Weekly Update on Education

1 September 2009

Private School Expenditures Detailed for the first time
EPIC Newsletter, 18 Aug 2009

Private school spending varies far more widely than spending on public education, a new report finds. Further, the differences in spending among different parts of the private school sector reflect clear patterns with major implications for voucher policies and even for spending levels in the public sector. Those are some of the findings in a first-ever, comprehensive examination of some 1,500 private schools nationally conducted by Rutgers University associate professor and school finance expert Bruce D. Baker. More [+]

‘Most Delhi schools keep accounts under wraps'
Hindustan Times, 31 Aug 2009

Most private schools have kept their fee structure and audited annual balance sheets under wraps for many years thus violating norms laid down in the Delhi Education Act, the Deputy Directorate of Education has told the Central Information Commission. Even more surprising is the fact that the directorate, which is supposed to play the regulatory role, has been caught napping when it comes to seeking these documents from schools for the last many years. The facts emerged during a hearing of the Commission where the directorate not only admitted that it had no information about the annual balance sheets of the schools but also said that "it has not bothered to take these in the last many years" from the erring schools. More [+]

Squeezed under ‘work load’, staff up in arms against SSA
The Indian Express, 30 Aug 2009

Finding no way out, the ‘overburdened’ Block Resource Persons of Ludhiana district on Saturday protested against Krishan Kumar, Director General, Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, Punjab. All the 112 BRPs along with the active support of BRPs of three districts —Sangrur, Patiala and Gurdaspur — held a three-hour-long protest at the Mini Secretariat. Addressing the gathering, Harpreet Singh Siar, President of Block Resource Persons Association, said, “We have to juggle many roles for the SSA. From monitoring different projects to distribution of civil works like distribution of books, weekly question papers, keeping the record of construction of buildings in different schools, checking their vouchers, distribution of grants, holding meetings of Village Education Development committees and maintaining its record etc, we remain on our toes all the time.” More [+]

Govt. invites private partners to set up educational institutes
Business Standard, 31 Aug 2009

The Centre will spend around Rs 31,000 crore to support the state universities across the country to improve the quality of higher education, said the Union minister for Human Resources Development (HRD), Kapil Sibal. Stating that the government is encouraging establishment of educational institutions in the public private partnership (PPP) mode, Sibal asked the corporate houses to participate in setting up of world-class educational institutes in the state. More [+]

The Charter School contribution in rebuilding New Orleans
USA Today, 28 Aug 2009

The devastation of Hurricane Katrina four years ago brought with it many changes for this city, but perhaps its most enduring mark may be the new charter school system that came cascading in during the storm's aftermath. Take, for instance, the students at Langston Hughes Academy. Once struggling to meet state testing standards, they're getting a lot of help to try and do better. Their learning environment has changed to one with electronic blackboards and teachers hailing from Ivy League schools. More [+]

Educational reforms and new targets
The Hindu, 28 Aug 2009

The Yash Pal Committee recommendations differ from those of the National Knowledge Commission's recommendations. Will a single body subsuming the academic and regulatory functions of many bodies cope with the emerging challenges? That the Right to Education Act, which was pending for six-and-a-half years, has been passed is a good augury. So is the government's decision to set up 2,500 Kendriya Vidyalayas. But the real test will involve improving and expanding the municipal and village schools. While the States have to play a major role in this, public-private partnership will be an important option. More [+]

They open classroom doors for slum kids
The Times of India, 30 Aug 2009

NEW DELHI: Forced to work as child labourers to supplement their family income, over 600 children from nine slums in Jehangirpuri can now dream big in life. They have been admitted to schools run by the Delhi government and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) as part of a pilot programme run by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) for abolition of child labour. A seven-member Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan team from Bihar is working in the area with over 40 young volunteers under the banner of Bal Adhikar Suraksha Samiti to enroll as many students as possible. More [+]

Land records of colleges under govt scanner
The Times of India, 30 Aug 2009

AHMEDABAD: The state education department has asked all district collectors to verify land records of all engineering, pharmacy and management colleges in their jurisdiction. The direction came after All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) found that a college in Gondal had forged the documents. Officials in the education department said during the recent raids in Gondal, the college authorities had forged documents to run a diploma engineering college and used the same to show that they had permission for a degree engineering and MBA college. More [+]

Comment: A Good First Step
Financial Times, 22 Aug 2009

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), under the direction of the Union human resource development ministry, has decided to do away with class X exams in all schools that are affiliated to it from 2010. This decision is welcome. But such measures, while beneficial, cannot by themselves fix what ails our education system. Class XII exams remain the same, not to mention the deep-seated problems in our higher education system. Exam stress isn't caused by exams per se, but rather their use as a filtration device to narrow access to limited higher educational opportunities. The space for quality higher education needs to be opened up by allowing autonomy for colleges and permitting the entry of mit-quota raj in this area. More [+]

Book of the Month

A Better India, a Better World

With one of the highest GDP growth rates in the world and an array of recent achievements in technology, industry and entrepreneurship, India strides confidently towards the future. But, in the world's largest democracy, not everyone is equally fortunate. More than 300 million Indians are still prey to hunger, illiteracy and disease, and 51 per cent of India's children are still undernourished.

In this extraordinarily inspiring and visionary book, N.R. Narayana Murthy offers solutions to these problems. In an entire section on education, he focuses on how entrepreneurship and autonomy can improve India’s primary and higher education systems. ...Read more


From Independence to Freedom

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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

400 girl children from poor families of North East Delhi will receive school vouchers for a period of 4 years.
For details visit  website


Dialogue Series on Quality Education for All

Right to Education: Will it be enough?

Date: 9 September 2009 (6:30-8:00pm)
Venue: Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre

For details visit website


Support Children's Right to Education of Choice!

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