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Govt launch scheme worth Rs 600 to educate adult Muslims

Access to education, Minority Education

18-Feb-2014

Business Standard

Ahead of Lok Sabha elections, the government today launched a new programme for educating adult Muslims, targeting over one crore of them.

The programme ‘Maulana Azad Taleem-e-Balighan’, launched by Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor, aims to impart functional literacy, vocational skill development and continuing education to one crore Muslim adults with an outlay of Rs 600 crore.

Besides, it promises to provide opportunities for upscaling basic education to around 2.5 lakh adults from the community and imparting livelihood skill training to around three lakh beneficiaries.

“410 Sakshar Bharat Districts will be covered with a financial outlay of Rs 600 crore during the current Plan Period,” an official statement said.

In the statement, the government claimed that the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language is undertaking many activities to promote, develop and propagate the language in the country.

The affirmative interventions made under various schemes for promotion of education of the minorities has shown encouraging results, it said.

“Enrolment of Muslim children at primary level as percentage of total enrolment has increased from 9.4% in 2006-07 to 14.2% in 2012-13, and at the upper primary level, from 7.2% to 12.1% during the same period,” it said.

“A more welcome feature of the development is that more Muslim girls are coming to schools,” the statement added.

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Right to Education admission dates announced

Access to education, Right to Education

23-Feb-2014

Times of India

BHOPAL: After a delay of more than a month, admission dates for the reserved category under the Right to Education (RTE) Act were announced on Friday. Last year, admission forms were distributed from Jan 16.

Schools concerned and district education office will provide RTE forms. While the last date of forms is March 6, the admissions for 25% reserved category to be conducted through lottery system will be held in private-unaided schools on March 11. The seats will be reserved for Class I in respective schools.

The delay is being attributed to bureaucratic reshuffle at the state secretariat. The RTE file was forwarded to secretariat from Rajya Shiksha Kendra, from where final dates were decided and the admission process commenced.

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IIM-A to teach right way to claim Right to Education

Access to education, Right to Education

Times of India

13-02-2014

AHMEDABAD: Students of premier institutes in the city have taken up an initiative to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds claim Right to Education (RTE). The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad has set up an RTE Resource Centre (RRC) to implement the RTE Act successfully.

The centre aims to help parents of needy students overcome procedural difficulties in completing and submitting applications. RRC is a student initiative at IIM-A and is run in collaboration with students from National Institute of Design, Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad and Gujarat National Law University.

The students are looking for strong support from the general public to help in the RTE campaign in Ahmedabad this year. “The objective of the centre is to generate awareness about RTE Act and facilitate better information sharing among the different stakeholders – government, school and parents – to resolve issues faced in the implementation of Section 12 of the RTE,” a statement from IIM-A said.

Section 12 of the RTE Act provides for reservation of 25% of seats in private schools starting from class 1 for children from the disadvantaged and economically weaker sections.

How to help

An IVRS number 079 3091 8111 has been set up for parents in Ahmedabad where they can call the number for complete information on RTE Section 12. Student volunteers will contact parents and guide them through the process.

RRC’s website at www.rterc.in gives details of the complete admission process to anyone who wishes to apply for the same or wishes to inform those eligible for the provision.

RRC is planning to set up a helpdesk at the two distribution centres in the District Education Office, Memnagar and Government Girl’s High School near Raikhad. RRC is looking for dedicated volunteers to help both reach out to communities and manage the help desk.

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Education policy review likely post-division

Access to education, Higher Education

The Hindu

15-12-2013

Proposals sought to meet needs of two states

R. Ravikanth Reddy

With bifurcation of the State looming large, the A.P. State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) is seriously considering going in for a redesign of its policy, so that both regions benefit equally.

Unlike its earlier practice of devising academic policies to meet the requirements of the three regions of Telangana, Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra, officials have now been instructed to take decisions in terms of Telangana and the residual Andhra Pradesh.

The trend was evident in the Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) scheme, in which the government is actively involved. Earlier, proposals under the scheme were made to ensure that all the three regions got equal justice.

Interestingly, officials have now been told to submit fresh proposals in terms of the requirements of the two states. “There are instructions from the Education Department in this regard,” an official said.

The proposals to set up tribal universities in Utnoor in Adilabad district and Paderu in Visakapatnam district and mining universities at Kothagudem in Khammam and Ongole are an indication.

