Tuesday, March 5, 2019

New five year plan in Nepal and effectiveness of right to education in India

From The Himalayan Times: The preliminary draft of the concept paper of the 15th five-year plan (fiscal year 2019- 20 to 2023-24) prepared by the National Planning Commission — the apex body responsible for formulating the country’s development vision — has set a target to achieve a minimum average economic growth of 9.4 per cent per annum in the next five years. However, the economy can grow up to 10.1 per cent per annum in the next five years based on different scenarios, as per the draft. The government had last introduced a five-year periodic plan in 2001, which lasted till 2006.

The preliminary draft of the concept paper of the five-year periodic plan states that the country can achieve economic growth of between 9.4 per cent and 10.1 per cent every year in between fiscal years 2019-20 and 2023-24. Similarly, the draft of the periodic plan envisions that the country’s agriculture sector can witness an average growth of 5.6 per cent per annum in the next five years while the industrial sector can witness average growth of 17.1 per cent per annum. Likewise, the services sector is expected to witness 9.9 per cent growth per annum in between fiscal years 2019-20 and 2023-24.

The draft of the 15th five-year plan also states that the contribution of the services sector in the gross domestic product (GDP) can reach 57.6 per cent by fiscal 2023-24. Similarly, the contribution of the agriculture sector and industrial sector in the national GDP can reach 22.1 per cent and 20.3 per cent, respectively. The 15th five-year periodic plan will be based on the slogan of ‘Generating Prosperity and Happiness.’

The Right to Education Act: Trends in Enrollment, Test Scores, and School Quality

From a NBER working paper (Shah and Steinberg): The Right to Education Act in 2009 guaranteed access to free primary education for all children in India ages 6-14. This paper investigates whether national trends in educational data changed around the time of this law using household surveys and administrative data. They find four important trends:  
  • School-going increases after the passage of RTE, though this increase is more pronounced in “primary activity” NSS data than in official enrollment statistics
  • Test scores decline dramatically after 2010 in both math and reading
  • School infrastructure, including pupil-teacher ratios, appears to be improving both before and after RTE 
  • The number of students who have to repeat a grade falls precipitously after RTE is enacted, in line with the official provisions of the law