Weekly Update on Education

23 February 2010

Sibal for easing norms to let small schools stay
The Times of India, 21 Feb 2010

Kapil Sibal has said that he was against profiteering by schools in the form of overcharging of fees or demanding capitation charges and made it clear that he was also keen to ensure that small schools do not face problems over recognition. He also said that HRD ministry is likely to hold consultations with state governments to evolve a policy on how to give relaxation to marginalized schools to deal with conditions for registration.Sibal said, "If the small schools close down on account of teacher salary it will go against disadvantaged section. Why marginalize the marginal schools?"

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Keep testing the kids
RaghuramRajan and AbhijitBanerjee ,Indian Express, 20 Feb 2010

The problems of private schools with inadequate facilities and government schools with inadequate motivation need to be dealt with jointly so that the poor can benefit from the resulting competition. Is there some way that schools with high verifiable performance that charge fees that are low enough to be generally affordable could be rewarded with better government-supported facilities regardless of whether they are private or government? And in reverse, could poorly performing government schools be starved of promotions, salary increments, and capital funds until they shape up — and shut down if they fail to do so? All of these rewards for performance, however, would be beside the point, if the abolition of all testing, as mooted in the law, is implemented. We will simply not know which schools are doing their job well. More [+]

Sibal ‘proposes ’increase in the minimum age for nursery admissions, Delhi ‘scrutinises’, wants more schools
Indian Express, 17 Feb 2010

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal proposed to increase the minimum age for nursery admissions from the present three to four years, however Delhi Education minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said the government was still scrutinising the issue. Officials in the Education department, however, revealed there was a slim possibility of the proposal being implemented at all, enumerating a list of issues that pose a hurdle. Increasing the age from three to four years is not going to solve the problem of the tug-of-war for nursery admissions. The problem in Delhi is a paucity of schools and therefore the nursery sections. More [+]

50 Kendriya Vidyalas to come up on railway land
Press Trust of India, 16 Feb 2010

An MoU was signed between the HRD Ministry and the Railways today for developing educational infrastructure in railway land in the country. As per the agreement, 20 Kendriya Vidyalays would be set up in the Eleventh Plan and 30 more Kendriya Vidyalays (KVs)in the next Plan in railway land across the country.Besides KVs, the two ministries would strive for setting up residential schools, model degree colleges and technical and management institutions on railway land as per the MoU. More [+]

India shining? Not when government is stingy with education funds
Subodh Varma, The Times of India, 18 Feb 2010

Nowhere is the disconnect between the dreams of a billion Indians and the cold, hard reality more stark than in education because the promises made by politicians or policy makers is far away from the actual action.Looking at the significant promises made in election manifestoes and budget or plan documents and tracking the actual financial allocations made towards it shows that in most cases the money falls far short of what is needed to implement the rosy promises. More [+]

If IAS babus can do it, why not B-school grads?
Deccan Herald, 22 Feb 2010

Kapil Sibal’s brand new proposal of posting business graduates as head masters of rural high schools to run them effectively has evoked curious, guarded and mixed reactions. Considering the pathetic conditions of government high schools in the countryside, some people hope the new idea will click. There is equal scepticism that B- graduates normally lack rural background and may better fit schools in the metros. More [+]

Education: Too important for a government monopoly
John Stossel, Sun Journal, 17 Feb 2010

For decade its been said by government schools that education is too important to leave to the competitive market. Since 1980, the US government spending on education, adjusted for inflation, has nearly doubled. But test scores have been flat for decades.Today we spend a stunning $11,000 a year per student – more than $200,000 per classroom. It’s not working.So when will we permit competition and choice, which works great with everything else? More [+]

Tories' Swedish schools plan 'will not work' in UK
Michael Savage, The Independent, 18 Feb 2010

The "Swedish model", adopted by the Tories as their key education policy, has been championed as a way of driving up standards by giving parents more choice. But an article by the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) states that the reforms would "not make very much difference" as competition already exists within the current British system.This model that allows parent groups, charities and trusts to set up and run their own schools have come under renewed criticism as academics warned the flagship scheme would not improve the quality of education in Britain and may leave a budget black hole. More [+]

How the world’s best performing schools systems come on top
Mckinsey and Company

Executive Summary:Education reform is the top of the agenda of almost all country in world. Yet despite massive increases in spending and ambitious attempts at reform, the performances of many school systems has barely improved in decades.This is all the more surprising because there are wide variations in the quality of education.There are many different ways of to improve schools system, and the complexity of this task and the uncertainty about outcomes is rightly reflected in the international debate about how this should be done. To find out why some schools succeed where others do not, we studied twenty five of the world’s school system, including ten of the top performers. We examined what these high performing schools systems have in common and what tools they use to improve student outcomes. More [+]

Teacher attendance in Rural India(Standard I- VIII)

% of Teachers attending (average)
% of Schools with no teacher present
% Schools with all teachers present

Source: Annual Status of Education Report, 2009

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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