Higher education in the State may not face hurdles in the division of work or jurisdiction of assets, as academic work is decentralised except for the Common Entrance Test (CET).

Since the Group of Ministers (GoM) has maintained that administrative and academic policies will not change for at least five years, officials feel there is not much to worry.

Admissions to sought-after institutions like IIT, IIIT, NIT and the University of Hyderabad are made on the basis of national merit. Post-bifurcation, the 50 per cent state quota in NITs will be equally divided between the two States.

The jurisdiction of all State universities has been clearly demarcated, and ‘good’ universities exist in both the regions. The 15 per cent un-reserved quota (non-local) will continue for both the regions for the time being.

“So, there is not much loss to students, as division in the Education Department will not be as acrimonious as in the other sectors,” observed a senior official.

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Putting education first

Access to education

20-11-2013

The Financial Express

For far too long, the cause of universal education has taken a back seat to other great international movements for change. Now, for two new reasons that lie at the heart of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s launch of the “Education First” initiative, education has returned to its rightful place atop the global policy agenda.

First and foremost, young people have themselves become the biggest advocates of universal education for girls and boys. Refusing to remain silent while denied opportunity, young people—particularly girls—have launched one of the great civil-rights struggles of our time.

Few could remain unmoved by the brave fight of the young Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai after the Taliban shot her in the head because she insisted on the right of young girls to an education. Few have failed to notice the massive public outpouring of support in Pakistan and elsewhere for the cause that she is championing.

Likewise, we have also seen in recent months the creation by schoolgirls in Bangladesh of child-marriage-free zones, aimed at defending the right of girls to stay in school instead of being married off as teenage brides against their will. In India, the Global March Against Child Labor, led by the children’s rights advocate Kailash Satyarthi, has rescued thousands of young boys and girls from a life of slavery in factories, workshops, and domestic service, and has ensured that they return to school.

These demonstrations by girls and boys demanding their right to education have made the fight for basic schooling impossible to ignore. Consequently, every government now feels under even greater pressure to deliver the second of the global Millennium Development Goals (“achieve universal primary education”) by the end of 2015.

But a second worldwide force also has propelled education to the centre of the policy agenda in most countries: the increased recognition of the importance of education by those who examine why countries succeed or fail. For years, academics have debated whether culture, institutions, ideology, or resources cause some countries to lag behind. Today, a growing number of writers, researchers, and policymakers see the crucial link between education and national economic success.

The deployment of human capital has become an important factor in explaining why some countries remain stuck in a “middle-income trap” and why others cannot break out of low-income status. And research assessing a country’s human capital now focuses on the quantity and quality of basic skills, qualified graduate manpower, and expertise in research and development.

Putting education first is urgent in view of the scale of wasted talent and potential worldwide. Some 57 million children still do not go to school, 500 million girls will never finish the secondary education to which they are entitled, and 750 million adults remain illiterate.

The link between education and economic success makes the delivery of quality schooling and training a hugely important issue for business as well. By 2020, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, we will face the twin problems of a shortfall of up to 40 million high-skill workers and a surplus of up to 95 million low-skill workers. By 2030, the global workforce of 3.5 billion will include an estimated one billion workers who lack a secondary education, significantly hindering their countries’ economic prospects.

As a result, without urgent action, businesses are likely to face a huge skills shortage, especially in emerging markets and developing countries, where most economic activity will be concentrated. Indeed, the adult illiteracy rate in Somalia is 63%, and 39% in Nigeria; in South Sudan, more girls die during childbirth than complete primary school.

Unless we act, by mid-century the global economy will be characterised by massive waste of talent and unequal opportunities. According to new figures from the Wittgenstein Center’s forthcoming book World Population and Human Capital in the 21st Century, only 3% of young adults in Mali and Mozambique are projected to have a tertiary education in 2050; the expected proportion is just 4% in Niger, Liberia, Rwanda, and Chad, and only 5% in Malawi and Madagascar. While the projection for North America as a whole is 60%, the forecast for Sub-Saharan Africa is 16%.

Such figures reveal a world divided between those who have and those who lack educational opportunity, with huge potential repercussions not only in terms of skill shortages and economic waste, but also in terms of social stability. The late US Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren’s words in Brown v. Board of Education, which struck down the legal basis for racial segregation in America’s public schools, remain no less relevant today: “It is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.” As Warren put it, “Such an opportunity … is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.”

