 10+2 to the 5+3+3+4 system. In this, the initial first five years, cover the early education system in India.

These 5 years are also known as the Foundational Stages. As per NEP 2020, in this, learning would be focus on multilevel, play and activity-based learning. The first five years of education can be divided into 3+2, which refers to Anaganwadi Centres, K1 and K2 and then Classes 1 and 2.

Experts from the education sector have stated the need to improve the system for early education and the foundational stage in India, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. One such expert is AK Srikanth, the CEO of KLAY, which is India’s largest integrated day pre-school and daycare chain.

As per Srikanth, the need of the hour is an increase in the special allocations in the Budget for the Education sector in order to work towards improving the physical, mental and emotional well-being of the children.

The investments needed in this industry are critical for implementing health and safety norms post pandemic, investments in training teachers to address the psychological and mental health of children coming to school after being cooped up for two years of the pandemic, and in ensuring that the NEP for Foundation years gets implemented in the spirit it was written. Finally, a GST waiver for this industry would be of immense help to the care providers.

- AK Srikanth, CEO at KLAY

In the pre-budget memorandum, Kamlesh Vyas, Partner, Education at Deloitte India has also pushed to upgrade Anganwadis to focus on children’s health and prepare them better for entering school is likely to find greater support.

Over at Reach to Teach, Ratna Viswanathan, CEO, has stated that Budget 2023 for the Education sector should focus on creating proper infrastructure for early education from pre-primary to 1st and 2nd grade.

Viswanathan further added that the outlay should also have an additional budget allocation to co-locate Bal Vatikas in Government Schools and provide the necessary physical infrastructure and train anganwadi workers to provide education support for early education.

Provide infrastructure to improve net access and mobile connectivity in hill states to ensure the reach of TV channels like Swayam Prabha TV through BISAG and PM e-Vidya. In a phased manner, look at solarization of Government schools in areas with no or intermittent power supply

- Ratna Viswanathan, CEO at Reach to Teach

Early education’s allocation would be presented under the budget for Department of School Education and Literacy of the Ministry of Education. Department of School Education and Literacy was allocated a total outlay of Rs 63,449.37 crores for FY 2022 to 2023. Budget 2023 will be presented on February 1.

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