Weekly Update on Education

17 November 2009

China seeks Indian expertise on Activity Based Learning method
The Hindu, 16 Nov 2009

MADURAI: China has sought the Tamil Nadu government’s support to introduce the Activity Based Learning (ABL) methodology being implemented in government schools in the State. A communication was received from officials in China following a recent visit of a Chinese delegation that undertook a study tour to various schools in which ABL is implemented under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme and saw for themselves the classroom practices. More [+]

'Laptop per child can end learning by rote's
Economic Times, 13 Nov 2009

NEW DELHI: One laptop per child - ‘‘ an idea in practice among two million children across some of the poorest countries in the world’ ’ - could be the way to weed out rote learning feels Professor Nicholas Negroponte, faculty of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and founder chairman of OLPC. Speaking on the genesis of the OLPC concept, Negroponte said: ‘‘At MIT we were trying to understand how children learn and we realized that the first five years of learning takes place without a teacher. At about six we are sent to school where we start learning by being taught. There is a sharp break, he learns by what is being told to him by teachers and remembering becomes the fundamental tool of learning. This is notable in India too. For the next 10 years what the child undergoes is rote learning, which isn’t learning at all.’’ More [+]

Celebrating Children's Day: an empty gesture
The Times of India, 13 Nov 2009

KANPUR: Like every year, Children's Day will be celebrated on November 14. However, a majority of the kids in the city hardly have any reason to celebrate as they keep toiling in various industries of the city. Education is just a distant dream for them. The figures of the `Household Survey 2009-10' conducted by the education department in the Kanpur district paints a grim picture. The extensive survey showed that 4,017 children between 6-14 years were identified to be out of school, out of which 1,688 were those who have never stepped inside a school. This is the situation when education is a fundamental right. More [+]

Coaching for govt school students to start early
The Times of India, 14 Nov 2009

LUDHIANA: Coming to the rescue of not so financially secure students enrolled in government schools who dream of preparing for Pre-Medical test and Common Engineering Test well in advance, Punjab Edusat Society in collaboration with Gyan Sewa Trust under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) would start a satelite programme from November 16.To prepare aspiring doctors and engineers in government schools, a training programme was started in 2008 for those who took Class XII exams. But, it would be launched well in advance this year so that candidates get ample time to prepare. District technology coordinator Narinder Saggar said, “The services are meant for not only government school students but also outsiders, who are left behind because of hefty fees that private tutorial groups charge. It is simply a step to give shape to their dreams of becoming a doctor or an engineer.” He further added, “No intelligent students should be left behind because of financial constrains.” More [+]

PM warns against haste in scrapping class X exam
The Times of India, 15 Nov 2009

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has warned against any rush to scrap the class X board exam in what official sources described as an effort to clam the anxiety in certain quarters that doing away with the exam would leave students ill-equipped for future challenges."We are still debating this issue. This is an experiment. We should not take a decision in haste," Singh said in an interaction with school children to mark the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, the country's first prime minister.This came in response to a question by a student who asked whether children are not being made weak by the decision to do away with the 10th board examination. "You are shielding them from difficulties," a student said. In September, the HRD ministry had announced that the compulsory CBSE class X board exam will become optional from the next academic year (2010-11) while a grading system will be in place from the current year. More [+]

75% Indian engineering students unemployable: Report
Economic Times, 8 Nov 2009

NEW DELHI: Discussing a report by software industry group Nasscom which says that 75 percent engineering students in India are unemployable, education experts here on Saturday said that the Indian higher education system must give skill building and practical training equal importance as academics to give them an edge. A.D. Sahasrabudhu, director of the College of Engineering, Pune said that one of the major reasons why engineers, even from reputed institutes, are not easily employed because they lack hands-on skill. More [+]

Fixing higher education
Business Standard, 15 Nov 2009

Currently, corporations can set up educational institutions only through trusts, which means they have to re-invest the profits and come under the purview of the Charity Commissioner. Section 25 of the Companies Act does not differ significantly from the trust system. Institutions set up under this Act, too, can only reinvest profits but they will come under the scrutiny of the Central Board of Direct Taxes. But the big difference is that the Section 25 institutions will now be eligible for University Grants Commission (UGC) approval. In a sense, Mr Sibal is pushing at an open door. For one, government investment in higher education has been declining since the nineties even as enrolment numbers have zoomed, suggesting that the private sector is playing a bigger role here than before. For another, the private sector has been openly thirsting for a bigger piece of the higher and technical education action. But meeting numerical targets is one thing — indeed, it is worth considering that India has the largest higher education system in the world after China and the United States. More [+]

Reforming higher education for growth in Bangladesh
The Daily Star, 15 Nov 2009

In a developing nation like Bangladesh, economic growth is instrumental in fighting poverty and ensuring development. Bangladesh has been registering annual economic growth of more than 5 percent on average for the last two decades. This figure for a developing nation is commendable, if not impressive. But the ongoing global and domestic issues on food, energy, infrastructure, and law and order, have exposed a number of challenges that have cast shadows on Bangladesh's growth prospects. The country needs identify a priority sector that will be most effective for reform and growth. I argue that higher education must be the priority sector. But it has remained unattended for various reasons, and now requires immediate repair to let the economy move forward. Reforms in other areas such as the judiciary and bureaucracy are expected to be easier once significant progress in this core sector has been achieved. More [+]

Obama's Vision for Education
Education Week Blog, 9 Nov 2009

I have been trying to ascertain what President Obama plans to do to reshape the federal role in education, and the outlines of his policy are becoming clear. So far, we have not heard much about what he will do to fix the No Child Left Behind approach, but the signs are not encouraging. One point is clear: He prefers charter schools to regular public schools. After his election, he first visited a charter school, not a regular public school. The day after the 2009 election, he and Secretary Arne Duncan visited the Wright Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin, which caps its class sizes at 20. That is a class size, by the way, that is out of reach in most urban public schools. The president seems eager to turn over as many public schools as possible to private management. I find it laughable that so many of his critics call him a socialist and a man of More [+]

Children of secondary school age by educational status, 2006 (Percentage)

Primary School
Secondary School
Sub-Saharan Africa
Southern Asia
Latin America
CIS Asia
CIS Europe
Note: The remaining percentages of children are out of school

Source: The Millennium Development Goals Report, 2008. Published by the United Nations


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


School Choice National Conference on Education

The country’s top, policy makers, educational researchers and activists will come together for the School Choice National Conference on Education
Date - 16 December 2009
Venue - India Habitat Centre, Delhi.

Watch this space next week for more details competition launched. Win attractive prizes!

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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



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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