We have little more than two years to turn basic education from a privilege for some into a right for all. Secretary-General Ban and I are determined that every day until that deadline in December 2015, we will work as hard as possible to ensure every child is in school.

 

Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, is United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education

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From Schooling to Learning in India: How Can We Take Everyone Along?

Access to education

18-11-2013

Pratham

Blog

In a crowded room, deep in rural Bihar in eastern India, a heated discussion was going on. Most people in the room were officials of the government education department; each person in the room was responsible for “supervising” 15 to 20 public primary schools. Like in other parts of India, enrollment levels were well above 90% but attendance was a problem. The discussion began with why attendance was not high. Later, the conversation moved to whether children were learning. A few basic questions were asked: in any school, on an average day, what percentage of enrolled children would be present? In an average grade 5 class, in any school in the area, what proportion of children would be able to read simple text and what fraction of students would be able to do two-digit subtraction problems with borrowing? Everyone put down their estimates and answers for each of these questions.

Later in the day, the teams went out in groups to nearby schools and looked at the actual situation inside the classrooms. At 70%, the attendance figures from these schools was by and larger very close to the estimates that the officials had put down before going to the field. But the actual levels of learning were far off the mark, far far below what the officers had estimated. Close to half of all the children assessed in grades 3, 4 and 5 could not even read simple everyday words. More than 60% of children could not read a single sentence even after spending three to five years in school. Shocked and shaken by the gap in perception and reality, everyone sat down to think about what could be done.

Parents, teachers, and governments commonly assume that if children go to school, they must be learning. School systems routinely and frequently measure provision, inputs, and enrollment. All efforts over the past few decades have been spent in ensuring access and in bringing children to school. This is true in India, in south Asia, and in much of sub-Saharan Africa. With more and more children going to school today than in the past, parents, teachers, and governments are aware that children are not doing as well as they ought to be. But in many countries there is no concrete articulation of the issue on hand or clear evidence of what the “malaise” is.

As schools and communities, states and countries, how do we make this shift from inputs to outcomes, from schooling to learning? How can parents, teachers, and others understand the importance of focusing on learning outcomes and the implications for the future of their children?

Later in the day, the teams went out in groups to nearby schools and looked at the actual situation inside the classrooms. At 70%, the attendance figures from these schools was by and larger very close to the estimates that the officials had put down before going to the field. But the actual levels of learning were far off the mark, far far below what the officers had estimated. Close to half of all the children assessed in grades 3, 4 and 5 could not even read simple everyday words. More than 60% of children could not read a single sentence even after spending three to five years in school. Shocked and shaken by the gap in perception and reality, everyone sat down to think about what could be done.

Parents, teachers, and governments commonly assume that if children go to school, they must be learning. School systems routinely and frequently measure provision, inputs, and enrollment. All efforts over the past few decades have been spent in ensuring access and in bringing children to school. This is true in India, in south Asia, and in much of sub-Saharan Africa. With more and more children going to school today than in the past, parents, teachers, and governments are aware that children are not doing as well as they ought to be. But in many countries there is no concrete articulation of the issue on hand or clear evidence of what the “malaise” is.

As schools and communities, states and countries, how do we make this shift from inputs to outcomes, from schooling to learning? How can parents, teachers, and others understand the importance of focusing on learning outcomes and the implications for the future of their children?

And, what about parents? Close to half of all mothers of children who currently attend primary school in India have not been to school themselves. How can we take parents, especially mothers, along? What needs to be done? What methods need to be used? Mothers need to know how much their children should know (in reading and math), what they know, and how to help them at home. So what if they are unschooled or not literate, perhaps a simple assessment exercise can help here too. Class and home need to be connected.

One of the big reasons that we have reached close to universal enrollment is because the goal was clear and understood by all and so parents, citizens, and governments could work towards achieving it. It is now time that similar steps are taken to clearly lay out learning goals for children. These goals have to be stated in ways that even illiterate parents can understand. Unless teachers understand learning goals and work towards delivering them, the road to a meaningful education cannot be navigated. Unless parents understand learning goals and demand better learning for their children, the journey from schooling to learning will remain incomplete.

