Mumbai: Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee lauded government schools om Delhi for “outperforming” their private peers.
He said that state agencies have been “liberal” with resource allocation for education, which is reflected in aspects such as teacher pay and the system, and they need to be focused to perform better.
The remarks of an MIT professor, whose poverty alleviation work recently won him the prestigious Nobel Prize just weeks before the Delhi elections.
“Do I think you can aspire to do better in the government system relative to the average private school? Yes. Delhi public schools have actually done it. The Delhi public school system has municipal schools like the government school system. In Delhi Better than the average private school, he told reporters here.
Banerjee said that before lecturing at the 25th-anniversary celebrations of education-focused NGO Pratham, Delhi’s government schools have “fared better” than private ones.
He said private schools are “terrible” from the results point of view.
Education is largely a state subject under India’s federal structure, but fiscal conditions are generally “bad news” for the region as fewer resources will be allocated, he said, to the tune of Rs 3,000 crore in central government Allocation of education to answer a specific question.
However, he said that instead of financial resources, the focus of the centre should be on improving human resource development, University Grants Commission and establishment of the syllabus.
He emphatically introduced the syllabus set to be left to individual institutions, rather than centralizing it where the boards set the syllabus. The education sector needs more flexibility in all areas, he said, calling the system “very rigid”.
“I think the real issue is not the money … The education system is too rigid, too rigid. There is almost no flexibility. Pensions, salaries eat up most of the budget. So it’s not like you can change a lot. You always are. ” Commit to paying those things. It is a rather inflexible system, ”he said.
Further speaking on the upcoming Budget session he said, that the budget deficit numbers are “a little bit imaginary” and one should not be very concerned about breaching the fiscal gap.
“The number of budget deficits is a bit hypothetical. So in that sense, I don’t think to dissolve it is a big thing and certainly, I wouldn’t support financial consolidation right now,” he said.