Proposed reforms in the new National Education Policy (NEP) cannot yield results till there is a law for mandatory allocation of at least 6 per cent of GDP to the education sector, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told the HRD Ministry on Saturday.
India's education system is "highly regulated" but "poorly funded", he claimed and said that transformation in the country's education is possible only if there is such a law .
Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio, was speaking at a meeting of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry's Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE).
"The central government should make a law to allocate 6 per cent of GDP to education. The preamble to the New Education Policy should state that 'providing good quality education would be the responsibility of the government through government schools'," he said.
"Unless there is a law which binds the governments to allocate the fund, the policy per se will not result in the transformation of education in India. Just like governments are bound by law to have ceiling on fiscal deficit or one country one tax system, similarly to implement the provision of the NEP, the government should be bound to spend at least 6 per cent of GDP," Sisodia said.
The quality of education provided in government schools should be at par with private schools, the deputy chief minister said.
"Going to private schools should just be an option, not a necessity due to the lack of quality education in our government schools. Only 5 per cent of children get access to quality education, the rest 95 per cent have been getting average quality education.
"It needs to change. It is the job of the government to provide education to all children," he said at the meeting.
Sisodia, later addressed a press conference, and he pointed out that having a private education board is a "dangerous idea" as these boards will promote private schools and further dilute the responsibility of the government in school education.
"While the idea of three years of preschool education is good but the clarity in the respective roles of department of woman and child development and education department be laid down," he said, cautioning against the idea of multi-faculty institutions and degree awarding autonomous colleges.