Weekly Update on Education (Issue No 185)

24 Apr 2012

Many Below Poverty Line families unaware of Right To Education provisions
The Times of India, 16 April 2012

JAIPUR: The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Constitutional validity of the right of children to get free and compulsory education under the Right To Education (RTE) Act which also makes it mandatory for the private schools to reserve 25% seats for the underprivileged children. While social activists hailed the ruling and the school authorities remained unimpressed, it would be long before the beneficiaries actually understand and gain out of the directive.

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India education: The chain school
Global Post, 24 October 2011

NEW DELHI, India — In a typical Delhi slum, sewage overflows from the drain alongside the street and scraps of colored paper and empty bottles tumble in the foul wind. Here and there, a spindly boy in threadbare briefs fetches water from the hand-pump and a baby, her eyes blacked with kohl, plays happily in the grime. It's not an easy place to live. But even here, Ramesh Singh, a bicycle rickshaw driver, opted to send his son, Dhiraj, to a bare-bones private school when a pilot program for school vouchers gave him the chance several years ago.

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Beyond the Right to Education lies a school of hard knocks
The Hindu, 17 April 2012

The Supreme Court's recent mandate that private unaided non-minority schools should reserve 25 per cent of seats for underprivileged children is being hailed as a landmark ruling. The spirit of the decision is indeed laudable as it reflects the egalitarian ethos of the Right to Education (RTE) Act. Thus, as private schools open their doors to children from marginalised sections of society, the government pats itself on the back for engineering a social revolution.

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Sibal’s RTE non-solution: focus on 7%, ignore the rest
FirstPost, 23 April 2012

The proof of the pudding is always in the eating. So one is amused to read that Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal thinks that the “Right to Education Act (RTE) can be a model for the world” when it hasn’t even been rolled out good and proper. The truth is no one can know how the RTE will ultimately work, for everything depends on how it is implemented. Given the kind of hash our governments have usually made of even simple schemes, one has to keep one’s fingers tightly crossed on this one.

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RTE Act can be a model for the world: Kapil Sibal
The Times of India, 20 April 2012

The RTE Act is an opportunity to break gender, caste, class and community barriers that threaten to damage the social fabric of our democracy and create fissures that could be ruinous to the country, writes Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal. The Supreme Court judgment upholding the constitutional validity of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act has once again focused public attention on education. While there has been enthusiastic praise of the judgment from most, there continues to be veiled criticism of the provisions of the act from some.

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Smart idea: Govt school to give e-lessons in Hindi from today
Indian Express, 23 April 2012

Chandigarh Relocating all the students from Government High School, Kajheri, and a few students from other government schools in its neighbourhood to its wi-fi-enabled premises, the Government Smart School, Sector 53, is all set to teach students with e-content in Hindi medium from Monday.

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How to fulfil the RTE promise
The Indian Express, 23 April 2012

After the Supreme Court judgment on the constitutionality of the Right to Education Act (RTE), the onus is now on the government to design a transparent, fair and accountable method to implement the 25 per cent reservation in private schools for economically and socially disadvantaged communities. Instead of reservation, perhaps the initiative can be called 25 per cent inclusion seats or 25 per cent opportunity or state-sponsored seats. A general estimate is that anywhere between 2.5 to 7 million poor students would benefit in the first year of full implementation.

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The Wide Gulf Of Dissimilitude
Outlook, 22 April 2012

The gloom at the Sharma household, in an unauthorised southwest Delhi colony, lifted last month. Four-year-old Daksh had finally made it into a private school. “After three months of doing the rounds at over 30 private schools, he’s in. I still can’t believe it,” says Komal Sharma, his relieved mother. Turned away by every school—one demanded Rs 50,000 to admit him, it took a letter from the ministry of education for Komal and her husband, a commercial vehicle driver, to get Daksh enrolled. His school is less fancy than the G.D. Goenka and DPS on her wishlist, but Komal says, “At least he made it to a private school. The dreams we have for him can’t sustain in a government school.”

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Demographic Structure and the Political Economy of Education
Authors: Poterba, J.M

Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between demographic structure and the level of government spending on K-12education. Panel data for the U.S. states over the 1960-1990 periods suggests that an increase in the fraction of elderly residents in jurisdiction is associated with a significant reduction in per child educational spending. This reduction is particularly large when the elderly residents and the school-age population are from different racial groups. Variation in the size of the school-age population does not result in proportionate changes in education spending, so students in states with larger school-age populations receive lower per-student spending than those in states with smaller numbers of potential students. These results provide support for models of generational competition in the allocation of public sector resources. They also suggest that the effect of cohort size on government-mediated transfers must be considered in analyzing how cohort size affects economic well-being.

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Summer Internships: Researching Reality
New Delhi, 6 June - 20 July

Apply now!

How the RTE can make the Budget performing Schools extinct
The RTE provides a rich laboratory for those wishing to study the unintended consequences of affirmative action in social choice literature. Click here to read more


CCTs usually increase schooling but few studies have found gains in test scores – what’s behind this disconnect?
The majority of CCT programs with schooling conditions have been found to increase enrolment rates and attendance. Click here to read more



Is the 25% Reservation under the RTE an acknowledgement of the government’s education policy?

To vote 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.

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for more information


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


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