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Weekly Update on Education (Issue No 226)

26 Feb 2013

IT-based system for RTE grievance redressal: NAC
The Statesman, Feb 24, 2013

In an effort to strengthen the grievance redressal mechanism for effective RTE implementation , the National Advisory Council has suggested usage of IT- based system which includes maintaining a website to keep public updated about all decisions taken.

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Separate cell for RTE to come up in child rights panel
Hindustan Times, Feb 26, 2013

Chairperson of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) Usha Chaturvedi has said that children have constitutional right to free and compulsory education (RTE). The commission will play the role of an alert sentinel regarding implementation of these rights. She added

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India, UK Join Hands to Strengthen India’s Education System
SiliconIndia, Feb 25, 2013

The dire need to improve the quality of education in India has finally found its way for enhancement. India is tying up with UK to bring in the change that is much required in the education sector. The two countries have signed two memorandums of understanding or MoUs to encourage development of community colleges and application School Leadership Programme, reported Manash Pratim Gohain for TNN.

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Indian Government Announces Cloud Initiative
FutureGov, Asia – Pacific, Feb 26, 2013

The Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) in India has launched GI Cloud, a national cloud initiative to help the government leverage cloud computing for effective delivery of e-services.

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Education spending by govt fails to keep pace with allocation
Live Mint, Feb 25, 2013

The poor utilization of funds allocated for education has resulted in little improvement in India’s school education system even as the education budget has almost tripled over the past five years. The government spent only 61% of funds allocated for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the main programme for implementing the Right to Education (RTE) Act, in the year ended 31 March 2012, according to a report by the Centre for Policy Research’s Accountability Initiative.

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Govt for private sector stake in higher education
The Times of India, Feb 23, 2013

With a view to achieving excellence in higher education in Bihar and improving the infrastructural facilities in the institutions of higher education, the state education department will organizing a national workshop on ‘Excellence of Higher Education in Bihar’ in the state capital on Sunday.

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Higher education needs to tackle bureaucratic barriers
University World News, Feb 23, 2012

Although Indian higher education suffers from many dysfunctionalities and the system overall is characterised by what some have termed “pinnacles of excellence in a sea of mediocrity”, it does reasonably well on some international comparisons.

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Unaided sector raises concern over education tribunals
The Times of India, Feb 24, 2013

Private college management in the state have raised concerns about provisions in the Educational Tribunals Bill, mainly its Section 201 (1) that puts the onus of proving innocence on the accused.

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Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in India
Authors: Abhijit Banerjee, Rukmini Banerji, Esther Duflo, Rachel Glennerster, Stuti Khemani

Participation of beneficiaries in the monitoring of public services is increasingly seen as a key to improving their efficiency. In India, the current government flagship program on universal primary education organizes both locally elected leaders and parents of children enrolled in public schools into committees and gives these groups powers over resource allocation, and monitoring and management of school performance. However, in a baseline survey we found that people were not aware of the existence of these committees and their potential for improving education. This paper evaluates three different interventions to encourage beneficiaries' participation through these committees: providing information, training community members in a new testing tool, and training and organizing volunteers to hold remedial reading camps for illiterate children. We find that these interventions had no impact on community involvement in public schools, and no impact on teacher effort or learning outcomes in those schools. However, we do find that the intervention that trained volunteers to teach children to read had a large impact on activity outside public schools -- local youths volunteered to be trained to teach, and children who attended these camps substantially improved their reading skills. These results suggest that citizens face substantial constraints in participating to improve the public education system, even when they care about education and are willing to do something to improve it.

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Class Struggle: India's Experiment in Schooling Tests Rich and Poor
Instead of playing cricket with the kids in the alleyway outside, 4-year-old Sumit Jha sweats in his family's one-room apartment. A power cut has stilled the overhead fan. In the stifling heat, he traces and retraces the image of a goat. In April, he enrolled in the nursery class of Shri Ram School, the most coveted private educational institution in India's capital. Its students include the grandchildren of India's most powerful figures—Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress party President Sonia Gandhi. Sumit, on the other hand, lives in a slum. Click here to read more

Why I have turned pessimistic about the education sector
A few months back I attended a discussion on education in India. The panelists were Ninad Karpe of Aptech and Jetu Lalvani of Kaizen Private Equity. I was happily sitting in the back of the room minding my own business when Rontu Basu of Quest Partners, who was monitoring the discussion, asked me for my comments. And I sounded very negative on the education sector when I spoke. Later that night as I was heading home by train I asked myself why I had become so negative on the education sector. The answer was actually very simple. Click here to read more

RTE's continuing woes
The recent judgment of the Delhi High Court upholding the right of unaided schools to apply screening procedure for nursery admissions to unreserved category of students has brought cheer to many schools, and disappointment to social activists. The schools and many parents are relieved that the cloud of uncertainty around the admission process has withered away at least for this academic year. However, the battle is far from over. The judgment is likely to be appealed in Supreme Court. That may be a positive development as it may settle similar issues that are arising in various states on the applicability of the Right to Education Act. Click here to read more

Poll
Do you think educational expenditure will be cut to make way for other welfare schemes in the upcoming Budget?

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.

Log on to www.righttoeducation.in
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)
A comprehensive analysis on reservation in private schools under the Right to Education Act, providing a seven-step model for 25% implementation.

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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