Union Budget 2022 for Education Sector looks like a wakeup call due to the pandemic. The emphasize on digital education and the plan to introduce ‘Digital University’ clearly shows that the government has understood the need of the future and started looking at long term benefits for the education sector. 750 virtual labs for science and maths and also 75 skilling e-labs is sure to take Indian education to global level.
The education budget looks more inclusive, i.e. considering the people from downtrodden and rural societies who cannot access internet but can still avail the facilities of television and Radio and also the announcement of vibrant villages programme under which DTH access will be provided to Doordarshan is a highly feasible and welcome move. E-learning in regional languages is another proof of inclusivity. However, the development of e content is a tedious process and lot of training should be required for the teachers to develop the same.
The focus on skill development and vocational education will pave way for better employability and is also in line with NEP 2020. The skill hub initiative of MoE and MSDE will be a boon to the youth for them to skill, upskill and reskill as per their choice and need. The e-portal DESH-Stack will be a great platform for those who seek to find the right job opportunities.
The announcement of ‘National Tele mental Health programme’ which will include a network of 23 Tele mental health centres of excellence is definitely a need of the hour programme considering the impacts that the Pandemic has caused not just on physical health but mental health too.
Even though the overall budget allocation for education is not very high but considering the key allocations the educational reach would be wider.
The Author is Dr. B.Sendilkumar, Dean & Director-Health Sciences, Vinayaka Missions Research Foundation-DU, Salem