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Key components of Samagra Shiksha include 'Quality Interventions' and 'RTE Entitlements'.

'Quality Interventions' cover teacher training, Covid-19 safety measures, IT initiatives, academic support, and grants including funds for water, sanitation, and hygiene.

'RTE Entitlements' involve providing free textbooks and uniforms, reimbursing private schools for economically weaker section admissions, community mobilization, and training for out-of-school children.

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The economic slowdown caused by the pandemic severely impacted incomes, especially of those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, retrenchment of teachers especially in low-fee private schools which were unable to operate during the pandemic, and the inability of private schools to provide digital access for education, experts say.

This drop in private school enrollment is a change from the pre-Covid-19 trend in enrollment; over five years to 2019-20, enrollment in government schools had declined by 15 million, and 10 million more students enrolled in private schools, according to data from the government's Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE plus).

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The low learning outcomes are also related to teacher preparedness. For instance, states are trying to have all government schools teach in English, but teachers are not prepared for it. Early schooling in a child's mother tongue, also recommended in the new National Education Policy, can improve learning, increase student participation and reduce the number of dropouts.

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Read more about this challenge in our

interview with Rukmini Banerji, CEO of the non-governmental Pratham Education Foundation

Learning levels for primary school children in predominantly tribal districts were poor compared to neighbouring districts with lower tribal populations, an IndiaSpend analysis of data from the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2022 across five states has found.

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The government allowed phased re-opening of schools after October 15 2020 but most states only began classes for grades IX and higher. As schools reopened the government tried to implement the 2020 New Education Policy.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, government schools have had to incorporate digital learning, a challenge as only 28% of government schools in 2018-19 had computers and only 12% had an internet connection.

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Concerns arise over the implementation of education schemes in Gujarat, with migrant children facing challenges like lack of teachers fluent in their native language. Despite increased budget allocation for education, it remains low compared to other states, with vacancies in teaching positions, especially in tribal areas. The Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, aimed at migrant children, receives a small portion of the education budget. Experts urge greater investment in teacher training and infrastructure to improve education quality and support migrant children.

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Per-Student Expenditures and Approved Budgets

-- Per-student expenditures are calculated by dividing total expenditure under Samagra Shiksha for every state by the number of children enrolled in government and government-aided schools from pre-primary to higher secondary levels, in that state. At the time of preparing the brief, the complete expenditure data was available till FY 2021-22, and this was divided by school enrolment for academic year 2021-22.
-- In FY 2021-22, on average Rs. 3,967 was allocated per student under Samagra Shiksha and `2,543 was spent.
-- For states such as Maharashtra and Kerala, it is important to note that Samagra Shiksha forms a small portion of the total spending on school education. Thus, in these states per-student expenditure on the scheme was the lowest at Rs. 420, and Rs. 950, respectively.

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