Government expenditures on education in Manipur
The state of Manipur has increasingly witnessing the growth of educational attainment. The heighten younger generation’s aspiration for specialised job and profession impelled by the rapid changes of economic structure and living standard has led to demand for more years of schooling. However, the condition of educational infrastructure remains underdeveloped especially in the remote rural areas due to the poor monitoring, inspection, report, evaluation and government’s apathy. Irrespective of it, a demand for education has systematically increased for modern sector wage employment amidst widespread and persistent upgradation of minimum hiring educational qualification for job.
Manipur has experienced a phenomenal increase of school enrolment. While school enrolment is associated with parental or household income growth, increased school availability, household atmosphere, school access and infrastructure, household duties, financial constraints, quality of education and spending on education. Educational contest increases with the advancement of technology and usurious competition for jobs. Enrolment can be raised by lowering school fees through government subsidies. Students leave school owing to social obligation and economic pressure. Increased government spending would address school dropout issue. Investment and spending on education raises educational attainment and also stimulates individual’s income and living standards and economic growth.
As per MHRD, school (up to senior secondary) institutions have marginally grown by 0.6% from 4028 in 2001-02 to 4051 in 2010-11 because of rapid population growth and increase demand for schools. The marginal growth of number of schools could not accommodate the sharp demand for school that has led to deterioration of availability of schools for the people from 538 people per school in 2001-02 to 635 people per school in 2010-11. Expectedly, according to MHRD (2012), most of the schools of upper primary, secondary and higher secondary are private schools including aided and unaided.
Further, the number of higher educational institution (HEI) has grown by 62% from just 53 in 2001-02 to 86 in 2012-13 as per MHRD. This has improved its availability from 41000 people per HEI in 2001-02 to 30000 people per HEI in 2012-13. HEIs grow at faster rates than the schools due to the large base of school and increase in people’s aspiration and demand for avenues in higher education (HE).
Interestingly, there is a greater demand for education because the number of students in school and HEI grows at a much faster rate than the number of teachers. School and HE infrastructures has worsened as pupil-teacher ratios have increased.
Surprisingly, as per MHRD (2012), trained teachers were only 35, 36 and 44% of the primary, upper primary and high/secondary school teachers respectively in the State that was considerably much lower than India’s 90% in each of these school categories. Establishment of adequate infrastructures for training school teachers is imperative to raise the quality of education.
The health of the economy affects the government funds for education. The level of government spending on education determines the public supply of educational infrastructure. Raising its level would increase the supply and availability of government educational infrastructure.
In Manipur, recently, the public expenditure (PE) on education has considerably declined despite educational development. The share of revenue expenditure on education (REE) as a Plan component (including sports, art and culture) has surged considerably from about 16% in 1993-94 to 36% in 2015-16 reflecting the growth of educational planning for infrastructural development. REE was mostly expended from non-Plan component mainly for salary payment of teachers and staffs. Additionally, capital expenditure on education (CEE) was all met from the Plan grant. Plan expenditure contributes a major proportion of total capital outlay; unlike the RE pattern, presumably, for the development of physical infrastructure like school buildings.
The share of education expenditure from revenue account has increased from about 26% in 1993-94 to 30% in 1999-00; but later it has sharply and almost systematically declined to 16% in 2015-16. Similarly, the share of CE on education has increased from 1% in 1993-94 to 4% in 1999-00 and drooped to just 0.2% in 2015-16. Concurrently, educational attainment has improved indicating that public spending on education does not necessarily determine it in the State. It is rather determine by household spending on education.
Out of the combined revenue and capital accounts, expenditure on education mainly expended from the revenue account. However, the share of REE has systematically decline from about 98% in 1993-94 to about 80% in 2009-10. It may be because of gradual teachers’ retirement, non-filling of vacant teaching positions, poor revenue generation and most importantly the growing number of private institutions. Later in 2015-16, its share has increased to 97%. The reverse situation prevails for the pattern and trend of CEE that reveals the renovation activities, expansion, promotion and development of educational infrastructures up to 2009-10. Moreover, the development of new educational schemes such as SSA in the year 2001 has rendered the sharp increase of CEE. The situation of 2015-16 relates to non-expansion of education infrastructure.
The share of combined expenditure on education (revenue and capital) in the gross state domestic product (GSDP) have shown a substantial increased from close to 9% in 1993-94 to 16% in 1999-00; however, subsequent it has significantly declined to 7% in 2015-16. A similar trend prevailed for the share of REE in GSDP. It indicates the decline in the strength of number of government teachers as salary is drawn from revenue account (non-Plan). While the share of CEE in GSDP shows a gradual increase till 2004-05 due to expansion of infrastructure to accommodate new educational programmes. Although later it has declined with the establishment of educational infrastructural base. Economic slow-down up to 2009-10 has adversely affected the educational expenditure pattern. Primary condition to meet educational expenditure to enhance quality of education is generation of own revenue through economic development.
The proportion of educational expenditure to GSDP has declined from 6.2% in 2004-05 to 5.6% in 2012-13. Increase of educational spending is inevitable to increase the student enrolment and to meet the growing demand for education.
The per capita expenditure on education [PCEE] (revenue, capital or combined) has enormously increased despite Manipur’s buoyant economy. For instance, the per capita REE (or CEE) has increased from Rs 617 (Rs 10) in 1993-94 to Rs 4554 (Rs 157) in 2015-16.
Moreover, the growth of PCEE from revenue, capital and combined was more significant in the 1990s than the later periods that relate with a change in demand for education, number of teachers and education infrastructure. During 1993-94 to 2015-16 the PCEE (combined revenue and capital) grows at a lower rate (10% per annum) than combined REE and CEE (12% per annum) indicating government spending on education grows slower than population. Hence, delivery of quality education with equity necessitates government to enhance expenditure on education.
(The writer’s views expressed here are personal)