Weekly Update on Education

3 November 2009

Why not nursery, KG classes in govt schools, ask academics
The Times of India, 1 Nov 2009

CHENNAI: Academics and child rights activists now want children below five years of age to be brought under the common school system. At a consultation on equitable education in pre-school organised by TN-Forces, a forum for crèche and child care services in Tamil Nadu, academics and activists passed resolutions asking the government to set up nursery and kindergarten sections in all government and aided schools in the state. More [+]

MCD to hold Boards in Class V from next session
The Pioneer, 2 Nov 2009

Here is a rebuttal to the school-level examination reforms introduced by Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), which controls primary education in Government sector in the national Capital, is proposing to hold Board-level examination at the Class-V level. According to Delhi Mayor Kanwar Sain, an advisory committee is being formed to chart out a plan in this regard. He said the move will make school teachers more accountable and, at the same time, present a correct assessment of the education provided in the civic body schools. More [+]

Mukesh Ambani now drills education sector for fresh biz finds
The Economic Times, 2 Nov 2009

MUMBAI: On November 17, when Chairman Mukesh Ambani addresses Reliance Industries’ annual general meeting, he is likely to announce the group’s next foray: education. India’s biggest business house is planning to launch a private university in line with the Ivy League institutions, says a company insider, though the contours are yet to be finalised. And for a country betting on its demographic dividend, that would be good news. Already populated with corporates such as the Birlas and the Mahindras, besides private equity players and institutional investors, the sector can absorb a lot more by way of private investment. More [+]

Ekal schools take education to the poor in Maharashtra
DNA, 30 Oct 2009

New Delhi: For seven-year-old Jhamu of Kamathwara village in Maharashtra's Yavatmal district, Vishwanath Jadhav is his only window to the world. Jadhav is a farmer who also doubles up as a teacher for this remote tribal hamlet that has no connectivity to the rest of the country. Jadhav is part of the single-teacher school concept of the Ekal Vidyalaya movement and provides Jhamu and 30 other boys and girls like him basic education in languages, science and mathematics to enable them to join the mainstream if they wish. Ekal Vidyalaya, a parallel education system, is running a campaign for literacy. And Jhamu is one of the 7,78,965 students getting free education through this system that caters only to the poor, underprivileged and marginalised who have no access to basic healthcare and formal schools. More [+]

Security cover for education loans soon
The Times of India, 2 Nov 2009

NEW DELHI: Getting an education loan may become easier. The government plans to cushion public sector banks against any default on education loans, the primary reason why PSBs are often reluctant to give out such loans that does not have enough guarantee. The government plans to protect education loans under a new credit guarantee scheme and has already asked the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to formulate a draft proposal, said a senior official with the finance ministry. More [+]

States can have say in aided minority institutions: SC
DNA, 2 Nov 2009

The Supreme Court (SC) said the states' power to interfere in the monitoring of aided minority institutions was not unconstitutional as any restriction on recruitment imposed by it does not disturb the character of the institute. Though Article 30 of the Constitution guarantees special rights to minority communities to set up and administer their own educational institutions without governmental interference, it must take prior sanction from the government for making any recruitment. "We do not see this to be interference in the selection process. It would be perfectly all right for a minority institution to select the candidates without any interference from the government,'' a bench of justices VS Sirpurkar and Deepak Verma said. More [+]

Africa Can... End Poverty
WorldBank Blog, 31 Oct 2009

At a recent conference that brought together African Finance and Education ministers, the keynote speaker, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, finance minister (and former education minister) of Singapore gave a beautiful speech about Singapore's experience that contained some potentially difficult and controversial messages for Africa. 1. There is a virtuous circle of education and growth, but you need to create it. This means that finance ministers should be concerned about education, and education ministers about economic growth. [At the conference, one participant, when asked a question about education in his country, said "I'm the finance minister, not the education minister."] More [+]

The 'Inconvenient Truth' of Educational Inequity
Education Week, 28 Oct 2009

The director of the Academy Award-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth" wants his new upcoming documentary to fuel the same sense of urgency for improving education that his earlier one did for raising awareness of global warming. A preview was shown here at the Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age forum at Google headquarters. In the preview of the documentary, director Davis Guggenheim takes a dramatic and emotional look at how low-income students and families in the District of Columbia are desperately trying to navigate the public school options that will give them the best chance of achieving academic success and breaking the cycle of poverty. More [+]

Can privatisation help?
The Hindu, 1 Nov 2009

With the Right to Education Bill now awaiting only the signature of the President to become law, children between the ages of six and 14 are about to be guaranteed access to a neighbourhood school. This is good news indeed! But as with all visionary Bills, the question of who will pay for and provide the new schools remains. Those working in the area of educational policy have long debated how to best provide quality education for India’s children. There are many who argue that the State alone cannot provide adequate schools and that private providers must be allowed to contribute. Some argue that private providers not only relieve pressure on the State but that they also deliver a higher quality of education than that offered at government schools. The private provision of education is well established in India’s cities and towns, though less well established in her villages. More [+]

Book of the Month

Indian Higher Education : Envisioning the Future

Authored by Pawan Agarwal, an IAS officer who has had the advantage of viewing the education scenario from a vantage point, the book is an impressive collection of relevant, valuable and diverse data, assiduously gathered from many sources, and this makes it a “useful base document for opening a fresh debate” on higher education policy.
...Read more


2009 Templeton Freedom Awards

Centre for Civil Society’s “Performing Arts for School Choice” bags 2009 Templeton Freedom Award for Initiative in Public Relations.
Read complete report click here


Dialogue Series on Quality Education for All

Book Launch and Panel Discussion on Prof James Tooley's book 'The Beautiful Tree'

Date: 11 November 2009 (6pm onwards)
Venue: Amaltas Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

For details visit website


From Independence to Freedom

Log on to, India's first Liberal portal in Hindi.


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



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


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