STUDENT  FIRST! News School Choice
Weekly Update on Education (Issue No 260) 03 Dec 2013
- Arvind Ilamaran
Associate, Research
Centre for Civil Society
No sir, Santa Claus is not real!!- A critique to Anurag Behar’ article ‘Education in India: There’s still hope’

There is one thing I must credit Anurag Behar of Azim Premji Foundation for, it is for his ability to construct lofty narratives from selective facts and biased perspective. His regular Mint column seems to be a crusade against private education instead of presenting neutral perspective based on actual facts. To be fair to him, it is his column. It’s up to him to express what he wants. But what I am writing here is a warning to all the readers who would take the credibility of his position as the CEO of Azim Premji Foundation as a reason to take his views as authentic. Mr. Behar’s conclusion is that schools driven by profit don’t bother much about education, or about their children. But there is a ray of hope. His ray of hope is that there are few schools among the 10,78,407 (DISE 2011-2012) public schools that have good principals, and that such school leadership would become the norm rather than the exception in the future. Ironically, he draws the stark opposite conclusion for low-cost private schools based on few schools, in his words, “The first anecdote is constructed from experiences in a few schools, and is not about a specific school”.

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Research

Minorities in higher education: A pipeline problem?
Authors: Beheruz N. Sethna
The University of West Georgia

Abstract: This paper uses national data from the American Council on Education (ACE) to study the progress of different ethnic groups through the academic pipeline – stages studied include the Bachelor’s, Master’s, doctoral, levels, and then progress to the Assistant, Associate, and (full) Professor stages, to full-time administrators and finally to the CEO stage. Critics of the Higher Education system might claim that the relatively low percentages of minorities in Higher Education represent a failure of our system to provide sufficient minority graduates. However, an opposing point of view states that these low percentages and numbers are simply a reflection of the “pipeline problem.” Different ethnic groups need support and assistance to succeed at different stages of the academic pipeline. These imbalances can be corrected only with a substantial commitment of energy and resources from the entire higher education community.

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Education News
 

‘Govt to increase education budget upto 4pc of GDP gradually’
- Business Recorder, 28 Nov 2013
ISLAMABAD: Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed reiterated HEC' stance that access to higher education will be increased, adding that the universities should be very careful while opening new campuses and offering affiliation to colleges.

Higher education not a priority for Akhilesh Yadav government
- IANS, 28 Nov 2013
But Yadav's casual manner and the nonchalance towards this vital sector of growth have surprised educational pundits who see nothing but doom ahead - the distribution of 1.5 million laptops notwithstanding.

Education is free from class 1 to 10 in all government schools
- The News (International), 26 Nov 2013
Education is free from class one to 10th in all government schools within the federal territory, said Director General Federal Directorate of Education Islamabad Dr Shahnaz Riaz.

Reality check: In Bihar, every 4th primary, middle teacher failed Class V-level test
- The Indian Express, 29 Nov 2013
A teacher, who cleared the competency test in 2010, said standard questions are asked — like which planet is closest to the sun, what metal is the filament of an electric bulb made of. That year, 8 per cent of the teachers failed the test.

CBSE grants 30 minutes extra for open book exams
- The Times of India, 02 Dec 2013
"It has been provided in the circulars that OTBA questions will be in addition to usual questions set for three hours.”

Reforming Education — Where to Start?
- Huff Post, 29 Nov 2013
Even when countries address similar educational reform issues, policy possibilities and perspectives may vary widely.

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Factoid
A survey, conducted by the Accreditation Council and National Assessment, illustrated that 70 % universities and 90% Colleges in India were graded in low standards of education.

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