Weekly Update on Education

09 March 2010

Implementing Right to Education Act
B.C. Mehta and Kranti Kapoor, Mainstream Weekly, 1 March 2010

The Act to provide free education for all children in the age-group 6-14 ensures that any child can demand provision of free education to him or her in his or her neighbourhood right up to the 8th class. It is also claimed that the state will provide compulsory elementary education. Here there is some confusion. Right to education implies that the parents of some children want to get their children educated but fail to do so because there is no school in the neighbourhood, or if there is a school, the school is not of their choice or they cannot afford to pay the fees and/or bussing and other charges. Violation of the right implies that the parents are willing to get elementary education for their wards but are unable to do so for reasons beyond their capacity or control. Compulsory, on the other hand, implies that there are parents who are unwilling or unlikely to send the children for schooling even when the facilities for free education are available in their neighbourhood. The state can and should compel them to send their children to school in the interest of the future of the children, their family and the society as a whole. If, however, compulsion is on the state for providing free education, then it is implicit in the right to education itself.

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Union Budget not children friendly?
Binay Singh, The Times of India, 4 March 2010

Though Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan gets Rs 15,000 crore, Rs 14,433 crore is realised directly from the common man through education cess. Thus, what will be the contribution of the Union government which is committed to provide for education under the welfare state principles? More [+]

Move beyond the textbook
Vimala Ramachandran, Hindustan Times, 3 March 2010

Come April 1, the right to free and compulsory education will finally be notified and become a justiciable right. At least on paper, the government is duty-bound to provide every child aged between six and 14 a proper school with qualified teachers. But going over the commentaries, it looks as if the only issue is one of funds — to hire more teachers, convert all transitional schools into proper ones, upgrade them to Class VIII and adhere to the definition of a school as spelt out in the 2009 Right To Education (RTE) Act. Is that really the case? Are we really on the brink of realising the right to education?The real issue is not only to do with money, but with the ability of the government to turn around the system. More [+]

Will English become India’s weakness?
Pallavi Singh, The Mint, 4 March 2010

Intellectuals view English as the “link language” India needs to be on the same wavelength as other countries on a host of common global concerns. But not everyone believes English is a cure-all. British linguist David Graddol argues in his soon-to-be-launched book English Next India that forcing primary school children to learn everything in a language that is not their mother tongue will only breed an under-educated generation. He recommends that English-medium teaching should begin only at the secondary level. More [+]

Fire the teachers? When schools fail, it may work
Ray Henry, Associated Press, 4 March 2010

Replacing the staff — turnaround — works. It's one of four strategies that states can use to improve low-performing schools.The other three options are closing a school and sending its students to a better one, converting troubled schools into charter academies, and firing the principal and making other changes to improve performance. More [+]

An utopian edifice in the making
V. C. Kulandaiswamy, The Hindu, 2 March 2010

The National Commission on Higher Education and Research Bill, 2010, is a testimony to much sincerity of purpose and major investments in time, and the quality of the intellectual approach it represents is notable. Yet, a reading of the Bill gives the prima facie impression that it has been prepared for a country that so far has had no system of higher education in place. More [+]

NCERT panel favours state funding to poor schools
Deccan Herald, 7 March 2010

A committee on 'Development of a Policy Framework for Implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education ACT, 2009 in Schools in the NCT of Delhi' has said that the government can take steps to provide grant-in-aid to the genuine schools which face difficulty in paying salary as per the government's structure.On fee structure, which has remained a vexed issue for the last few years, the committee has said the students should be exempted from paying any type of fee. "No fee in any kind or form should be charged from the students of elementary school," the committee, set up by NCERT and headed by lawyer Ashok Agrawal, concluded in its report. More [+]

For-profit schools drive up standards, say Swedish educationalists
Patrick Wintour, The Guardian, 4 March 2010

Leading figures in the Swedish free school revolution – on which David Cameron is basing his education reforms – insisted today that companies must have a right to make profits to drive up standards and keep down costs.Anders Hultin, the chief executive of Kuskkappsskolan, a system of private Swedish schools, told the conference that 75% of Swedish free schools were profit making. "Only the profit motive will drive the level of expansion and innovation that education services require", he said. He insisted competition had improved state schools at no extra cost to the treasury. He said: "Most free schools were profit making, been able to raise investments from the private sector and form rental agreements with private developers." More [+]

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Building a High-Quality School Choice Market
Erin Dillon, Education Sector

ABSTRACT: Markets are complicated, and improving them requires more than just creating incentives for new providers to set up shop. This is equally true in the market for public education. The growing charter school movement has spurred the creation of new education organizations like the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), which recently opened a shiny, new 85,000-square-foot facility four miles north of the Super Giant. KIPP has become a national model of high-quality, urban education, posting impressive achievement gains with low-income student populations.1 Sixty-six new KIPP schools have opened in 19 states and the District of Columbia in the last 15 years. KIPP is what school choice proponents claimed would happen with market-based reforms in education: entrepreneurial educators successfully teaching the students who need help the most. But KIPP is an outlier among its peers—many other charter schools in the district have been unable to achieve such impressive result. More [+]

The principals forum for the School Vouchers for Girls Pilot.The forum was designed to involve the School principals for an annual feedback which helps in refining the Voucher Model.


Dialogue Series on Quality Education for All

Open Forum Discussion on Implementing the 25% in RTE Act: Developing a Model'

Date:11 March 2010(6pm onwards)
Venue:Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

For details visit website Competitions

Log on to to win attractive prizes!


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


Support Children's Right to Education of Choice!

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