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Education and Poverty: Confronting the Evidence

Access to education

Helen F. Ladd

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management

Evidence based policy making. That is the rallying cry for policy researchers like many of us and also for many policy makers, including the Obama administration itself. Providing a forum for researchers to present and discuss policy relevant research that can provide the evidence needed for better policy making is one of the major functions of this Association.
Policy relevant evidence often comes from careful studies of specific policy interventions such as job training or negative income tax programs and is based on random control trials or other forms of rigorous quantitative and qualitative analysis. Many of you in the audience today have made major methodological and substantive contributions through research of this type in a range of policy areas.
I want to focus today on the policy importance of evidence of a broader type – a type that does not require any sophisticated modeling. And I will do so in the context of my main field of policy research, education policy
Historically, this country prided itself on its outstanding education system, which educated a higher proportion of its population to more advanced levels than most other countries. The Sputnik challenge from Russia in the late 1950s and the publication of A Nation at Risk (1983) during the Reagan years, however, highlighted significant concerns about the quality of the U.S education system. Concerns today are based on average test scores of U.S. students that are middling compared to those of other nations, on U.S. graduation rates that once were well above those of most other countries but now have been overtaken by rising rates in other countries, and on abysmal educational attainment and test score performance of many disadvantaged students, especially those in urban centers. These patterns and trends, as well as recent widely publicized documentaries including for example, Waiting for Superman, have convinced many people that our education system is in crisis.
During the decades following A Nation at Risk, U.S. education policy makers responded to the perceived crisis in a variety of ways such as creating ambitious national goals and promoting standards based reform. Of interest here are the policy initiatives of the past decade, which include school accountability in the form of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, test- based approaches to evaluate teachers, and promotion of expanded parental choice, charter schools, and competition .

Click here to read more: http://research.sanford.duke.edu/papers/SAN11-01.pdf

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Study: Malaysia has best English language speakers in Asia

Access to education, Global news

by tan yi liang

07-11-2013

The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia apparently has the best English language speakers in Asia, beating out Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, China and Kazakhstan – according to a Singapore-based English Language school.

The school, Education First, which released the findings of their English Proficiency Index on their website Wednesday, ranked Malaysia as having the highest level of English proficiency out of 13 countries in Asia.

On the global scale, Malaysia was ranked 11th out of 60 countries, with four of the top five slots going to Scandinavian countries, with Sweden and Norway taking the top two spots and Malaysia outperforming Singapore, Belgium, Germany, Latvia and Switzerland – countries which took the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th spots respectively.

On its website, the school said that it had found that some Asian countries in particular Indonesia and Vietnam, have transformed their English proficiency over the 2007-2012 period.

“China has also improved, although less dramatically. Japan and South Korea, despite enormous private investment, have declined slightly.

“Across the board, English language skills are improving in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). “This year, India and Russia have moved ahead of China, and Brazil is closing in fast,” said Education First.

The school went on to say that their Index found the Middle East and North Africa to be the regions with the weakest English proficiency.

“These oil-rich nations have staked their futures on developing knowledge economies before their oil production peaks. An exception to the region’s lacklustre performance is the United Arab Emirates, which has improved significantly,” said Education First.

On the mechanics of the Index, the school said the Index calculated a country’s average adult English skill level using data from two Education First tests.

“One test is open to any Internet user for free. The second is a 70-question online placement test used by EF during the enrolment process before students start an English course. Both include grammar, vocabulary, reading, and listening sections.

“The open online test is a 30-question adaptive exam, so each test-taker’s questions are adjusted in difficulty according to his or her previous correct and incorrect answers,” said the school.

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16 LAKH SCHOOL SEATS, BUT ONLY 9 LAKH STUDENTS IN HYDERABAD: REPORT

Access to education

Times of India

20-Jul-2013

HYDERABAD: In what seems to be an irony, the city has more number of seats being offered by schools than students. In direct violation of the Supreme Court order in 2012 which had asked governments to regulate the surge of private schools, Hyderabad has at least eight private schools in every 5 km radius. The statistics by the school education department reveals that cities like Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai have only 3-4 schools in every 5 km radius.

The alarming increase in the number of schools is a trend seen in the last five years, with big schools setting up branches in different areas. While there are around 9 lakh students in the city, the number of seats being offered by the 2,000 government and private schools in Greater Hyderabad is close to 16 lakh, a figure critics say is unheard of in other cities. Sadly at the same time, students in neighbouring districts like Nalgonda, Warangal and Ranga Reddy are struggling to get a seat given the less number of schools there.

