The Right to Education is a hard-fought right that guarantees every child in the age group 6-14 years, the right to education of a decent quality. A clear estimation of resource requirement and a financial roadmap based on the normative is a necessary first step to ensure that the governments commit the required resources.
Carefully working its way through conceptual frameworks and empirical data, this study tries to put across estimates of normative resource requirements for every Indian state. The enquiry leads to exploration of different dimensions of the issue.
• Why has resource requirement estimation and resource planning been neglected?
• Is it true that the "inputs" for RTE have all been met as often claimed?
• What kind of resource gaps exist and how are these distributed?
• There are strong voices advocating market-based alternatives as the only way ahead. Is public expenditure necessary to fill the resource gaps really infeasible?
Our estimates show that it is feasible to provide universal quality education using public school system. At present, there are large gaps between what is required as per law and what is being supplied by the public system. For 16 states with low resource base, special assistance is necessary for adequate levels of spending on elementary education.
Adequate finances, though an essential condition for reform of the government school system, will not be enough by itself. Within a finance-enabled system, there are other steps necessary to restore school functionality and bring back trust in the system. What is necessary is a social policy perspective within which finance needs to be embedded.
The study would be of relevance for all individuals interested in education and public policy. It is particularly recommended for policy makers, think tanks, civil society organisations, researchers and teachers in the field of education.