Weekly Update on Education

06 July 2010

Educating rural India: Can pvt players bridge quality gap?
Malini Goyal, Mitu Jayashankar, Forbes India, July 1, 2010

Two schools of thought on how the private sector can make a difference in bringing good quality education to rural India.Far away from the cut and thrust of running large corporate houses, there’s something that’s keeping Azim Premji and Sunil Mittal, among the most successful entrepreneurs in India, busy. For the last almost 10 years, both have committed serious money, managers and their own time to providing quality education for India’s underprivileged children. They recognise that education has perhaps the greatest “multiplier effect”

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Five subjects only & SSC battle won in Gujarat
Daily News & Analysis, July 4, 2010

Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) on Saturday took some major decisions, which will prove to be stress busters for lakhs of students. These include examination in five subjects in SSC exam, instead of seven at present, and no toppers’ list, as also semester system in science stream of Class 11 and 12. With this, Gujarat has become the second state in the country, after Haryana, to introduce semester system in the science stream of Class 11 and 12. Announcing the decisions, Ramanlal Vora, education minister, said that the students appearing in SSC examination will have to appear in five subjects only from next year.

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Incompetent doctors are sacked, so why on earth can’t we fire useless teachers?
Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail, July 5, 2010

When someone is found to be thoroughly incompetent at their job, there is only one remedy. That individual has to be fired. Unfortunately, there are many instances where that doesn’t happen. Dud employees may be given a glowing reference just to get rid of them. In the public sector in particular, they may even end up being promoted to get them out of the way. The result is that they can then inflict their incompetence on a fresh set of unsuspecting victims. When this involves children whose life chances are blighted as a result, this is absolutely unforgivable.

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HRD asks Goa to up school hours
The Times of India, June 29, 2010

Goa has been asked to increase its school timings as per the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 by officials of the Union human resource development (HRD) ministry. The latter were in the state to conduct a workshop for the southern and western states of India on the Act’s implementation. At a one-day seminar held at the Goa International Centre at Dona Paula on June 26, ten states and union territories were briefed on the measures to be implemented to bring the RTE into force.

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Right to Education saves 85 students from losing a year
Puja Pednekar, Daily News & Analysis, June 29, 2010

Eighty five students from the St Lawrence School in Santa Cruz got their seats back thanks to Right to Education (RTE) Act. Over 27 parents gathered outside the school on Monday to protest the expulsion of their children from the school. The parents, demanding that school officials discuss the issue with them, used the RTE Act to get their children readmitted to the school. Despite the RTE Act, which prohibits schools from failing students till Std VIII, around 85 students were handed leaving certificates by the school after they failed in the examinations.

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Funds hope for poor pupils – AASU cell to help needy students pursue higher studies
The Telegraph, July 1, 2010

The All Assam Students’ Union today launched an education cell to help financially underprivileged meritorious students pursue higher education across India as well as abroad. The cell, to be run by a 12-member management committee headed by educationist Basanta Kumar Deka, has set a target of raising a Rs 10-crore corpus of funds. At the inaugural function of the cell at Vivekananda Kendra here, AASU adviser Sammujjal Bhattacharyya said the students’ organisation has been forced to take such an initiative because of massive irregularities in scholarships awarded to students by Dispur

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Education Act numb to problems of advanced states: Kerala
The Hindustan Times, July 2, 2010

The Right to Education Act did not properly address the “new generation” problems of states like Kerala which had already achieved the basic targets set by the Act, Education Minister MA Baby told the state assembly on Friday. If the Centre had held discussions with states like Kerala before finalising the RTE Act, the lacunae in it could have been avoided, Baby told the house during question hour.

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Children & the Commonwealth Games
Krishna Kumar, The Hindu, June 28, 2010

The law endowing on India’s children the right to education (RTE) carried a date. So did the decision to host the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. For the vast numbers of out-of-school children of the city, the law has brought no change. When the schools reopen next week after the summer break, they will be no better prepared to receive and retain the thousands of children who have either never enrolled or were eliminated by the system. Nor will life at school be any more child-friendly for those who have got used to the cramped, often cruel, conditions of Delhi’s municipal schools. The authorities have made no preparation for implementing the new law, which seeks to transform India’s schools and end the apartheid that divides private from state-run schools.

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Enabling High-Performing K-12 Learning Environments

A teacher stands in front lecturing or writing on a board; students take notes or fill in a worksheet. Yet students are entering workplaces that require the kinds of critical thinking, collaboration and technology skills unnecessary a century ago. In our recent K-12 on-demand Web conference, Enabling High-Performing Learning Environments with Technology, SAS, CoSN and Lenovo brought experts from around the country to discuss the key drivers for schools in order to turn out well-educated, highly employable students. According to experts, schools need to:

• Embrace technology to engage and educate students.

• Develop a sophisticated, longitudinal, data-driven approach to measuring achievement.

• Build consensus within the community and school system about the use of data and the transformative value of classroom technology.

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Book of the Month

The Role of Research in Educational Improvement

Bransford, John D.; Stipek, Deborah J.; Vye, Nancy J.; Gomez, Louis M. and Lam, Diana. (Eds.)

This book has the following three motifs: equity and excellence (i.e., all citizens deserve a high quality education); comprehending the whole elephant (i.e., see how a healthy education system is reliant on cooperation between multiple systems at many levels); and evidence (discuss what types of evidence are useful for various stakeholders and situations). Comprehending the elephant, the leitmotif of the book, has to do with understanding that education is a complex system seen differently by each observer because of his/her unique perspectives. Federal and state policymakers, school district administrators, school boards, teachers, for-profit and nonprofit organizations all play a role in the extent to which evidence-based practices are applied in the schools. In order to best promote large scale evidence-based change in the schools, these various systems and the relations between them need to be better understood and improved.
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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.


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

7 July 2010,

India Habitat Centre,


For more information click here


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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