“The government has sanctioned more schools for the city this academic year, adding on to the existing schools. Close to 40 per cent of the seats in most schools are left vacant every year as there are no takers,” said S Srinivas Reddy, president, AP Recognised Schools Managements Association. The association had petitioned the state government as early as September 2012, asking it to regulate fresh sanctions being accorded to schools.

“Private managements set up schools in prime localities like Hyderabad as they tend to reap more benefits from cities than rural areas. But the government must allow for an equal distribution of schools in both rural and urban areas as per the requirement,” said R Venkat Reddy, director, M V Foundation, an NGO working on school education.

However, when asked about the massive increase in the number of schools, officials of the school education department said they are left with no option but according sanctions. “The constitution allows for the setting up of institutions and we have been giving permission to institutions which have fulfilled the requirements specified under the AP Education Act,” said an official. Critics, however, said that the city has way more schools than the department can inspect regularly.

Times View

The government should immediately crack down on the proliferation of schools in congested localities. It is saddening to see that on the city outskirts and in remote districts, students have to trek for hours to reach their schools. The government should immediately impose a ban on city schools trying to open branches and instead ask them to set up schools outside the city. Hyderabad wants quality education for its children and they have enough schools for it.

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Educating India: Choice, autonomy and learning outcomes

Access to education, Autonomy, Budget Private Schools, Reservation of seats, Right to Education

Oxford India Policy Series

17-07-2013

Parth J. Shah

The Indian education system does not effectively promote the prior right of parents to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children. This column argues that the degree of freedom of not just parents, but also of school principals, teachers and education providers is a key determinant of quality and equity in education. It outlines reforms to promote the right to ‘education of choice’.

The Article 26 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights 1948 deals with education and has three clauses the first demands free and compulsory elementary education, the second sets the goal of education to “promote understanding, tolerance, and friendship among all nations, racial and religious groups”, and the third clause states that “parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children”. This idea of parental choice has always been an important component of the Right to Education (RTE), but is hardly ever mentioned in the current debates on education reforms in India.

The education system does not effectively promote parental choice. This lack of choice or the lower degree of freedom is at the heart of our education problems.  The degree of freedom of not just parents but also of principals, teachers and education providers (‘edu-preneurs’) is the most critical determinant of quality and equity in education. All parents do not get to choose the school, principals and teachers in government get to choose the system but not the school, and ‘edu-preneurs’ cannot choose their own curricula, language of instruction, or whether to be non-profit or for-profit. In this column, I outline my suggestions for education reforms. These revolve around the idea of choice for parents, principals, teachers and ‘edu-preneurs’ (Shah and Miranda 2012).

1. Increase autonomy of state schools
Education departments of the government minutely control government schools. The schools have hardly any autonomy to manage their affairs. They are closest to the students and parents, and should have the necessary freedom to adjust their functioning so that they are better able to cater to the changing needs. The principals and teachers must be empowered and given the freedom that their private school counterparts enjoy; they cannot be expected to compete with both hands tied behind their back.
The principals should be education leaders, not just administrators. Government schools should hire teachers directly, not through the state education department (Pritchett and Pande 2006).  The salaries and perks for teachers should be set by the state, but hiring and performance assessment should be done at the school level.This would help make principals genuine leaders of their schools, with all the staff accountable to them.
Financial autonomy for schools/ principals is critical. However, the current method of funding government schools through lump sum grants against various heads of expenditures leaves little discretion (Accountability Initiative 2012). Moreover, it is very common that government schools with the same number of students get widely different funding from the state. This inequity in funding is inhumane and unjust. Funding based on the number of students in the school addresses these issues effectively. The per-student funding approach would provide strong incentives to schools to work hard to attract and retain students. It would also make it easier to tie funding with performance – an increment in the school grant can be tied to learning achievement of students.
All private schools aided by the government can be immediately switched to this per-student formula. For government schools, it may be easier to require that all new schools be funded on a per-student basis. The principals and teachers of existing schools could have the option to switch to the new system that would also offer them more autonomy.
To help schools assess their performance, and also help parents to make an informed choice, the government should conduct or contract an independent agency for annual learning outcome assessment (including private schools).  The entire assessment data, along with information on infrastructure, staff, and financial allocations should be placed in the public domain, preferably online.  Private schools, just like companies, should be required to provide similar data so that relevant data about all schools would be available to parents in one place.
These reforms would give more autonomy to government schools, principals, and teachers, and also increase accountability.
 
