By Dr Silpi Sahoo, Chairperson, SAI International Education Group
“The progress of a nation depends on the educated youth. We hope our Government shift their focus on the education sector with a vision that not a single child is deprived of quality education. We expect to see an increase in the allocation of annual budget for education from 6% as done in 2021 which amount a total allocation of Rs. 93,223 crores, against Rs. 99,311 crores in the year before that. We are hoping for an increase of allocation of the annual education budget to 10%.
Currently, the GST rate which is applied on education is categorized under Education Services and hence 18% GST is levied, we expect the Government to revise the GST rate and reduce it to 5%. The pandemic has severely impacted the learning process and students are looking at the other supplementary sources, hence, reducing the GST will ease the pressure of the parents especially those from lower or middle class and learning will be made affordable for all the sections of the society.
Over 200 million children lost a complete year of formal education due to the lack of proper digital infrastructure and unequipped teachers as Schools were shut across the country. Online education needed a dynamic digital infrastructure but due to lack of funds the schools could not impart education. Education should reach each corner and the remotest of areas of India. The pandemic showed a mirror that we need to have a robust and improved digital infrastructure to reduce the digital divide of rural and urban.”