Demand and Supply Considerations of Education
Demand and Supply considerations for education are highly significant and useful in ensuring and promoting the ‘efficiency’ of educational expenditures. From a normative perspective, the study of supply and demand for facilities are useful in judging the ‘quality’ of educational expenditures. When the data on supply and demand for education facilities and educational expenditures are examined with reference to the diversity of population and their differential needs, it brings out the ‘equity’ concerns in the area of education. For example, it is observed that the transition rate of boys from lower to higher primary schools and higher primary to secondary schools is higher than that of girls. One of the reasons for lower transition rate among girls is that schools in general do not possess toilets for girls in adequate numbers. A programme of provision of toilets with sanitary facility for girls in schools would create a higher level of demand for education of girl students. Allocation of resources in such a manner as to boost the demand for education by those who are circumstantially left out of the system would imply a higher level of equity.
Likewise, differentials in demand are caused by factors such as the share of SC/ST population and minorities in total population. Further, all regions in a state or nation may not have comparable levels of educational development. Some regions may need preferential treatment in matters of investment in education so that the region as a whole benefits in terms of educational attainment. Such a consideration would result in the promotion of ‘regional parity’. It is quite well known that regional disparities in the development levels lead to social tensions. Such social disintegration needs to be countered with effective planning and development. Thus, the four major factors which are important in respect of the demand and supply considerations of education are: efficiency, quality, equity and regional parity.