Weekly Update on Education

30 March 2010

RTE Act: Private schools as catalysts?
A.Kumaraswamy and Alok Mathur, The Hindu, 27 March 2010

Taking the perspective of a non-profit institution with a commitment to quality education for urban and rural children, the authors indicate some likely pitfalls in the implementation of the RTE Act. The article then gives some suggestions on the possible roles that private schools may play in order to support the quality-related and egalitarian provisions of the RTE Act.

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Children with special needs ignored
Maroosha Muzaffar, Indian Express, 24 March 2010

The allocation of Rs 1,122 crore for the education sector in the Budget has not gone down well with disabled rights groups and experts. Many believe the Budget has “no provisions for children with special needs”. There is a need to invest in the three foundations of education for children with special needs— physical access, teacher training and curriculum. More [+]

Will the Foreign Education Bill help?
Business Standard, 24 March 2010

This article discusses whether the foreign education Bill will actually be able to raise the standard of higher education in India.some say that well-established, foreign universities may not like the deemed university status in India - they may consider such campuses as a dilution of quality whereas others are raising the issue of a level playing field for Indian institutions. More [+]

Legislation alone can’t fix education
Jessica Seddon Wallack, The Financial Express, 27 March 2010

The flurry of legislation is a start but cannot be the end. The challenge is that the education system is a ‘coping organisation’: outputs (teaching) and outcomes (education) are essentially invisible for managers. The three possible solutions to this are: 1) Professionalize education but leave schools and teachers more or less alone afterwards 2)Test outcomes 3) Market discipline More [+]

Model school hurry
Charu Sudan Kasturi, The Telegraph, 27 March 2010

The human resource development ministry will roll out from 2011 the first of 2,500 public-private partnership schools proposed as exemplars for others, but policy-makers remain divided on how to implement the plan.The final model of PPP investment agreed upon for the schools is crucial because it will provide the template for future collaboration between the government and private partners in school education. More [+]

Teachers in AP, MP, UP miss school for 28 days a year: Study
Akshaya Mukul, The Times of India, 27 March 2010

On an average, teachers in primary and upper primary schools of three big states - Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh - are absent for 28 days during the academic year. In addition, if four hours of administrative work per week is accounted for, teachers in these three states are out of school for another 35-36 days. It was also seen that not all teachers present in school were engaged in teaching. More [+]

Education financial corporation planned
The Hindu, 25 March 2010

The Union Human Resource Development Ministry proposes to set up an education financial corporation to provide soft, long-term loans for developing educational infrastructure.Those wanting to invest in infrastructure would be eligible for tax concessions.The idea was to enable the investors to access funds for building infrastructure at priority lending rates instead of the commercial rates. The burden of higher interest rate was being passed on to students by way of higher fees. More [+]

Charter schools: an antidote to one-size-fits-all education
Ron Wolk, Los Angles Times, 23 March 2010

One of the main justifications for charters is that they offer an alternative to conventional schools and encourage innovation and experimentation. Charters often do not mirror traditional public schools in their curriculum or standard 50-minute classes.Chartering is a form of governance that allows schools to be different. What matters is not the way schools are governed but what happens inside them. More [+]

How School Choice Affects the Achievement of Public School Students
Caroline M. Hoxby

Summary: Opponents of school choice often take the view that schools can be “only so good,” so that what some students gain, other students must lose. This view of schools becomes most obvious when issues like “cream skimming” are discussed. The usual argument runs as follows: If the better students leave the regular public schools to attend choice schools, the students who remain in regular schools will be worse off. In fact, evidence suggests that the choice schools created by recent reforms do not cream skim. More [+]

Students from Municipal Schools find it difficult to do the most basic and fundamental competencies. e.g., only 26.7% of Class 2 students could give the correct answer to ‘5 - 1=___’ and only 32.8% of Class 4 students could give the answer for ‘20 ÷ 5’. This was found after testing students from local Body schools in 30 urban towns in 5 states - Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Uttarakhand.
Source: EI Working Paper Series-Issue 6


RTE Coalition

To initiate and continue the discussion amongst concerned groups and individuals on the issue of right of education and monitor the implementation of the RTE Act, an RTE Coalition has been formed. Join the coalition to make universal elementary education a reality in India. Log on to for more information. Competitions

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Action for School Admission Reforms (ASAR) More+

Action for School Admission Reforms (ASAR) is School Choice Campaign's initiative to usher in fairness and transparency in nursery admissions. If parents in your city too are suffering, please write to us at



400 girl children from poor families of North East Delhi receive school vouchers for a period of 4 years.
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