68% of Kids Aged 3-6 Left Out of Gov Education Support, Claims Study

September 21, 2022, New Delhi, Save the Children Study: According to a study commissioned by Save the Children India, 68% of children in the age range of 3 to 6 years are not covered by the public Early Childhood Education (ECE) programme in India. For the remaining 32%, the spending ranges from Rs. 3,792 in Meghalaya to Rs. 34,758 in Arunachal Pradesh, for a total of Rs. 8,297 per child annually across India.

The study estimated that a total budget allotment in the range of 1.5% to 2.2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would be necessary to provide universally high-quality ECE services to all children in this age group. The overall financial allocation for the Early Childhood Education (ECE) programme in India in 2020–21, including the centre and states, was close to Rs 25,000 crore, or almost 0.1% of GDP.

Furthermore, the study suggested an average annual cost per child of between Rs. 32,531 (referred to as the feasible cost) and Rs. 56,327 (referred to as the optimal cost). In regards to this, the report states, β€œThe kind of model chosen for implementation will determine the real cost (within this range).” The research also notes that the basic programmatic administrative and managerial costs for universal ECE services per year are Rs. 367 crore (monitoring and supervision, quality improvement, and cost for institution construction).Β 

One of the main objectives of the National Education Policy (NEP) is to make pre-primary education available to all students. Along the lines of the Save the Children study, it also suggests integrating children from age 3 to 6 into the structure of the educational system. As per the National Education Policy (NEP), universalisation of Early Childhood Education (ECE) is one of the focus areas of providing finances.

Since children’s intellectual and brain growth is most rapid between the ages of 0 and 6, universalizing ECE is very crucial.Β 

This article will further discuss other relevant information regarding the issue raised by the Save the Children study.

Save the Children Study on Government Educational Support – Findings

  • 68% of children in the age range of 3 to 6 years are not covered by the public Early Childhood Education (ECE) programme in India.
  • For the remaining 32%, the fund ranges from Rs. 3,792 in Meghalaya to Rs. 34,758 in Arunachal Pradesh, for a total of Rs. 8,297 per child annually across India.

Save the Children Study on Government Educational Support – Recommendations

  • The research recommends that a total budget allotment in the range of 1.5% to 2.2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would be necessary to provide universally high-quality ECE services to all children in this age group.
  • The study recommends an average annual cost per child of between Rs. 32,531 (referred to as the feasible cost) and Rs. 56,327 (referred to as the optimal cost).
  • The research also recommends Rs. 367 crore as a fund for the basic programmatic administrative and managerial costs for universal ECE services per year.
  • Adequate investment is necessary to ensure compulsory ECE for all 3 to 6-year-old children.
  • An efficient mechanism to monitor funds and their utilisation.
  • The study recommends recruiting well-trained professionals to ensure the quality of ECE.

FAQs

What is the full form of ECE?

The full form of ECE is Early Childhood Education.

What are the recommendations of the Save the Children study?

The Save the Children study recommends that a total budget allotment in the range of 1.5% to 2.2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would be necessary to provide universally high-quality ECE services to all children in this age group. It also recommends adequate investment is necessary to ensure compulsory ECE for all 3 to 6-year-old children and an efficient mechanism to monitor funds and their utilisation. The study also recommends recruiting well-trained professionals to ensure the quality of ECE.

What are the findings of the Save the Children report?

The Save the Children study findings concludes that 68% of children in the age range of 3 to 6 years are not covered by the public Early Childhood Education (ECE) programme in India. For the remaining 32%, the fund ranges from Rs. 3,792 in Meghalaya to Rs. 34,758 in Arunachal Pradesh, for a total of Rs. 8,297 per child annually across India.

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