Weekly Update on Education

29 June 2010


Law Threatens Low-Cost Private Schools
Anupama Chandrasekaran, Mint, June 25, 2010

Even as edupreneurs search for low-cost teacher training and curriculum improvements to add “high quality” to the “affordable” label, the Right to Education (RTE) Act of April 2010, which seeks to ensure primary education for all 6-14-year-olds, threatens to fracture their efforts. This law requires all schools to be government-recognized—a bribe-ridden and expensive process, costing at least Rs 50,000 per school, according to school operators and policy advocates. The law also mandates higher teacher salaries.

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Students Soon Can Opt for Subjects from Multiple Disciplines Together
The Hindu, June 27, 2010

The HRD Ministry wants to give students the flexibility of having multi-disciplinary subjects from streams of Science, Arts and Commerce together at Class-XI, XII and graduation. The move has been initiated by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal who has been insisting on making education more student centric and promoting creativity. The ministry has set up a ten-member panel, headed by S. C. Khuntia, Joint Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, to suggest on allowing flexibility in subject combinations to students at senior secondary and graduation level.

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RTE Will Curb Madrassas’ Freedom
Manjari Mishra, The Times of India , June 24, 2010

Even as Uttar Pradesh government puts on hold the implementation of Right To Education Act 2009 pleading severe resource crunch, a serious rethink among the minority community over the legislation has come as a major setback. Open reservations of The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) to the enactment “divorced with grass-roots realities” have found an echo among Muslim intellectuals and clergy who openly condemned the Act as a national tragedy on Wednesday at a public function.

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D.C.’s Successful Voucher Program Deserves a Second Life
Washington Post, June 23, 2010

Students awarded vouchers to attend private schools in the District had significantly better chances of graduating from high school, and parents who sent their children to schools using scholarships were happy with having a choice of good, safe schools. These latest findings on D.C. school vouchers underscore the value of this program and show how wrong-headed it is to deny future students this opportunity. The final report on the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program was released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences.

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Southern Rajasthan Most Deprived in Terms of Education
Anindo Dey, The Times of India, Jun 21, 2010

The highest educated person in a village in southern Rajasthan is normally a graduate or a 12th pass or 10th pass. There is hardly anyone who has done his masters or is trained in any professional courses. These were the findings of a survey conducted in the region by Saman Bachpan Abhiyan, an organisation working for equal rights for children. The study was conducted in 27 blocks of six districts in southern Rajasthan. The purpose of the study was to prepare a report on the situation of specific child rights violations in the region.

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States Back Sibal on Umbrella Body
Kavita Chowdhury, India Today, June 24, 2010

The Human resource development (HRD) ministry has reason to be happy. State education ministers have backed its demand for including medical and legal education under a single overarching authority for all branches of higher education. The proposed National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) will be the single-point authority for higher education in the country if the move is approved.

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HRD Panel to Oversee RTE Rollout
Akshaya Mukul, The Times of India, June 26, 2010

This National Advisory Council might not be as powerful as its namesake and as freewheeling in its mandate, but it will oversee the implementation of the Right to Education, the single most important intervention in the field of education since independence. HRD minister Kapil Sibal, who will be the ex-officio chairperson of this 14-member NAC, has cleared the names of eight members.

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Nadar Sells 2.5% Stake in HCL, to Give Money to Education Sector
The Economic Times, June 25, 2010

HCL founder-chairman Shiv Nadar raised around Rs 585 crore by selling about 2.5% stake in HCL Technologies on Thursday, and said the proceeds will be donated towards philanthropic investments in India’s education sector. The Shiv Nadar Foundation, launched by Mr Nadar, will use this money for expanding its philanthropic efforts across thousands of schools and colleges in the country.

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Secondary Education in India: Universalizing Opportunity
World Bank

The dramatic growth in Indian elementary education enrollment and improvements in retention and transition rates over the past ten years, particularly among more disadvantaged groups, are increasing pressure on the secondary level to absorb new entrants. Given ongoing center and state investments in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All), this trend will continue for the next 10 years. At the same time, India’s impressive, sustained economic growth has increased household and labor market demand for secondary and higher education. Secondary education’s contribution to economic growth, demonstrated high social benefits (particularly for girls), and support of democratic citizenship reinforce the need for increased public support at this level, particularly in light of the very large inequalities in access to secondary education, by income, gender, social group and geography. The challenge is to dramatically improve access, equity and quality of secondary education simultaneously.

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Statistics on Indian Education
Youth (15–24 years) literacy rate, 2003–2007, female
Primary school enrolment ratio 2003–2008, gross, male
Primary school enrolment ratio 2003–2008, gross, female
Primary school enrolment ratio 2003–2008, net, male
Primary school enrolment ratio 2003–2008, net, female

Source: UNICEF


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.


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


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Student First! Dialogue Series
School Ratings: Guide to Parental Choice

7 July 2010,

India Habitat Centre, Delhi

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