Weekly Update on Education

28 July 2009

Obama starts 'Race to the Top' for schools to beat India, China
The Economic Times, 26 July 2009

Washington : President Barack Obama has announced a race for $4.35 billion in federal grants to improve academic achievement and reverse a decline in American public schools to meet increasing competition from countries like India and China. "In an economy where knowledge is the most valuable commodity a person and a country have to offer, the best jobs will go to the best educated, whether they live in the United States, or India, or China," Obama said in an address at the Department of Education. More [+]

400 girls get a pass to a brighter future
The Hindustan Times, 22 July 2009

Clutching her School Voucher Certificate, seven year-old Taiyeba Rahman, a resident of Chauhar Bangar, east Delhi, was all smiles on Wednesday. She did not understand what the certificate meant, but sensing her father Atiq Rahman’s happiness, she knew it was something great. “My father has told me I will go to a big school with swings now,” said Taiyeba. Taiyeba is one of the 400 recipients of the NGO, Center for Civil Society’s School Voucher for Girls Programme (SVGP) in seven colonies of North Delhi. More [+]

Reengineering higher education
Business Standard, 22 July 2009

The country is immersed in a critical debate on how to reform and rejuvenate its higher education, led by a literate and articulate minister Kapil Sibal. Luckily, two major forward-looking reports (of the Knowledge Commission and the Yash Pal committee) provide vital reference points from which arguments can take off. A key issue being debated is easing entry, making it much easier to set up institutions with private money — Indian or foreign. This is essential as the needs are huge and there just isn’t enough public money to raise overall supply sufficiently. But it is necessary to do this with eyes wide open. More [+]

Chief Ministers in India misused power in education system
CNN IBN, 26 July 2009

New Delhi: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati have both been accused in cases which pose serious questions on the independence of the country's education system. Gehlot is under fire for allegedly putting pressure on the Jaipur University on his daughter-in-law's behalf. According to university rules, Himanshi Gehlot should have been debarred as she failed to clear the first and second semesters in her MBA course. But students allege the CM convinced the university authorities to let her attend the 3rd semester exams. More [+]

Teaching games
The Guardian, 23 July 2009

At 10 in the morning it is already 40 degrees Celsius. Only those compelled by duty or circumstance dare step out in Delhi's sweltering summer. But Kiran Thakur is driven by compassion. After an exhausting ride in a packed bus from home, she is wading through the baked dingy alleys of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi, desperate to find a place that offers enough shade for her class of 15. More [+]

From Harvard law to one of India's biggest fights
Global Post, 25 July 2009

NEW DELHI — India's educationists are hoping the academic side of their new education minister takes precedence over the politician in him. In the month since he was put in charge, Kapil Sibal has been highly vocal about advocating for what he sees as much-needed reforms in the higher education sector. He has also put serious muscle behind his calls for change. A former lawyer, Sibal has a Master's in law from Harvard Law School and a Master's in history from the University of Delhi. More [+]

Schooling, not just schools
Mint, 21 July 2009

Like policymakers during the Jawaharlal Nehru years, today’s government is more worried about schools, the input, than actual schooling, the output of input automatically means lots of output. That was the assumption India’s policymakers made while enacting ambitious economic plans during the Jawaharlal Nehru years, without caring for the process between input and output. If Monday’s passage of the Right to Education Bill in the Rajya Sabha is any guide, policymakers are still making the same assumption. The aim to achieve free and compulsory education isn’t new. The Constitution has listed the right to education as a directive principle of state policy since 1950. The 86th Amendment takes this a step further. But are India’s children learning? More [+]

India No. 2 in sending students abroad
The Economic Times , 24 July 2009

NEW DELHI: More students than ever before are leaving their homeland to pursue higher studies abroad. The number of these mobile students increased two-and-a-half times between 1975 and 2007, to reach 2.8 million. Two-thirds of these foreign students make a beeline for six countries - the US, UK, France, Australia, Germany and Japan in that order. More [+]

Bill Gates Stresses the Importance of Good Teachers
Teacher Magazine, 22 July 2009

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The U.S. must improve its educational standing in the world by rewarding effective teaching and by developing better, universal measures of performance for students and teachers, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said Tuesday. Speaking at the National Conference of State Legislatures' annual legislative summit, Gates told hundreds of lawmakers how federal stimulus money should be used to spark educational innovation, spread best practices and improve accountability. More [+]

Time to End the Monopoly in Education, 16 July 2009

To boost the economy out of the recession, President Obama has chosen to spend an additional $100 billion on public schooling over the next two years. His education secretary, Arne Duncan, is touring the nation to promote this education "stimulus." However well-intentioned, their effort isn't just futile; it's also counterproductive. Far from being an engine of wealth creation, the education system is bleeding the economy to death. The U.S. spends 2.3 times as much per pupil in real, inflation-adjusted dollars as it spent in 1970, but the return on this ballooning investment has been less than nothing. More [+]

Per Child Expenditure in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, India: 2006-07

StatePer Child Expenditure (In Rs)
Madhya Pradesh1071
Arunachal Pradesh3379
Uttar Pradesh770
Jammu and Kashmir1211
West Bengal666
Andhra Pradesh474
Source – Annual Status of Education Report (Rural) 2008 .
Read the full report

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 [email protected]


School Choice Campaign launches

400 girl children from poor families of North East Delhi will receive school vouchers for a period of 4 years.
For further details email at [email protected]


Dialogue Series on Quality Education for All

Date: 8 August 2009 (6:30-8:00pm)
Venue: Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre

The August dialogue will focus on the school fee hike issue. Please send us your suggestions on what aspect of the issue you would recommend the forum to address.
Email at [email protected]

Support Children's Right to Education of Choice!

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School Choice Campaign
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