New Delhi, Jan 24: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget 2018-19 on February 1. The finance minister will present his fifth consecutive budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 in Parliament. Last year, the Indian government had presented a budget of Rs 21,47,000 crore with Rs 79,686 crore to the education sector, against Rs 73,599 crore for the financial year 2016-17. The school sector was allocated Rs 46,356 crore. Also Read - West Bengal MBBS Seats Increased to 4,000: CM Mamata Banerjee

The budget allocation for school education in Budget 2018 is expected to rise by 14 per cent. The focus for the Education sector is likely to be on the schemes launched by the government and quality improvement. (Also Read: ASSOCHAM seeks higher outlay for education) Also Read - Will Convert All State-Run Madrasas Into a General School: Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

One of the government sources revealed that the government’s mid-day meal scheme and right to education are likely to get more fund allocation than the previous year. The mid-day meals scheme is expected to get only Rs 300 crore more. Except for this, innovation of the government schools, and improvement in learning outcomes are expected to be highlighted in the Budget 2018. Also Read - Anything For Education: Goa Students Trek 3km Everyday to Reach Hilltop to Access Internet For Online Classes

“It will be much less than what the ministry demanded, but higher than the previous year’s allocations in the range of 11-14%,” one of the government officials was quoted as saying by Livemint.

Although the demands of increasing gross domestic product on education to 6 per cent has not been approved, it is expected that this year Education sector will be allocated 14 per cent more funds than the previous year as this will be the last full budget before the 2019 general elections.

However, it has also been said that with goods and services tax collection going down every month, it would be difficult for the government to allocate more funds to the education sector.

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), which was allocated Rs 1000 crore more, had recently achieved almost 100 per cent enrollment. A unit of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan money could be used for filling up space which is left. This year the SSA is expected to spend more on improving quality of school learning.

Setting up of more Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) can also be expected as these schools have done well in the education sector in last few years. Since such schools are performing better than the even leading private schools, you may see more budgetary allocations for them,” the official added.