Weekly Update on Education

09 June 2009

Now cellphones to help teachers enhance skills
The Hindu Jun 8 2009

"The latest in mobile technology will soon help teachers across the country enhance their teaching skills by providing them access to a whole host of information on their respective subjects through their cellphones. The system, an initiative of National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR) under the HRD Ministry and the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), involves developing a database with course details in various formats, including presentation and animation. More [+]

Why primary education should be the Government’s primary concern
The Indian Express, May 31 2009

Tavleen Singh comments on how India’s education needs private entrepreneurship. ‘Last month I visited a Satya Bharati school run by the Bharati Group. It was in a small village in Haryana and as different to any village school I have ever seen. There were proper classrooms with brightly painted walls and in them were teachers actually teaching ---It all began as a private-public partnership with the Government of Rajasthan. The former chief minister, Vasundhara Raje, asked the group to take over 49 of her schools and run them as best they could and from this came the idea to build such schools in villages that needed them. More [+]

For classes VI to VIII, wait for school meal gets longer
The Indian Express, May 31 2009

Even after constituting two sets of committees to look into the expansion of the midday meal scheme to Classes VI to VIII in Delhi government schools, the extension of the scheme has hit yet another roadblock with questions being raised about the credentials of some of the firms being considered for the contract. More [+]

Top Researchers: Evidence Points to School Voucher Effectiveness
Alliance for School Choice, May 29 2009

Washington DC – School voucher programs increase student achievement and satisfy parents, according to four top researchers who spoke out in Washington yesterday to highlight the findings of key school choice studies.Considered four of America’s foremost experts on education research, Jay Greene, Grover “Russ” Whitehurst, Patrick Wolf, and Thomas Stewart revealed key data and perspectives yesterday from more than a dozen school choice initiatives. More [+]

UGC: make accreditation a must for universities
Live Mint, May 29 2009

New Delhi: To check any “irregular practices” in deemed universities, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has made significant recommendations, including mandatory accreditation and regular monitoring of their standards. UGC has submitted these recommendations in the form of a regulation to the ministry of human resource development (HRD) for consideration. More [+]

Giving Shanno a piece of the sky
Business Standard, May 31 2009

Even the worst possible scenarios offer redeeming features that keep alive human hope. Shanno, the 11-year-old girl in a municipal corporation school in New Delhi who died after a teacher allegedly made her squat in the sun with bricks on her back, did not create much of media uproar. Even the local government did not jump into action. But a corporate law firm, Kochhar and Co, whose client list includes over 50 Fortune 500 companies, decided to take up her case. The findings mentioned in her father’s petition to the Delhi High Court and the arguments of her lawyer, Rohit Kochhar, are as shocking as her death. " More [+]

Private Indian Schools fall short of parents’ hopes
Saudi Gazette, June 9 2009

Riyadh – The private schools, affiliated to the New Delhi-based Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), fell short of parents’ expectation in the 10th Grade results compared to students studying at international Indian community schools.There are around 18 schools in Saudi Arabia affiliated to the CBSE board including seven international Indian community schools that field students for the annual 10th Grade board examination. More [+]

It's time for school vouchers : Ric Llewellyn
The Bakersfield Californian , May 31 2009

The public school system is a mess. Though it has never worked in the past, the thought is to throw more money at it. Over the years, billions of dollars have been earmarked for California schools---It's time to have a choice. Not the kind of "choice" we have now, but real options when it comes to the character and quality of the education of our children. Now we choose one single parent's address over another's to get into the better school. Now we exercise "choice" by creatively exploiting inter-district transfers. Or we choose to bear the additional financial burden of putting our kids in a private school. More [+]

Govt to pass tough laws to check teachers' attendance
CNN-IBN, June 8 2009

New Delhi: Accountability is the key word for the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government. And therefore we might soon get new laws which will make it imperative for the government teachers to attend classes and doctors to turn up in hospitals. Twenty-five per cent government school teachers across India don’t show up in classes and of those who do don’t bother to teach properly. But now the government wants to get tough and the first indication came from the President’s inaugural address to the Parliament. More [+]

A Dime a Day: The Possibilities and Limits of Private Schooling in Pakistan

This paper looks at the private schooling sector in Pakistan, a country that is seriously behind schedule in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Using new data,we document the phenomenal rise of the private sector in Pakistan and show that an increasing segment of children enrolled in private schools are from rural areas and from middle-class and poorer families. The key element in their rise is their low fees-- the average fee of a rural private school in Pakistan is less than a dime a day (Rs.6)!

Read the full review here

Data on literacy in Pakistan

Female literacy rate in Pakistan – 42%

Male literacy rate in Pakistan – 67%

Source: The Daily Times

Read the article here

Action for School Admission Reforms (ASAR) More[+]

Action for School Admission Reforms (ASAR) is School Choice Campaign's initiative to usher in fairness and transparency in nursery admissions. If parents in your city too are suffering, please write to us at

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