Weekly Update on Education

8 September 2009

Teachers in the new education thrust
Economic Times, 5 Sep 2009

Teacher's Day, celebrated today across India, needs to be special this year. With the massive impetus to be given to school education by the passing of the Right to Education Act (despite all its issues) just last month, Teacher’s Day acquires extra significance — not just for the 5 million men and women who teach and impact the 220 million school children of our country every school day — but also for governments, both central and state, for school authorities and organisations and for the parents of all our school-children. More [+]

CBI raids exposes dangerous nexus in technical education
The Times of India, 7 Sep 2009

CHENNAI: The unholy nexus between owners of self-financing engineering colleges and officials of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is in the spotlight in Tamil Nadu. Sleuths of the anti-corruption wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday raided the campuses of four private engineering colleges, including two in Chennai, based on information that these colleges had obtained the AICTE's approval after allegedly bribing officials. Incidentally, three of the four colleges had earlier come under the adverse scrutiny of the Anna University (Chennai), to which they are affiliated, after inspection teams found not just serious infrastructural inadequacies, but also noted that school teachers were masquerading as qualified technical education teachers! More [+]

Rush begins as schools in NCR open nursery admissions
The Indian Express, 7 Sep 2009

New Delhi: With the NCR region opening up their nursery admissions at least a couple of months before the Delhi schools, parents in Delhi are eyeing these schools for their wards’ admission. While Delhi’s nursery admissions are governed by the Directorate of Education that details the criteria to be followed by schools when they formulate their points system for shortlisting children, there is no such regulatory body to oversee the admission process in the NCR region. Rajan Arora, who runs, a portal for parents seeking admissions in nursery classes of public schools in the region, said the traffic on his website, which now also caters to parents in the NCR region, increased in August and on an average there are around 10,000 hits every day. More [+]

This US prof spends his pension to teach in India
The Times of India, 5 Sep 2009

Vadodara: You may have heard of teachers and professors offering their services post-retirement, but for that they are paid an honorarium by educational institutes. However, 85-year-old Dr NVVJ Swamy, the first Indian to join as professor at Oklahoma State University in United States, has a distinct style. Swamy, who had to go through seven years of hardship to complete his studies before he became a teacher, is providing voluntary services to educational institutes across the country as retired professor since last 22 years by spending his hard earned pension in US. More [+]

Task force to finalise NCHER structure
The Times of India, 7 Sep 2009

PUNE: A multi-member task force, to be appointed by the Planning Commission soon, will finalise the structure and scope of the proposed National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) that aims to bring different regulatory bodies including the University Grants Commission (UGC) under one umbrella organisation. President Pratibha Patil, during her speech in Parliament on June 4, had announced the decision to establish the NCHER on the basis of recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) and the Prof Yash Pal committee on higher education. More [+]

Diseases lurk in government schools
The Times of India, 3 Sep 2009

BANGALORE: While children are increasingly falling prey to swine flu and dengue, the state of affairs in many government schools across the state is pathetic. More than 70% of government primary and higher primary schools in Karnataka lack basic drinking water and toilet facilities. Forget toilet and water, none of the rural schools has a hand-wash facility. Such facilities are crucial these days considering the threat of the swine flu virus. A cursory look at statistics prepared recently by the education department is a telling commentary on the sad state of affairs. Of the total 44,850 schools in Karnataka, 10,540 have no toilets and lack drinking water facilities. Nearly 25,964 schools lack separate toilets for girls. They share toilets with boys in some schools. More [+]

Education boards not liable under consumer law: SC
The Times of India, 6 Sep 2009

NEW DELHI: After letting off telecom service providers off the consumer hook, the Supreme Court has now held that Secondary Boards conducting examinations for lakhs of students across the country every year would not be liable under the Consumer Protection Act for bungling in admit cards, roll numbers and results even if it meant loss of an academic year to a student. This apex court judgment set aside a concurrent finding of a District Consumer Forum, the state panel and the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), all holding that the boards were liable under the consumer law. Ruling on the controversy -- whether an examination board came under the purview of the Consumer Protection Act -- a Bench comprising Justices R V Raveendran and Markandey Katju held: "We are clearly of the view that the (examination) board is not a service provider and a student who takes an examination is not a consumer." More [+]

Massive funding for Pakistan's ailing universities holds lessons for developing nations.
Nature, 2 Sep 2009

Eight years ago, a task force advising Pakistan's former military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, laid out a bold plan to revitalize the country's moribund research system: initiate a fivefold increase in public funding for universities, with a special emphasis on science, technology and engineering. The proposal was a radical departure from conventional wisdom on the economics of developing nations, which favours incremental investments. Sudden surges of cash are held to be dangerous in poorer countries, which often lack the institutions or the calibre of people required to make the most of such a windfall, and the money can easily be wasted or fall prey to corruption. More [+]

“Obama Effect” Strongly Influences Public Attitudes on Controversial Education Topics, 31 Aug 2009

CAMBRIDGE – President Barack Obama has the potential to be an extremely influential opinion maker on controversial education policy issues, according to findings from the 2009 national survey on American attitudes about public education by Education Next and the Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) at Harvard University. The survey’s findings suggest that a well-publicized stance on an education issue taken by a popular president can shift the opinions of a substantial segment of the American public -- a surprising fact considering how stable aggregate public opinion on these issues has been over time. The Education Next–PEPG findings also show that research evidence can exert a strong influence on public opinion -- in some cases as much as that of a popular president. More [+]

A ticket to a brighter future

School Vouchers for Girls is a school voucher project run by School Choice Campaign for girl children from the North East Delhi region. The project targets girl children who have completed Class 1 in state run schools and provides them an opportunity to enroll in a school of their choice for subsequent years. The project is slated to fund the education expenses (up to Rs 3700 for the first year, and increasing by Rs 100 each year) of 400 girl children for four years, thus ensuring successful completion of primary education.[More Pictures +]


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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 [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 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

Ms Yamini Aiyar
Ms G Syamala, AADI
Mr Sam Carlson, World Bank

For details visit website


Support Children's Right to Education of Choice!

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