Guaranteeing everyone access to education is fast becoming obligation of every civilized society. International Human rights law requires that primary education should be free as well as compulsory. It also requires that higher education should progressively be made free. Nations are trying their level best to cope with these requirements .Their success is visible in field of general education, but it is technical education, where providing free education seems a tough challenge. Let’s see why is it so?
Compared to general education, technical education requires costly infra-structure i.e. machines, laboratories, equipment, etc. Since majority of the funding for free education comes from governments, their priority remains general education by catering to increased number of beneficiaries for obvious political reasons.
Human resource is costly too:
The trainers and teachers to impart technical education are skilled professionals whose remuneration is higher than their counterparts in general education. Their scarcity also is one factor which enhances their cost. The upward pressure of teaching and training expanses of technical education, emanating from higher salaries plays a major role in making a complete free technical education by governments.
Cost effectiveness analysis:
Governments have financial constraints on funds allocation. When cost benefit analysis of technical education is carried out by them, quite often it is valued lower than general education on account of higher direct and indirect cost associated with it. As a result of this, funding to technical educations always lacks far behind general education making free education difficult.
Wasteful expenditures of federal and state governments around the world leave little financial resources to be spent on education. This is truer in case of less developed economies, which are not able to broaden their tax base. Another serious burden on national exchequer comes from national security issues, which confronts serious challenges posed by terrorism.
Providing free education is not sustainable:
Since foreign exchange costs are often involved in technical education and trends are ever inflationary in this arena, it is not possible for governments and sponsors to sustain free technical education .Programs once started and then rolled back due to financial reasons bring bad names to governments, who are afraid of political consequences of such failing projects.
Lack of International assistance:
Free technical education is a gigantic task, which can’t be handled by governments alone. Since huge expenditure on continued basis is involved, international assistance by donors, UN World Bank and other international players helping governments in education must come out with positive support. So far this factor has not attained required attention.
Profit motives of private sector:
Technical education allures private sector because it attracts students belonging to of upper income bracket parents. As already discussed, it has high costs associated (both direct and indirect).These costs can be paid easily by private sector educators, inspired by profit making motivation. They can pay huge salary and fringe benefits to highly skilled professionals which are so vital for such education. The demand-supply behavior of vocational and technical education is handled in the best way by customers (eager wealthy parents) and profit making companies running technical education schools.
This article is written by Sharlyn Willaim, a prolific writer on world educational issues. She is a freelance writer and also provide assignment writing service to students. And supports the cause of free education is a human right.