Weekly Update on Education

09 August 2011

School fees can rise every 2 yrs: State assembly
DNA, August 04, 2011

The state assembly unanimously cleared the bill for school fee regulation on Wednesday. But the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act 2011, has diluted the tough norms applicable to educational institutes. The Act has allowed institutions to increase fees after two years instead of three years as stated earlier. It has also reduced the fine and punishment for violations. The penalty for first-time offenders has been reduced from Rs5 lakh to Rs1 lakh. The imprisonment also has been reduced up to six months from three years.

More [+]

Verdict on petitions challenging RTE Act reserved
The Hindu, August 04, 2011

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Right to Education Act, 2009, which guarantees free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till completion of elementary education for all children between 6 and 14 years of age in the country. A three-Judge Bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar reserved verdict at the conclusion of marathon arguments spread over nearly four months.

More [+]

HRD nod for 353 model schools in AP
The Times of India, August 04, 2011

Hyderabad: Union minister for HRD Kapil Sibal called the chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy to inform him on Wednesday that the central government has sanctioned 353 model schools at block level for the state. The Centre was also releasing Rs 409.77 crores to the state as first instalment. This has been sanctioned to the Andhra Pradesh Secondary Education Society, under the central government sponsored programme, “Schemes for setting up of 6,000 model schools at block level as benchmark of excellence” for the educationally backward blocks in the country.

More [+]

Education faces lawmakers’ test
Mint, August 04, 2011

New Delhi: The ongoing session of Parliament is critical to the education sector, with around 15 Bills, including one that will allow foreign universities to operate in India and another that will curb the menace of fake degrees, waiting to be cleared. In an effort to ensure their smooth passage, human resource development minister Kapil Sibal, who has in recent months emerged as the government’s preferred crisis manager, has been doing his bit to convince members of Parliament, across parties, of the merits of the Bills.

More [+]

Families in need of back-to-school support failing to qualify for allowance, survey finds
Irish Times, August 03, 2011

Strict criteria surrounding back-to-school allowances are excluding families who need them, according to the children’s charity Barnardos. In its annual school costs survey, the organisation estimates the average cost of sending a child to junior infants this year is €350, rising to €805 for a student starting secondary school. Despite the recession, the majority of respondents to the survey of more than 500 parents said that this represented a rise in costs.

More [+]

Overriding a Key Education Law
The New York Times, August 08, 2011

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has announced that he will unilaterally override the centerpiece requirement of the No Child Left Behind school accountability law, that 100 percent of students be proficient in math and reading by 2014. Mr. Duncan told reporters that he was acting because Congress had failed to rewrite the Bush-era law, which he called a “slow-motion train wreck.” He is waiving the law’s proficiency requirements for states that have adopted their own testing and accountability programs and are making other strides toward better schools, he said.

More [+]

States can apply for waivers on school testing required by No Child law
The Washington Post, August 09, 2011

School leaders in Virginia and Maryland said they are likely to seek exemptions for the most stringent requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law after an announcement Monday that the Obama administration will offer flexibility to states willing to modernize their accountability systems. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is exercising rarely used executive authority by inviting states to apply for legal waivers. The move comes after efforts to update the federal law stalled in Congress this year, frustrating educators across the country.

More [+]

Crossing boundaries : gender, caste and schooling in rural Pakistan

Policy Research Working Paper
Authors: Jacoby, Hanan G. and Mansuri, Ghazala

Can communal heterogeneity explain persistent educational inequities in developing countries? The paper uses a novel data-set from rural Pakistan that explicitly recognizes the geographic structure of villages and the social makeup of constituent hamlets to show that demand for schooling is sensitive to the allocation of schools across ethnically fragmented communities. The analysis focuses on two types of social barriers: stigma based on caste affiliation and female seclusion that is more rigidly enforced outside a girl’s own hamlet. Results indicate a substantial decrease in primary school enrollment rates for girls who have to cross hamlet boundaries to attend, irrespective of school distance, an effect not present for boys. However, low-caste children, both boys and girls, are deterred from enrolling when the most convenient school is in a hamlet dominated by high-caste households. In particular, low-caste girls, the most educationally disadvantaged group, benefit from improved school access only when the school is also caste-concordant. A policy experiment indicates that providing schools in low-caste dominant hamlets would increase overall enrollment by almost twice as much as a policy of placing a school in every unserved hamlet, and would do so at one-sixth of the cost.

More [+]

The effectiveness of English secondary schools for pupils of different ability levels

Working Paper
Authors: Lorraine Dearden, John Micklewright and Anna Vignoles

'League table' information on school effectiveness in England generally relies on either a comparison of the average outcomes of pupils by school, e.g. mean exam scores, or on estimates of the average value added by each school. These approaches assume that the information parents and policy-makers need most to judge school effectiveness is the average achievement level or gain in a particular school. Yet schools can be differentially effective for children with differing levels of prior attainment. We present evidence on the extent of differential effectiveness in English secondary schools, and find that even the most conservative estimate suggests that around one quarter of schools in England are differentially effective for students of differing prior ability levels. This affects an even larger proportion of children as larger schools are more likely to be differentially effective.

More [+]

"The Primary School"
- courtesy Orlando Cuellar

Primary School

For more go to



Student First! Dialogue Series on Quality Education for All

"Strengthening Teacher Accountability through Right to Education”

Vinod Raina: Founding member of Eklavya and member of the Central Advisory Board for Education which drafted the RTE Act, 2009
Surendra Nath Dubey: President of All India Awardee Teachers Association and Editor In Chief of ‘School Siksha’ Magazine
Shashank Shukla: Teach for India Fellow, Chairman at Gurukul Education Society and member of the National Advisory Council Working Group

August 10, 2011 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India

For more details click here


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.



Should the state government regulate school fee?

To vote click here


Skill Vouchers - Global Experiences and Lessons for India

Leah Verghese and Parth J Shah

A study of the role that skill vouchers can play in catalysing demand for quality skill development services. This study examines global experiences with skill vouchers and draws lessons for India from these experiences.

For more click here


Reservation in Private Schools under the Right to Education Act: Model for Implementation

Shekhar Mittal and Parth J Shah

Through this document the Centre for Civil Society seeks to highlight the lacunae in the current framework for 25% reservation for weaker and disadvantaged groups in unaided private schools and seeks to provide inputs on effective implementation of the same.

For more click here


School Vouchers for Girls

400 girl children from poor families of North East Delhi receive school vouchers for a period of 4 years.
For details visit our website


Support Children's Right to Education of Choice!

For more details on how to support, log on to or email us at


This is our 148th edition. Please give your feedback to make it more useful to you at

Disclaimer: Copyright of the contents of this newsletter remains with the original author/publisher.