1. Thrilled to hear of National Testing agency. been asking for it for years. Separate learning from assessment. Even have Op-eds on it. (e.g http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/hZtSGjv2YdircYqA72Sa7N/Split-learning-from-testing.html) Happy that the government listens, analyses and acts.
Here the devil is in the details. If it becomes a single point of failure (or success, then we have a problem. Design of this agency is vital)
2. The biggest give to the education sector did not even come under the ESJ classification. It came under digitisation – BharatNet.
3. Many are old announcements such as learning outcomes monitoring which has been in place with a 3 year lag for years, previous minister asked NCERT to deliver within the year two years ago, shows up in budget speech now with no details. Swayam pathways and credits were announced years ago, UGC reforms have been dancing a dance of old vs. new for years.
4. Few numbers announced in speech. There is little headroom for more expenditure in education at the state level. Need transformative new institutions not tinkering with the old. Progress is slow.
5. Innovation fund may have the potential to do much good.There is energy in the innovation and schooling intersection with work done by Intel and Google, Srishti and many others. India’s global participation in innovation at the school level had reached significant numbers but needs upgrades and funding. The design and details of the funds matter.
6. Had expected more on Data and gathering evidence for improving education. Much of the good work in education continues to be self funded in small pockets.
7. Is the silence on money spent on the above a signal to states?