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Adequacy of Financing of School Education in Punjab

Sukhwinder Singh, Raminder Singh

Abstract: Punjab, which is known as one of the richest states in India has not been able to intervene effectively in the area of school education in terms of financial allocations from its inception to till date, which resulted in devastating educational indices for Punjab’s School Education. Punjab has never accorded priority to school education in its financial allocation policy. This lacuna of financial allocation policy has been reflected in the poor educational attainments of the State. Punjab’s position based on literacy marks (21st) and NAS ranks 22nd commensurate to its inadequate financial allocations to school education as a percentage share of SDP. Moreover, the large share of financial allocations is non-plan in nature and a meager share was allocated under the head Plan expenditure. The analysis of the percentage allocation of outlay to general education in the five-year plan also narrates the same story, which indicates towards the government’s inability to accord high priority to general as well as school education as the most important sector of the economy for Human Resource Development (a significant asset of the nation). Moreover, the post-reforms period also witnessed a sharp decline in the share of the education budget out of the state exchequer. Out of this inadequate budget, a very meager share was allocated to school education and the rest to elementary education. The limited increase in the education budget in real terms has in fact converted and reduced the education budget into a salary budget which constitutes 91 per cent of the total expenditure of the school education budget.
Keywords: school education / Punjab / education budget / financial allocations / share / terms

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