Even though there has been a decline in the enrolment in private schools in Delhi this past year, there has been a significant increase in expenditure on education in the city itself. These were the two key talking points of the Economic Survey of Delhi which had been tabled on the 7th of March, 2017. The survey stated that the total expenditure, which includes planned and non-planned expenditures, on education in the previous year including that on sports, culture and arts had increased from the figure of Rs. 4,799 crore which was spent in 2011-2012 to a more than double amount of 10,690 crore in the year of 2016-2017. The fraction of money spent on education with respect to the budget of the Government of Delhi has increased from 18% in the measured year 2011-2012 to 23% in the previous term. In fact, the highest share for the education expenditure with reference to the Gross State Domestic Product (or GDSP) has been recorded in the previous year, a staggering 1.72%.
Highest Investment in the Education Sector
This is the first time that the investment made by Delhi into the education sector measured as a ratio is the highest, beating even Assam. Assam has been recording a ratio ranging between 22% to 22.6% consistently. The share of investment for Delhi in 2015-2016 has been recorded as the highest at 23.8%, which is considerably higher that the average across India, which is just 16.4%. This indicates to the public the commitment that the government has shown towards improving education in Delhi, and how they have made it a real priority. This investment however is not clearly seen to have borne fruit, however, when we take enrolment numbers into consideration. While the schools which are recognised by the government (these are mainly the government-aided as well as unaided schools) do show an increase in their intake, there has been some decline observed in private schools from the previous year. However, the total enrolment has increased from the previous period’s 44.13 lakh to the current period being 44.30 lakh, which is definitely a positive. The student to teacher ratio has also been bolstered to a respectable 30.
In secondary and senior secondary schools that are government run, however, there has been a marginal decline that has been recorded in the current year in comparison to the previous. The number has gone down from 15.42 lakh to 15.09 lakh, this is despite the fact that there has been an increase in enrolment in several government schools across Delhi. The survey was also keen to note that there has been a slight increase in the enrolment numbers from schools aided by the government, and this is a positive to take back to the government.
The biggest cause for concern however, is that there has been a serious decline in the enrolment to private schools from the previous period. The previous figure of 15.26 lakh has quite shockingly dropped down to 14.71 lakh and this is turning out to be a serious cause for concern for the education sector in Delhi. With private schools making up the backbone of education in the area, a decline in their enrolment numbers spells a bad omen for all the work being done here.