Weekly Update on Education

5 January 2010

When Private Schools Take Public Dollars: What’s the Place of Accountability School Voucher Programs?
Thomas B. Fordham Institute

ABSTRACT: Voucher opponents often argue that it's unfair to hold public schools accountable for results while allowing private schools that participate in voucher programs to receive taxpayer dollars without similar accountability.We at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute don't entirely buy that argument but we also believe there's room for a reasonable middle ground. It's time for the school-voucher movement to embrace accountability done right, just as most of the charter-school movement has done. But it's also vital to preserve the capacity of private schools to be different and not to deter them from taking children who would benefit. In pursuit of that middle ground, we sought the advice of twenty experts in the school-choice world. This paper presents their thoughts and opinions, as well as Fordham's own ideas. More [+]

Landmark initiatives in education sector in 2009
Press Information Bureau, 31 Dec 2009

The year 2009 saw landmark initiatives, both in the School Education and Literacy and the Higher Education Departments. Some of the reforms on school education like Right to Free and Compulsory Education, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme, Rashtriya Madhyamic Shiksha Abhiyan, Examination Reform amongst others have been highlighted in this press release. More [+]

Venture Capitalists find education a fail-safe option
Mint(Live), 28 Dec 2009

Venture capital, or VC, deals between January and November had almost halved over the year ago because of the global slowdown. Most VC firms in India began as technology-focused, early-stage funds, but start-ups in the sector were hit hard by the downturn. These VCs are now diversifying their investment thesis to hedge risks and education features in their “to-do” list. Investors see education as a recession-proof industry, especially in a country where an expanding middle-class puts great store by quality education. When Mumbai-based IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd went hunting for capital earlier this year, the test preparation firm was surprised by the eagerness of investors to back it. More [+]

Recent education sector reforms in India- for whose benefit?
Merinews, 01 Jan 2010

The year 2009 saw two major reforms in education sector.The first one was the announcement by the government to abolish compulsory CBSE Board exams for Class X from 2010-11 session and introduction of grading system from current year. This was done to reduce the examination stress of students. The influencing factor most probably is the statistics of different reports which indicates toll of student during or after annual examinationsThe second one was the passage of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, which was hanging for last four years.I would like to say policies only can not help to bring the solution to any sort of issue- policy needs to come into practice-it needs to be implemented properly. More [+]

Education trend 2010: What lies ahead?
Business Standard, 04 Jan 2010

Last year saw some significant reforms in the education sector and experts say that this year the sector might see even more significant happenings. This article focuses three of such probable reforms-passing of Foreign Universities Bill, setting up 14 Innovation Universities and private investment in the education sector. More [+]

1 in 3 professor posts in IITs vacant
The Times of India, 01 Jan 2010

They are regarded globally as centres of excellence and considered to be India's ticket to making it big in the industrial and entrepreneurial world. So it is shocking that the nine centrally funded technical institutions (collectively called CFTIs), which include the prestigious IITs and IIMs, are currently short of more than 3,000 faculty members or about one-third of the sanctioned strength. The inability to find enough qualified teachers is even more galling, considering that the institutes attract the best of India's brains. Admissions involve a gruelling competitive process for which students prepare for years. And after all the hard work they find themselves reaching institutes where there are not enough teachers to groom them for excellence. More [+]

CBSE's grading system in classes 6, 7, 8 too
DNA, 28 Dec 2009

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will shortly implement the grading system in classes six, seven and eight. The detailed guidelines for classes VI-VIII will be made available to all the schools shortly." The CBSE has been actively wooing stakeholders to make the system succeed. After launching a dedicated webpage for the CCE system, the board officials introduced an "Interact with the Chairman" link, where doubts, clarifications and concerns parents, experts and educators have could be answered by its chairman, Vineet Joshi. More [+]

SSA to make education compulsory till SSLC
Express Buzz, 29 Dec 2009

BANGALORE: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is planning to extend the concept of compulsory education to everyone aged below 18 as part of an initiative by the Central government. The state SSA is holding a census of all children aged between 0 and 18, scheduled to be conducted from January 5 to 8, 2010. Only the children aged upto 14 years of age were considered till now. More [+]

A long way to go
Frontline, 02 Jan 2010

The rhetoric of successive Central governments in India with respect to education has always been unimpeachable. This is evident in the Constitution, which enshrined free compulsory school education as a directive principle of state policy and committed the Government of India to ensure it within a decade. It is even more marked in successive education policies, which have stressed the need for urgent action to provide good-quality education at different levels to all segments of society, to expand the system to cater to the needs of both the economy and society and to ensure inclusiveness through various kinds of interventions. Yet this democratic rhetoric has generally not been matched by commensurate action that would actually achieve the stated goals. What is more surprising is that even this under-achievement has been accompanied by almost continuous self-knowledge, as the Central government has serially appointed commissions to analyse the situation and suggest policies for its improvement. More [+]

Book of the Month

School Choice: The Findings
By Herbert J. Walberg

This book is one of the most comprehensive survey available, summarizing the research on charter schools, vouchers, and public versus private school effectiveness. Whereas the U.S. school choice debate is often confined to the small-scale voucher programs in Milwaukee and Cleveland, Dr. Walberg examines evidence from around the world. School Choice: The Findings touches on Chile’s 25-year-old nationwide voucher program, the Dutch universal voucher program dating back to 1917, and the more recent program in Sweden.
HERBERT J.WALBERG is a distinguished visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and project investigator at the Vanderbilt University.
...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 Competitions

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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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