Weekly Update on Education

19 January 2010

NCERT panel will decide on RTE for Delhi schools
The Times of India, 15 Jan 2010

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has constituted a committee under the chairpersonship of Ashok Agarwal, a legal expert and associated with Social Jurist, to look into the implementation of Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009 in Delhi schools. The committee would look into different aspects of government schools running in Delhi such as socio-economic background of children, service conditions, training, and status of teachers, administrative functioning and structure of education departments.According to Hemnat Kumar, assistant editor, NCERT, "The NCERT has taken this initiative to prepare an elaborate policy framework to enable the implementation of RTE Act in schools of Delhi. The aim is to recommend this policy framework to MCD, NDMC, Delhi Cantonment Board and the Delhi administration, which would help them prepare for the challenges posed by RTE Act for providing quality education to children from classes I to VIII

More [+]

New UGC regulation links promotion to output; seniority not a factor
The Times of India, 16 Jan 2010

The University Grants Commission (UGC) approved a new regulation which links promotion of university and college teachers to their output in research and teaching rather than years of experience, a move that prompted a teachers' body to launch strike. "The output of the teachers will be quantified and they will be awarded marks as per their works in research, teaching, publication and other curricular activities," a UGC official said. The new regulation, which will be now sent to the HRD Ministry, will come into effect after receiving concurrence from the Government. More [+]

Depository of academic qualifications planned
The Hindu, 13 Jan 2010

The government announced a proposal to establish a national database of academic qualifications to be maintained in an electronic format by a registered depository.Holding of academic qualifications in an academic depository would provide immense benefit to educational institutions, students, alumni and employers by enabling online access of certificates and mark sheets, eliminating the need for approaching educational institutions of obtaining transcripts or verification as well as reducing the need for institutions to preserve records of students over a long time, Mr. Sibal explained.The system will also help in eliminating fraudulent practices such as forging of certificates and marksheets.The Ministry has set up a task force to work out the details of the project and submit its report by March 31. More [+]

Private schools geared up for fee hike from next session
India Edunews, 16 Jan 2010

As the new session begins in April, the schools in Delhi, after the Sixth Pay Commisision in September 2008, are again getting ready to hike fees. After they lay out the budget for the next academic session, the management of most schools are likely to decide on the quantum of hike in March.L V Sehgal, principal, Bal Bharti Public School, Ganga Ram Hospital Marg, who is also the vice-president of National Progressive Schools' Conference (NPSC) - a body of at least 110 schools said that, "Since the cost of everything is increasing, so there will be a hike in the school fees as well. It may be less or more than 10%" However, D K Bedi, principal, Apeejay School, Pitampura added that no final decision has been taken and that there are two representatives each from the government and the DoE on the management board to decide the issue of fee hike. More [+]

SSA scores 85%, fails on quality
The Times of India, 14 Jan 2010

The performance of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which will form the core of the Right to Education Act, has been satisfactory in terms of infrastructure though a lot needs to be done as far as quality improvement — teachers’ appointment, their in-service training etc — is concerned. In what could further boost the flagship programme, sources said, the Finance Commission has made a provision of more than Rs 20,000 crore for the next five years for recurring expenditure on SSA by states More [+]

Don't turn away disabled kids: CBSE
DNA India, 14 Jan 2010

Despite inclusive education being a constitutional guarantee, most parents of disabled children find themselves up against an apathetic tide when seeking admission in regular schools. Moved by numerous complaints, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued a circular to its schools across the country, warning them with disaffiliation if they are found erring on this count. More [+]

5,302 teaching posts lying vacant, Supreme Court chides Delhi government
India Edunews, 16 Jan 2010

The Supreme Court recently reproached the Delhi government for not paying attention to the 5000 vacancies of teachers in the capital’s state-run schools."No justification can satisfy the answer to the magnanimous vacancies of the teaching staff in the government schools."The functioning of the selection boards have astonished us! If the selection boards require two years or even more to fulfill the criteria then they must start functioning much in advance as the date of retirement of a teacher is known the moment he is recruited," said the Supreme court More [+]

Poor schooling slows anti-terrorism effort in Pakistan
The Washington Post, 17 Jan 2010

Western officials tend to blame Islamic schools, known as madrassas, for their role as feeders to militant groups, but Pakistani education experts say the root of the problem is the public schools in a nation in which half of adults cannot sign their own name. The madrassas have multiplied in Pakistan as public education has deteriorated. But madrassas still educate only about 1.5 million students a year, compared with more than 20 million in public schools. If Pakistan is to improve its dismal literacy rate and provide marketable skills to more of the estimated 90 million Pakistanis under the age of 18, it will have to start in the public schools. The United States plans to spend $200 million in Pakistan this year on education. The money comes from the Kerry-Lugar aid bill, which was passed in late 2009 and promises Pakistan $7.5 billion in civilian assistance over the next five years. More [+]

How do government and private schools differ? Findings from two large Indian states
World Bank

This paper uses survey data from representative samples of government and private schools in two states of India, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, to explore systematic differences between the two school types. The authors find that private school students have higher test scores than government school students. However, in both private and government schools the overall quality is low and learning gains from one grade to the next are small.Private schools have lower pupil-teacher ratios and seven to eight times' lower teacher salaries but do not differ systematically in infrastructure and teacher effort from government schools. Most of the variation in teacher effort is within schools and is weakly correlated with observed teacher characteristics such as education, training, and experience. After controlling for observed student and school characteristics, the private school advantage over government schools in test scores varies by state, school type and grade. Given the large salary differential, private schools would clearly be more cost effective even in the case of no absolute difference in test scores. More [+]

Class-wise % of children attending tuition classes in India in 2009

Govt. School
Private School
Note: Tuition here means paid additional classes

Source: Annual Status of Education Report 2009

2009 Templeton Freedom Awards

Centre for Civil Society’s “Performing Arts for School Choice” bags 2009 Templeton Freedom Award for Initiative in Public Relations.
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Action for School Admission Reforms (ASAR) More+

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