Weekly Update on Education

16 February 2010

Right to education kicks in on April 1
The Times of India, 13 Feb 2010

After more than six months wait, HRD minister Kapil Sibal on Friday signed the file for the notification of the Right to Education Act, 2009, in the next few days and its implementation from April 1.Though late, the notification will ensure that state governments get into the act immediately and start by making it mandatory for schools to implement 25% reservation for poor children in the neighbourhood. But schools, especially private ones, in many states like Delhi might miss the reservation bus since the admission process for the coming academic session is in an advanced stage.

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Need to relearn lessons on SSA fund flows
Yamini Aiyar, The Mint, 9 Feb, 2010

The casual budget observer could interpret the last decade as a bonanza for elementary education funding in India. Elementary education now constitutes 44% of the government’s education budget with allocations having risen in excess of fivefold since the launch of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in 2001. But closer scrutiny shows a sobering truth—that these large allocations have been spent poorly. Countrywide expenditure trends show that more than two-thirds of SSA funds are spent in the last few months of the fiscal year. Worse still, significant portions of the funds never get spent. In 2008-09, SSA started the fiscal year with an opening balance of Rs8,713 crore. At the end of the year, only 70% of the available funds had been spent. More [+]

Knowledge is power
Tara Béteille. Hindustan Times, February 10, 2010

Teacher absenteeism and accountability,are the two big problems facing government schools in India today. So is it possible to penalise errant behaviour or fire such teachers? The response surprisingly not really as government schoolteachers are too powerful in state-level politics for politicians to undertake serious disciplinary policies. So what makes teachers so powerful politically? First, they are present in every village and are among the more educated. This allows them to undertake a range of informal campaigning activities. Second, they are the largest employee base of the government. If every teacher influences the voting outcome of a handful of family and friends, it adds up to a size able number for a constituency. Finally, government schoolteachers man polling stations, and at least two of the four polling officers are schoolteachers. It is impossible to make elections completely tamper-proof given high illiteracy. More [+]

Tangible targets at school
Jandhyala B.G. Tilak, The Hindu, 11 Feb 2010

According to the ‘EFA Global Monitoring Report 2010’ (UNESCO), India’s rank was 105 among 128 countries.This would be quite puzzling to those who also read at the same time that there has been tremendous progress in India in recent years. Even though the enrolment ratio in primary education has improved over the years, India’s performance with respect to all the other three components of EDI, namely, adult literacy, gender-specific EFA (Education for All) index, and “survival rate” to Grade V, is indeed appalling. Unattractive school facilities represent the most important reason that pushes children out of schools.This raises the question how attractive are the primary schools in India? More [+]

Profiteering in education by private sector will not be allowed: Sibal
The Hindu, 10 Feb 2010

Asserting that education would remain a not-for-profit sector, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal made it clear that government will never allow profiteering in education that would go as dividends to the share holders.He said educational institutions can make profit, which has to be ploughed back to the institution for its development. More [+]

Ad hoc teachers seek pay parity
Anupam Bhagria , Indian Express, 14 Feb 2010

With the implementation of the revised pay scales by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for college and university teachers, there has been an increase in the salaries with effect from January 1, 2006. But the UGC has totally ignored the teachers in the ad hoc category, whose strength comprise more than 75 per cent in colleges. Ad hoc teachers work on fixed salaries varying from Rs 6000 and Rs 12000 per month. More [+]

Many schools asking for donation: Parents
Zee News, 11 Feb 2010

More than 100 parents have lodged complaints before the Directorate of Education of the Delhi Government alleging that schools have demanded more money to give admission to their children. There are scores of complaints regarding schools not refunding the fee in case parents want to pull out their kids for admission in other school. More [+]

The Unknown World of Charter High Schools
Kevin Booker, Tim R. Sass, Brian Gill and Ron Zimmer, Education Next, Spring 2010 / Vol. 10, No. 2

Most studies focus on the effects of charter attendance on short-term student achievement (test scores), using either data sets that follow students over time to control for differences between students in charter and traditional public schools. Beyond measuring achievement effects, however, there has been only limited analysis of the impacts of charters on the students who attend them. Even less research has been conducted on the effects of charter high schools specifically, though a large portion of all charter schools in the U.S. serve some or all of the high school grades. More [+]

The Indian Public School System-Time for a Quality Revolution
ICICI Foundation

Executive Summary:: A lot has been done to increase access to schooling, however there is sufficient evidence to suggestthat a large number of India’s 200 million school age children are not receiving the quality of education they deserve.The need to improve quality is immediate and all stakeholders need to act now. A study of the world’s high-performing school systems, as well as a diagnosis of the Indian system, suggests that there are four interlinked and mutually reinforcing initiatives that are the starting point for reforms—those that will improve the quality of India’s school system and achieve positive outcomes for students.The four initiatives are 1)Conduct annual, standardised assessments at a national level; 2)Set up a comprehensive school performance management system; 3)Strengthen in-classroom support for teachers; and 4) Develop headmasters to become school leaders More [+]

Adult Literacy Rate (15 and over)

2000-2007 (%)
Projected 2015 (%)

Source: EFA Global Monitoring Report 2010, UNESCO

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



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