Abhijit Banerjee lauds Delhi govt schools

Education outcomes in state-run schools can be better than the private ones, Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee said as he lauded Delhi government schools for "outperforming" their private peers.

He said state agencies have been "generous" with resource allocation for education, which is visible in aspects like teacher salaries and the system, and the focus needs to shift to making them perform better.

The comments from the MIT professor, whose work on poverty alleviation won him the coveted Nobel Prize recently, come weeks ahead of the Delhi polls.

"Do I think that you can aspire to doing better in the government system relative to the average private school? Yes. The Delhi public schools have done it actually. Results in the Delhi public school system, the government school system like the municipal schools are better than the average private school in Delhi, he told.

Speaking ahead of delivering a lecture at education-focused NGO Pratham's 25th anniversary celebrations, Abhijit said the Delhi government schools have "outperformed" the private ones.

He said private schools are "terrible" from an outcome perspective.

Education is largely a state subject under the federal structure of India, but stretched fiscal situations are generally "bad news" for the sector as lesser resources will be allocated, he said, answering a specific question on a Rs 3,000 crore reduction in the Central government's education allocations.