Weekly Update on Education

15 December 2009

Invisible: 1.4 Percent Coverage for Education is Not Enough
The Brookings Institution, 2 Dec 2009

News coverage is important to every policy area. While some people have personal knowledge of certain topics, many rely on mass media for direct, up-to-date, and in-depth reporting. This is especially the case with education because only a third of American adults currently have a child in elementary or secondary school. What most people know about schools comes from newspapers, radio, television, the Internet, or blogs – or from memories of their own experiences, often from long ago. Yet despite the importance of media coverage for public understanding of education, news reporting on schools is scant. As we note in this report, there is virtually no national coverage of education. More [+]

Govt Schools : Students’ Email IDs to be created
The Times of India, 11 Dec 2009

LUDHIANA: While education department has a poor record in installation of internet connections in city schools, for making students computer-savvy, schools have been asked to create e-mail ids of students and teachers of government schools, for which, December 31 has been set as the deadline. All heads of institutes have been asked to create e-mail ids of all students and teachers with the help of computer staff so that they could be made computer-savvy. Navpreet Walia, assistant manager, software, information and communication technology, Punjab, an SSA (Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan) project, said, “We want students to use computers and access their mail ids regularly. In this era of competition, computer knowledge is a must. And this is an effort to make students technology-savvy.” More [+]

Private equity on a learning curve
The Financial Express, 12 Dec 2009

In an uncertain economic environment, private equity investors are finding the education sector attractive for long-term investments. From just three deals valued at $21.6 million in 2005, investment in the sector till October this year has increased to $238.7 million, according to Grant Thornton. So why are private equity (PE) investors looking at the education sector with a new zeal? Arun Natarajan, managing director of Venture Intelligence, which tracks PE/VC investment in the country, says this sector has indeed been a favoured one among PE investors for the last few years, but this year saw several deals actually coming through. More [+]

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
The Times of India, 12 Dec 2009

Suppose a job applicant came to you and said that he was a 2nd class English graduate of Agra University. What does that convey? Can this person, for instance, write a two-page essay in English that has a structure and an argument with few grammatical errors? If not, what exactly can the person do that he could not have if he had simply stopped studying after high school? What skills has he learnt in the three additional years of education? The answers to these questions speak to one of the most crucial challenges facing Indian higher education: its quality. Whenever Indians think about quality in higher education they mentally jump to the IITs and IIMs, which have justifiably become international brand names. More [+]

Packed food for mid-day meals?
The Hindu, 11 Dec 2009

Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said on Friday that the Delhi Government is talking to the Centre about the possibility of providing packed food to the students for mid-day meals. The Minister’s comments came in the wake of allegations that the non-government organization that supplied the mid-day meal which left about 120 students of a government school ill at Trilokpuri on November 26, had returned to serve the students again. More [+]

Getting little in the name of education
The Times of India, 12 Dec 2009

LUDHIANA: Five-year-old Amit makes himself comfortable on a rug on the floor. It’s 8.30 am on a cold December day. Shivering, he reaches out for his bag to get his books. His teacher scribbles on the blackboard and Amit begins his first lesson. Due to paucity of space, his classes are being held in the open. This is a usual day at Government Primary School located on Jail Road in the city. For many like Amit, broken blackboards, overcrowded classrooms and unhygienic conditions are what they have in the name of education. More [+]

For nursery admissions, parents have to pass test first
The Indian Express, 13 Dec 2009

PUNE: If parents want to brighten their child’s chances of securing a seat in any prominent school, they better cast an impeccable impression on the powers that be. As schools increasingly rely on interactive sessions with parents to test them across different parameters, it is the parents’ track record that counts. In 2007, the Supreme Court had asked schools to refrain from conducting either interviews or entrance examinations for admission to nursery classes. Schools now hold what they call ‘interactive sessions’ where parents are judged on their involvement with the child, moral values and communication skills. More [+]

Learning lessons from the teachers
The Telegraph - UK, 11 Dec 2009

The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) recently announced that the number of people joining teacher training courses in England this year exceeded government targets for the first time, even in mathematics. The mathematics figures are especially heartening due to the shortage of good maths graduates emerging from universities and the importance of this core subject in both primary and secondary education. The TDA has come to rely on people switching careers and targeted those losing their jobs in the financial services, for example. This year there are 2,897 trainee maths teachers, eight per cent above the target. More [+]

Homemade Alphabet Tree
Outlook, 21 Dec 2009

When I first met James Tooley at a seminar on a cold morning in Delhi, I was drawn to him by his sincerity, his passion, and most of all by his infectious smile, which made everyone in the room smile back at him. As I watched him I thought of Tagore’s observation in the Stray Birds about how much the world loves a man when he smiles. Tooley’s remarkable book tells of his discovery that in the slums of India, in remote villages of China, and in Africa’s shantytowns, the world’s poorest people are creating their own schools to give their children a better future. In a journey which began in the slums of Hyderabad, Tooley finds out how committed entrepreneurs and teachers in poor communities have started private schools with very low fees (Rs 70-170 per month). More [+]

Reading levels

Class-wise % of children who can read a Standard 2 text:

Std. I: 2.7
Std. II:  8.8
Std. III:  22.2
Std. IV:  40.9
Std. V:  56.2
Std. VI:  69.6
Std. VII:  78.0
Std. VIII:  84.8

ASER Report 2008


School Choice National Conference

The country’s top policy makers, educational researchers and civil society will come together for the School Choice National Conference .
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2009 Templeton Freedom Awards

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