New Delhi: Despite the dismal quality of education and thin attendance in schools, lack of funds in the budget has posed a major roadblock in the development of education sector.

While only 438 model schools could be started out of the proposed 6,000 schools, a number of new IITs, IIMs and NITs are reeling under lack of basic infrastructure besides shortage of qualified teachers.

Although the Human Resource and Development Ministry in order to attract the attention of the Finance Minister and the Planning Commission created much hullabaloo over the challenges confronting the schools and higher education, the efforts failed to pay off.

A whopping Rs 30,000 crore was needed for Higher education in the country but only Rs 15,458 crore has been sanctioned in the Budget. Similarly, a little over Rs 15,000 crore has been allotted for schools which require a much larger budget than this.

In the last Budget, allocation for Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan was hiked by 40 percent to provide free and compulsory education to the children under the Right to Education. Whereas, this margin has been reduced to 21.7 percent in the current budget.

Rs 1,200 crore had been allocated for setting up 6,000 model schools in the year 2008 but only 438 schools have been set up so far. Not only this, the standards for the 2,500 schools to be built on the PPP model have not been decided yet.

As the government has turned a blind eye to the education sector, realisation of any new schemes or projects seems nothing less than a dream.

(JPN/Bureau)