Weekly Update on Education

30 June 2009

ICT expert advocates one laptop per teacher 27 June 2009

Accra - Mr. Addow-Quashie, Director of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) of the Parliament of Ghana on Thursday observed that the successful integration of computer revolution into the school system, demands the need for one laptop for a teacher. "Teachers must be enabled to use the instructional technology," he said, adding that giving each teacher a laptop would be a useful tool in their hands and have tremendous impact in the classroom.More [+]

First, free education from license raj
The Indian Express, 28 June 2009

The best thing that has happened to Indian education in recent times is for Kapil Sibal to be appointed Minister for Human Resource Development. And, he has hit the ground running. Within weeks of his appointment there is evidence of new thinking, new policies and new energy. So much energy that the dead roots of the system appear to be stirring to life after long seasons of morbidity. This is excellent. But I am beginning to worry that our energetic new Minister could be falling into the clutches of manipulative mandarins whose main expertise lies in clipping the wings of ministers who try to fly. Why do I say this? Because the Minister seems to be doing too many things without focusing on the crux of the problem. The crux is that Indian education remains a victim of the license-quota-permit raj. More [+]

Education reforms top priority, says Sibal
The Economic Times, 28 June 2009

NEW DELHI: HRD minister Kapil Sibal wants to bring in sweeping reforms in the education sector, focus on areas that have till now received little attention and enter into an era of partnership with the private sector as well. In this interview with ET, he discusses his future plans. Inevitably there will be glitches, which should be fixed before scaling up. Vouchers cannot solve all educational problems. But they must be part of the solution in urban areas, including the poorest slums. More [+]

Trust education sector to bring you huge payoffs
The Economic Times, June 28 2009

NEW DELHI: Call it a new chapter for equity investors. Those who betted on education companies a year ago made ten times more return than those preferring the conventional route of investing in Sensex companies. Big-ticket investors, including private equity players and high networth individuals (HNIs), have been betting on the potential of the sector as it has begun to witness actions from the government too. During the last one year, major companies—Aptech, CMC, Educomp Solutions, Everonn Systems India and NIIT—from the education sector gave a return of more than 10%, against less than 1% of return from the Sensex companies. More [+]

Education outlay growing, but how much is being spent?, 26 June 2009

New Delhi: The government’s allocation in the education sector has steadily increased but how effectively is the money being spent? - a policy research organization questions in a recent assessment ahead of the budget in July. The total expenditure on education (by all ministries) has increased by nearly 50 percent from Rs.89, 732 crore (Rs.897.32 billion) in 2003-04 to Rs.134, 274 crore (Rs.1.34 trillion) in 2006-07, according to the Accountability Initiative under the Centre for Policy Research here. More [+]

Should Class 10 Board Exams be scrapped - States speak out, 26 June 2009

New Delhi: Union Minister of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Kapil Sibal, in his 100 Days' Plan to reform the educational system of the country, has proposed one national examination board instead of several state-wise boards and two national boards in the country. Sibal has also proposed to make the Class X Board exam optional. All these have been proposed by the minister with an aim to de-traumatise the education sector. Sibal has also favoured a law to prohibit and punish malpractices in his ambitious plan to reform education. More [+]

Crisil-type agency may rate higher education
The Times of India, 27 June 2009

NEW DELHI: HRD ministry's proposed independent regulatory authority for assessment and accreditation of higher educational institutions will not only make it mandatory for all bodies to undergo accreditation but will give out licences to various private agencies to carry out the accreditation work. To be modelled on the lines of credit rating agencies like Crisil and ICRA, these bodies will rate institutions, departments and even specific courses offered by universities. More [+]

Teachers lack incentives to improve teaching, report says , June 2009

Three out of four teachers feel they lack incentives to improve the quality of their teaching, according to a new OECD report. Education authorities needed to provide more effective incentives for teachers, according to the report 'Creating effective teaching and learning environments'. Many countries made no link between appraisal of teachers' performance and the rewards and recognition that they received, and even where there were such links they were often not strong. The report was based on the new Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), which provided internationally comparable data on conditions affecting teachers in schools. More [+]

School vouchers, please Government monopoly is crime against children
The Economic Times, 25 June 2009

The right to education cannot mean the right to attend a government school where little teaching is done and students finish school functionally illiterate. Yet this is the interpretation of the educational establishment. This crime against children must be rectified by the new minister for human resource development, Kapil Sibal. He will not be able to make government teachers accountable for non-performance because they are protected by powerful trade unions and an educational establishment that is so ideological that it would rather keep students functionally illiterate than let them be educated in private schools. More [+]

Teacher Absence Rates by Country (in %)

1. Bangladesh 16
2. Ecuador 14
3. India 25
4. Indonesia 19
5. Argentina 23.3%
6. Peru 11
7. Uganda 27
From the paper ‘Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries’ by Nazmul Chaudhury, Jeffrey Hammer, Michael Kremer, Karthik Muralidharan and F. Halsey Rogers, Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 20, Number 1—Winter 2006—Pages 91–116

Read the full paper 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

School Choice Campaign launches

STUDENT FIRST! Dialogue Series on Quality Education for All 8 July 2009, 6:30-7:30 pm at India Habitat Centre For details on how you can participate contact Baishali at


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