Weekly Update on Education

29 December 2009

Private not the same as for-profit
The Economic Times, 26 Dec 2009

There has been considerable debate in India regarding privatization of higher education. In this debate, there is generally an implicit assumption that privatization is essentially the same as corporatization — i.e., private investment comes due to the potential of returns. In the higher education field, privatization and corporatization are actually quite different. Privatization is regarding who controls the educational institute and the role of government in the management and funding of the institute, while corporatization is about making profits. More [+]

Trick Or Teach?
The Times of India, 29 Dec 2009

Here is an incontrovertible fact: the majority of children between the ages of eight and 14, rich or poor, attend private schools. Even poor families shun government schools and willingly pay fees to enroll their children in private schools. To cater to this demand, private schools are flourishing, not just in cities and small towns but in villages as well. To obtain recognition, private schools have to fulfill impossible criteria including infrastructural demands and have to pay teachers according to the government-appointed Pay Commission's recommendations. Thus, teachers must be paid upward of Rs 20,000 a month as entrants and the scale rises with experience. These salary standards, however, are daunting for private schools except elite institutions securing funds from trusts and alumni.In the end, most private schools are commercial ventures that need not just to balance their books but also make a profit. There is a limit on the fees they can charge. And yes, in order to sustain themselves, they must have money to pay their bills and provide a return to investors. More [+]

Acute paucity of teachers blurs RTE prospects
The Economic Times, 28 Dec 2009

NEW DELHI: It may now be the fundamental right of every child to get education up to the class VIII, but the shortage of trained teachers could render this right meaningless. It is estimated that the teacher shortage is in the range of 10 lakh. Teachers, their training and availability, is now becoming an important focus area of the ministry of human resource development. More [+]

Education business: Nursery admission fee higher than IIT
The Indian Express, 23 Dec 2009

Parents successfully clearing the rigorous nursery school admission process of their wards in Delhi find themselves staring at one last but big hurdle - fees that even top the annual Rs 50,000 charged for admission by IITs. With thousands of parents fighting over a few hundred seats in a limited number of good schools, the private institutions call the shots during the admission season. More [+]

Indian Education Services on lines of IFS, IRS likely
The Hindu, 21 Dec 2009

Government is contemplating the starting of an Indian Education Services (IES) for education administrators on the lines of other civil services.HRD Minister Kapil Sibal has asked a group of experts to study and suggest how to start IES on the lines of other civil services. The aim is to improve administration in the education sector. Former education secretary Anil Bordia will head the group which will recommend on how to start IES. More [+]

See-saw on bill for foreign varsities- Plan to scale up corpus requirement
The Telegraph, 26 Dec 2009

NEW DELHI: Foreign universities will need to guarantee a corpus fund five times the amount proposed earlier, under last-minute changes to a proposed law to regulate foreign educational institutions entering India.If the cabinet approves the changes, these institutions must set aside a corpus fund of at least Rs 50 crore instead of the Rs 10 crore mentioned in the bill till a fortnight ago. More [+]

Course correction: Catholic body seeks change in education Act
The Indian Express, 26 Dec 2009

The Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India (CBCI), which had raised objections to Section 21 of the Act deals with setting up of management committees. Under the clause, such committees should comprise elected local representatives and those of teachers and parents.It, however, makes no mention of the role of the owner or manager of school.Father Babu Joseph Karakombil says “Our constitution gives minorities the right to establish and administer an institution of their choice. However, if a management committee is formed as mentioned in the clause, the owner or management of school loses the right to administer. This is violation of minority rights.” More [+]

As Congress Ends D.C. Voucher Program, Qatar Moves Toward Universal School Choice
The Heritage Foundation, 24 Dec 2009

Congress has recently moved to end the popular and effective D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, denying low-income families the chance to attend a school of their parents’ choice. Meanwhile, other countries are pushing forward with plans to give all parents school choice.Lance Izumi of the Pacific Research Institute explains that Qatar, the small Persian Gulf nation, is planning to move forward with a universal school voucher program: Qatar’s voucher program, which is just being implemented this year, is part of the country’s comprehensive reform effort called “Education for a New Era.” The voucher amount will be equivalent to the per-pupil funding allotment for government-run schools. It is envisioned that this amount will pay for the majority of private-school fees, with parents paying the rest. More [+]

Needed: Education Reform in India
Pakistan Observer, 25 Dec 2009

When India finally became free of foreign rule in 1947, more than 80% of the population was illiterate. The need was for numbers: To train hundreds of thousands of engineers, doctors and other specialists so as to meet the needs of the population. Hundreds of new universities were set up, and by the end of the 1990s, India was turning out more than two million technically qualified people each year, higher than any other country, including China. However, there was a problem. Although the average level of skills was high, there were almost no “peaks”. Although one-sixth of the world’s population was from India, yet the country’s contribution to significant discoveries was almost nil. The Indian education system promoted quality at the expense of excellence. Students who were brilliant and creative found that they were being stifled by a rule-bound system that discouraged innovation. More [+]

Private Schooling in India: A New Educational Landscape

Private schooling in India has expanded rapidly in the past decade. However, few studies have looked at its implications for educational quality. Using data from the recently collected India Human Development Survey, this paper seeks to provide a description of private schooling in India and examine the effects of private school enrollment on educational quality. The results suggest that controlling for the endogeneity of school choice, children in private schools have higher reading and arithmetic skills than those in government schools. While overall gains are modest in size, about one fourth to one third of a standard deviation, the gains for students from lower economic strata are higher than those for upper income students.
Source: India Human Development Survey ...Read More


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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]



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