Weekly Update on Education

25 May 2010

The Privatization of Indian Education
Mayank Maheshwari, The Wall Street Journal, 21 May 2010

While there is no denying the potential upside for investors in India’s education sector, it is worth considering the effect that massive entry of private capital into a traditionally not-for-profit sector can have on the Indian education sector as a whole and especially on parents, students and teachers.

More [+]

$150m fund for out-of-box innovations
Charu Sudan Kasturi, The Telegraph, 21 May 2010

India is setting up a $150-million corpus using funds from the World Bank, European Union and the UK government’s Department for International Development to hatch innovative strategies to universalise secondary education. Called the National Innovation Fund, the corpus will provide financial support to out-of-the-box projects for which budgetary funds cannot be used because of the risk of failure>

More [+]

Sibal's kiss of death
RN Bhaskar, DNA, 20

Kapil Sibal, the Union minister for human resources development (HRD), is a man in a hurry.That could explain why he has overlooked obvious loopholes in his Right to Education Act (RTE) which could virtually decapitate India’s education. The same could be said about his draft Foreign Universities Bill. Take the RTE first. Three provisions of the Act have consequences that could mean the virtual collapse of school education in India. More [+]

Students’ grade for teachers? HRD nods- Sibal accepts scheme of peer-and-pupil review of classroom performance
The Telegraph, 21 May 2010

The human resource development ministry is likely to stick to a performance-grading scheme that links promotions of university teachers to their ratings by students and peers, a plan teacher unions across the country have opposed.HRD minister Kapil Sibal is learnt to have accepted the proposed grading scheme at a meeting with the University Grants Commission today.But teacher unions are expected to protest any move to ram through the scheme. More [+]

Central school debate
Charu Sudan Kasturi, The Telegraph, 18 May 2010

India’s historic right to education law has placed the future of the country’s Kendriya Vidyalayas and other central schools under a cloud of uncertainty, leaving the government divided on whether to retain their unique character.Section 13 of the act bars all schools from subjecting “the child or his or her parents or guardian to any screening procedure”. The country’s central schools all currently violate this section — because they largely select students either through a national test or based on their parentage and have a clear priority list — children of transferable central government employees. More [+]

NCHER will be an independent body: Sibal
Prashant K. Nanda, Mint, 24 May 2010

India’s proposed “super regulator” for higher education, which will oversee universities as well as institutes of technical, legal and medical education, will not operate under the human resource development (HRD) ministry, minister Kapil Sibal has said.It will be a separate statutory authority and HRD ministry will not be able to give direction to NCHER. More [+]

School "choice" is a copout
Andrew Torre, The Manchaster Journal, 20 May 2010

The voucher proposal is a complete avoidance of the falling public schools. Instead of doing what should be done to bring underperforming schools up to standard, the government will pay parents to have their kids leave those schools. School "choice" is another ultimately ineffective variation on the same theme. More [+]

What the coalition agreement means for education
Rachel Williams and Jessica Shepherd, The Guardian, 20 May 2010

The coalition government has agreed to push forward the Tories' plans to allow parents, teachers and charities to set up their own schools.There will also be emphasis on old-fashioned discipline – strict uniform codes, and rules such as pupils standing up when teachers enter the classroom. A pledge to give teachers "the powers they need" to keep order.Inspections would be specificallyy targeted on failing schools, an effort to get more science and maths graduates to be teachers, and state school pupils to sit "elite" exams like the iGCSE More [+]

Ranking the Schools: How Quality Information Affects School Choice in the Netherlands
Pierre Koning and Karen van der Wiel, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis

Abstract: This paper analyzes whether information on high school quality published by a national newspaper affects school choice in the Netherlands. For this purpose, we use both school level and individual student level data. First, we study the causal effect of quality scores on the influx of new high school students using a longitudinal school dataset. We find that negative (positive) school quality scores decrease (increase) the number of students choosing a school after the year of publication. Although the probability of attending a school is affected by its quality score, it is mainly driven by the traveling distance. Students are only willing to travel about 200 meters more in order to attend a well-performing rather than an average school. More [+]

% Children who attend different types of pre-school & school 2009

In balwadi or anganwadi
Age 3
Age 4
Age 5

Source: Annual Status of Education Report(ASER) 2009

RTE Coalition

To initiate and continue the discussion amongst concerned groups and individuals on the issue of right of education and monitor the implementation of the RTE Act, an RTE Coalition has been formed. Join the coalition to make universal elementary education a reality in India. Log on to for more information. Bastiat Essay Competition

Log on to Azadi Bastiat Competition section to win attractive prizes!


2010 Fisher International Memorial Award

James Tooley’s “The Beautiful Tree” bags 2010 Fisher International Memorial Award.
To read more click here



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!

For more details on how to support, log on to or email us at [email protected]


This is our 86th edition. Please give your feedback to make it more useful to you at [email protected]

Disclaimer: Copyright of the contents of this newsletter remains with the original author/publisher.