Not enough being spent on education and health: Montek

Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Friday said "collectively" the country has not "done enough" for education and health. "Compared to other countries, we are not spending enough on education and health," he said.

Ahluwalia was speaking at 40th annual meeting of National Progressive School Conference. In the two-day event, principals of city schools will deliberate on "A sustainable future through values — A shared responsibility".

Ahluwalia said in April next year, India will enter the second gear of the 12th Plan, and, even now, the facts on public sector schools are "very disturbing". He said although in the past 30 years, the imbalance of giving too much attention to higher education has been corrected, "we need to give more money to education".

Referring to the 25 per cent reservation for students from economically weaker sections and disadvantaged groups within the RTE Act, Ahluwalia said, "It is possible that some people may feel that the 25 per cent quota is unfair, but, on the whole, it is a good measure. Otherwise, a child who goes to a public sector school, will only interact with an exclusive class."

Ahluwalia announced that at least 6,000 model schools would opened in every block and about 2,500 of these would be through the private sector. "This project has been approved by the Cabinet and will roll out in the next one year," he said.

'Schools should not be closed'

Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Friday said he was aware of the issue of many schools facing closure as the RTE deadline approaches. "I have drawn the attention of the Education Minister towards this... It makes more sense to give them more time," he said.

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