2. Provide access to aspirational schools
The government of Uttaranchal has been running a scheme called Pahal where street children go to higher-fee private schools. In more than four years of the programme, a majority of the enrolled children have remained in the school. This is in contrast with the high dropout rates seen in earlier annual enrollment drives that brought children to government schools. This has been seen in the Delhi Voucher Project (CMS 2009, CCS 2009) as well as in many voluntary efforts.
The aspirational schools don’t have to be private schools – many government schools would also serve the purpose. They don’t have to be high-fee private schools – budget performing schools (BPS) such as Delhi Public Schools and Deepayala schools–are equally aspirational for many poor parents. So the scope is much wider than it may appear at first.
Marginalised and specific under-served groups such as migrant children, out of school children, street children, girl children, Scheduled Caste (SC)/ Scheduled Tribe (ST)/ Other Backward Classes (OBC), minorities such as Muslim children, differently-abled children, children of the poor, refugees, migrating tribes, prisoners and orphans are most likely to be left behind by the education system. Empowering them to go to aspirational schools through vouchers, cash transfers or charter/ community schools would be more effective for their educational achievements (Shah and Braun-Munzinger 2006; Saavendra and Garcia 2012).
The RTE Act has already reserved 25% seats in private schools to socially and economically disadvantaged students, for which the government would pay private schools. The challenge is to design a transparent, fair and accountable method to implement the 25% so that right students are selected, their learning outcomes are tracked, and also ensure that private schools are paid in time (Shah 2012).

The RTE’s recognition of the power of aspirational schools should be extended to go beyond the 25% reservation for the disadvantaged, starting first with the most marginalised and under-served children.

3. Make learning outcomes the central focus of regulation
The whole focus of RTE is on schooling inputs – ‘learning outcome’ or learning achievement’ does not appear even once in the whole Act on quality education for all! For brevity, I enumerate key reforms for making learning outcomes the primary focus of education regulations.
i. Conduct annual independent learning outcome assessment.

ii. Empower School Management Committees to monitor learning outcomes and take necessary action to achieve their targets. iii. Recognition of low fee, budget schools should be based more on learning outcomes than infrastructure norms. The Gujarat RTE Rules assign 85% weightage to learning and 15% to infrastructure norms.

iv. Open Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exams to all students, not only for students who study in CBSE affiliated schools. If learning is the focus then it should not matter which school the student attended – the student should get CBSE certificate if she passes the same exam.
 
4. Encourage ‘edu-preneurs’ to promote quality and equity through choice and competition
The legal and moral obligation of the government is to assure, not deliver, education to every child.Any monopoly service provider is unlikely to be very concerned about the customer. The education monopoly would serve the interests of the providers (bureaucracy, teachers and staff), not of the end-users of the service (parents and students). Competition among providers is necessary (Coulson 2008).  It also offers choices to parents and students.  Parental choice is the best way to determine education quality and also to keep the pressure for continuous improvement in quality (Shah 2009).
Below are a few suggestions:
i. Make entry easier by rationalising the license raj.
ii. Declare education an ‘industry’ for easier access to credit and venture capital fund.
iii. Offer schools (and colleges) the choice to be non-profit or for-profit, and treat for-profit ones as companies for disclosure and taxation norms.
iv. Apply the same standards to private and government schools. According to the law, government schools must meet the same norms as private schools, but this may or may not happen in practice since the law does not require that a government school be closed down or penalised for failing to meet the norms. The children of the poor go to government schools. This means that the government worries about the education quality of the children of the rich by requiring private schools to meet its standards, but feels that the poor should be grateful that they at least have a school to go to. The government treats the children of the poor as second-class citizens. This inequity must end – government schools must meet the same standards of quality by going through the same process of recognition. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), as a monitor of RTE, could be put in charge of this process since the department of education itself should not be. 
 
Concluding thoughts
The key mindset change necessary to implement many of the reforms is the role of the state in education.  It needs to change from controller to facilitator, from producer to financier, and from inspector to informer.
The role of the government is to liberate the supply side (facilitator role), fund the demand of the poor through vouchers, cash transfers and charter/ community schools (financier role), inform about the quality of education in schools and empower parents to make their own choices that are right for their children (informer role).

The state’s mantra should be not just the right to education but right to education of choice.

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