Weekly Update on Education

20 October 2009

Disabled kids at KVs will get free education
The Times of India, 16 Oct 2009

MUMBAI: Children with disabilities across the country will now have something to cheer about. They will not be charged a single paisa as fee at any of the central government schools (Kendriya Vidyalayas) in India. On Thursday, the deputy commissioner (finance) sent out a letter to the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), informing the body of the total fee waiver for all `persons with disabilities'. The order will be in effect from this month itself. More [+]

Universal education still not reaching girls, underprivileged
Mint, 15 Oct 2009

New Delhi: The government’s push to get all children between the ages of 6 and 14 into school seems to be having mixed results: overall enrolment has indeed increased, but girls and the underprivileged aren’t deriving their fair share of the benefits. SSA, the government’s flagship universal education programme, was launched in 2001-02. But the programme hasn’t had as beneficial an effect among sections of society that need it the most, according to data restricted to 10 states and one union territory. The selective data showed that the enrolment of girls had risen by just 0.62 percentage point—and was still less than half—from 46.43% in 2003 to 47.05% in 2007. Among scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST), enrolment had actually fallen from 32.9% to 31.84%. More [+]

HRD may come down hard on private deemed varsities
The Times of India, 19 Oct 2009

NEW DELHI: After more than three months of extensive videotaped scrutiny of 130 deemed universities, HRD ministry's review committee report, sources said, has labelled many of these institutions as being run like private limited family-run companies. The report, to be finalised on Monday, has gone into each aspect of deemed universities and pointed out institution-wise irregularities. However, the final decision on taking action is being left to HRD minister Kapil Sibal. "Our brief is to give the factual position and not recommend action. We have highlighted inadequacies that UGC's review report does not state," a source said. More [+]

Chhattisgarh, Orissa Govts and NGOs transforming lives with education, 18 Oct 2009

Many voluntary and State Government organizations in Chhattisgarh and Orissa are engaged in transforming the lives of slum children and dropout kids by imparting them useful education. Chhattisgarh and Orissa are estimated to be home to about eight million children aged 6 to 14. But it has been noticed that most of these children are compelled to either beg on the roads or work as labourers or domestic helps. Chhattisgarh State has come up with a scheme called “Adopt a girl child” which is helping to boost the female literacy rate. Under this scheme, girls living in slums are given free textbooks and a school bag. They also get mentors who personally ensure that the girl children attend school. More [+]

Starting Point Of Higher Education
The Times of India, 17 Oct 2009

Few issues are likely to have as crucial an impact on India's though higher education is critical to this goal, few policy areas have been as politicised or poorly executed. I begin by addressing the lack of clarity in thinking about the fundamental underlying question: What are the goals of Indian higher education? Appropriateness of public policy, after all, depends on the aims being pursued. future as its ability to rapidly and significantly improve its human capital. All societies wrestle with the "proper" role of higher education. Is the intention to train people to enter the labour force, or to prepare them to be easily trainable by their employers? If the former, then one might emphasise professional education; if the latter, then an education that develops analytical and critical thinking skills would be more desirable. More [+]

India state changes madrasa rules
BBC, 16 Oct 2009

NEW DELHI: Madrasas or traditional Islamic religious schools in the Indian state of West Bengal are to switch to English as the medium of instruction. The programme will be introduced in phases, state Minority Affairs Minister Abdus Sattar announced. "We believe in modernising our traditional form of education so that our boys and girls can compete with the best," he told the BBC. He said that 10 madrasas in the state will make the switch this term . The remaining 566 madrasas will follow within a few years. More [+]

Leading article: A better way to educate primary school children
The Independent, 16 Oct 2009

This seminal report makes the case against government interference. The most extensive study of the state of the primary education system since the 1960s has delivered its final report. And it does not pull any punches. The Cambridge Primary Review paints a picture of a sector suffocated by diktats from Whitehall and crushed by the populist meddling of ministers. The Government's entire "apparatus of targets, testing, performance tables, national strategies and inspection" is accused of distorting primary schooling. Ministers are criticised for formulating educational policies on the basis of "questionable evidence". More [+]

All four-year-olds to be offered school or nursery place
The Guardian, 19 Oct 2009

Every four-year old in England will be offered a place at school or nursery under plans set out by the schools secretary Ed Balls today to bring forward the age that children start full-time education by a year. The move comes days after the biggest independent inquiry into primary education in 40 years recommended delaying the start of formal learning until a child turns six to prevent those who struggle being put-off learning at an early age. From September 2011 every family will be able to choose to between a free place at school or nursery from the September, January or April after their child turns four. If they opt for a nursery place the child will learn the early years play-based curriculum but if they start school it will mean more formal lessons in reading and writing. More [+]

School for the Gifted, and Only the Gifted
The New York Times, 19 Oct 2009

He was 5 months old when he said his first words, and at a year and a half, he knew the alphabet, colors and numbers from 1 to 10. None of which earned Christopher Yang, now 5, a seat this fall in New York City’s coveted gifted and talented programs at Hunter College Elementary School on the Upper East Side, the Anderson School and Public School 9 on the Upper West Side, or New Explorations Into Science, Technology and Math School (NEST + m) on the Lower East Side. So his parents enrolled him in a new private school for precocious children, the Speyer Legacy School, at 211 West 61st Street, where annual tuition is $28,500. In a city where the public school gifted programs have long provided an enviable free education, and there are many expensive private schools that emphasize rigorous academics, the Speyer Legacy School, which caters to advanced learners, is a rare breed: a private school with an all-gifted student body. More [+]

Teachers’ annual salaries in public institutions, specifically primary schools (in US dollars )

Starting Salary
Salary at Top
Sri Lanka4,3636,549

Source: GLOBAL EDUCATION DIGEST 2009 - Comparing Education Statistics Across the World, UNESCO Institute for Statistics


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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.
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Dialogue Series on Quality Education for All

Educating India's Children: Why The Poor Choose to Go Private?

Date: 4 November 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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