Weekly Update on Education

29 September 2008

UN event features $4.5 billion pledge to support 'Education for All'
UNICEF Newsline, 26 September 2008

Devli Kumari, now 11, came a long way from a stone quarry in India, where she grew up as a child labourer, to United Nations headquarters in New York, where she spoke at the launch of an 'Education for All' campaign during the General Assembly session this week." More [+]

Teach India: Hope in the Hills
The Times of India, 31 July 2008

"It's a balmy afternoon in the small village of Purkal, located off the Dehradun-Mussoorie highway. The silence of the afternoon is broken by the sound of a bus, coming down the winding village road. As the bus comes to a stop, scores of children scramble out and head down a slope towards a building." More [+]

Nursery admission blues: parents gear up for the 'war' ahead
Expressindia, 26 September 2008

"Ritu Mathuria has had a harried last few days. Even as she teaches and prepares her son Vinayak, who will turn three this December, for interviews at some "good schools" in the city, she is also coordinating with her husband so that they don't mess up when they are called for interactions at some of these elite schools." More [+]

Cos see big bucks in pre-school biz
The Economic Times, 29 September 2008

"Early childhood education and care providers are expanding furiously, setting up thousands of pre-school and tuition centres to meet the growing expectations of parents in a market which is projected to touch Rs 14,000 crore by 2012.
Doting parents are spending up to Rs 40,000 a year to send their pre-schoolers - between a year-and-a-half and six - to the new-age centres, which incorporate modern technology and sometimes overseas training methodologies." More [+]

After Milwaukee
American, 24 September 2008

"Nearly two decades have passed since the enactment of the landmark Milwaukee Parental Choice Program by the Wisconsin legislature. The program and its many supporters had hoped this experiment in school choice would lead the way in transforming American schools. But it is by now clear that aggressive reforms to bring market principles to American education have failed to live up to their billing. It is time to find out two things: What happened? And what comes next?" More [+]

Let's fund children, not schools
The Times of India, 21 September 2008

"The most striking lesson for India is from Sweden's education reforms in the early 1990s. Sweden has decentralised its system - shifting the control of schools from the centre to municipalities - and has given parents a choice whether to send their children to state or private schools (but paid by the state with a voucher)." More [+]

'Innovate or perish' is new quality education mantra
The Times of India, 27 September 2008

"Innovation is the key to development and a better future. It is essential in all walks of life, especially education, said R Natarajan, former chairman of the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE). Speaking at the sixth national summit on quality in education conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry Institute of Quality on Friday, he said: "Innovate or perish should be the motto." More [+]

Wide disparity in funding of Delhi govt. schools
Business Standard, 8 September 2008

"The Delhi government spent Rs 7,220 per month in educating a child in a state-run school in 2006-07, rivaling the tuition fees of the most expensive of private schools in India's capital. But, the same government spent around Rs 75 for a child per month in another government school in the same city. This wide disparity in funding state-run schools is being cited as discriminatory and a non-government organisation has filed public interest litigation (PIL) against the Delhi government in the Delhi High Court." More [+]

25 per cent engineering seats in government colleges vacant
The Hindu, 21 September 2008

"Engineering seat aspirants in Karnataka have given their verdict, and it is loud and clear. Nearly 25 per cent seats in government colleges, notably the eight new colleges started in 2007, have no takers. In what may be interpreted as a sense of disillusionment with government engineering colleges and the facilities provided at these institutions, students have preferred private colleges to these highly subsidised government seats." More [+]

Education Bill: Govt works for consensus
Indianexpress, 18 September 2008

"Attempts are on to build a consensus on the Right to Education (RTE) Bill even as it is pending discussion with a Group of Ministers (GoM). In a bid to resolve the funding formula issue which still remains a hitch, modalities to involve the Finance Commission in the funding process are being considered." More [+]

A national portal for teachers in India called was launched in the beginning of September this year.

"Government educational and health services are provided by salaried, unsackable staff who are not accountable to those they serve. They are accountable only to their bureaucratic superiors and state capitals, where powerful trade unions ensure there is no penalty for non-performance. We need new laws and institutions to ensure accountability to consumers. In education, two obvious remedies are needed. In cities and large villages, vouchers to poor families for education, plus easy licensing of new schools, will empower parents."

Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar, Vouchers for social security, The Economic Times, September 19th 2008

24% of girls are not enrolled even in primary school. Of those who are, 60% are likely to be pulled out before they reach secondary school (



























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