New Delhi: Spending per student has increased in the last few years in the country, but the expenditure on teachers training is extremely low. This fact has been revealed in the Accountability Initiative report. The report estimates the education budget of eight states – Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Rajasthan. The report studied school spending by dividing it into administration, school infrastructure, teacher salaries, equity and inclusion, monitoring and oversight, students in incentives and quality.
According to the report, education expenditure per child in terms of primary and secondary education has increased in 2017-18 as compared to 2014-15. However, enrollment of children has also declined during this period.
Many more interesting facts have been revealed in the report. Between 2014-15 and 2017-18, per-pupil spending increased in eight sample states. In this period, enrollment in government schools in Rajasthan has increased, excluding other states.
According to the report, states spend the most at the secondary level (nine to 12), while spending less on primary education (1 to eight). Economically more prosperous states Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh were less dependent on CSS (Central sponsored scheme), while Bihar and Rajasthan were more dependent. The annual increases in school spending in 2014-15 and 2017-18 were higher in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, while lower in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. In other states except Bihar, the cost of schooling came from own budget sources, which ranged from 70 to 93 percent, while Bihar’s CSS costs 48 percent.
Teachers’ salary share more in school expenses
The Accountability Initiative report revealed that teachers’ salary share was the highest in school expenses. In 2016-17 and 2017-18, the share of teachers’ salaries in school spending in these states ranged from 73% to 86%. According to the study, one percent or less was spent on training teachers. Tamil Nadu spent 5 per cent on teacher training in 2017-18, which was higher than other states. Children’s incentives were the second highest spending after teachers’ salaries. This includes uniforms, text books, MDM, merit scholarship etc. In addition, administration and school infrastructure were also included in the school spending share. 37 percent of teachers are not trained in Bihar, while in West Bengal it is 28 percent.
Corona affected spending
The study revealed that the bulk of the school budget comes from the revenue raised by the state governments. Some of this share comes from central government tax. Corona has also reduced the tax raising rate, which has had an impact on the education budget.