Weekly Update on Education

13 July 2010

Watchdogs to monitor education law in states
Charu Sudan Kasturi, Hindustan Times, July 11, 2010

The Centre plans to appoint central watchdogs in each state to monitor the implementation of the landmark right to education law, following a Supreme Court model to keep track of how states perform. The right to education commissioners will report to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the apex monitor for the law, but the proposed project will be funded by the human resource development (HRD) ministry, top government sources have told HT. The initiative reflects the significance of the law — the Centre does not have similar commissioners for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, mid-day meal or other major education programmes it runs.

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UID body to monitor the education system
Prashant K. Nanda, Mint, July 9, 2010

The Union government is in discussions with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to enrol students in the programme from the day they enter school. The effort will help monitor the education system, speed up and smoothen the grant and repayment of student loans and track millions of school and college dropouts. The human resource development (HRD) ministry has already had two rounds of consultations with Nandan Nilekani, chief of the unique ID programme, in the last three months on making it mandatory to enrol around 250 million students in schools and colleges across the country, according to the ministry.

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Govt schools asked to refund excess fee
Anupam Bhagria, Indian Express, July 02 2010

Keeping in view the Right to Education Act, the higher authorities of education department have asked all the government schools to refund fees charged from students from Classes I to VIII. According to instructions issued by Krishan Kumar, Director General Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Punjab, all the government schools are supposed to refund fees to students from Class I to Class VIII from April to June. “Following these instructions, parents of wards studying in government schools have welcomed this decision. However, teachers feel the pinch and are calling it extra work.

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Numbers plummet in govt primary schools
The Times of India, June 29, 2010

The number of government primary schools with less than 15 students has increased to 253 from last year’s 210. Officials at the directorate of education (DoE), however, say there are no plans to shut these schools. “Even though they have few enrolments these schools will continue to function. We need schools to cater to students in the locality,” Anil Powar, deputy director of education told TOI on Wednesday. It may be recalled that the DoE had a different stand on the issue in 2008. It had then sought to send students from low-enrolment schools to schools with better enrolments. The move was scrapped following stiff opposition from parent teacher associations. The PTAs had pointed out that students would have to travel longer distances to reach school.

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Sibal favours PPP in achieving Gross Enrolment Ratio target
The Hindu, July 11, 2010

Expressing concern at the ratio of school passing students joining colleges, Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Sunday favoured Public-Private Partnership to tackle this as the government “lacked financial resources and wherewithal to achieve the tall order.” While the present Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) is 12.4 per cent, government’s target is around 30 per cent by 2020 and to realise this, the participation of private players and other stake-holders is important, Mr. Sibal said while delivering the first Kuruvila Jacob Memorial Oration here.

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Navodaya entrance tests violate RTE
Prashant K. Nanda, Mint, July 9 2010

The government’s special schools have discovered that their selection process is in direct violation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which stipulates that entrance tests are illegal up to class VIII. The Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs), a special group of 594 schools across India, have conducted two rounds of “selection tests” to pick students violating the Act’s provisions, which took effect on 1 April. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), the official monitor of the law, has asked the schools to scrap the test.

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High Demand, Short Supply
Ashok Malik, The Times of India, July 9, 2010

Since the reforms of 1991, India has recognised the logic of liberalisation in business sectors as far apart as telecom and energy. Yet, it is unconscionable that such an approach is deliberately ignored when it comes to a compelling arena: school education. Policy neglect if not policy perversity is leading to a crying paucity of good private schools in India’s biggest cities. Why does school education remain a shaming embodiment of India’s shortage economy? There is massive demand; parents have paying capacity; entrepreneurs and service providers are ever willing to fill the gap. However, policy angularities and an over-bureaucratised regulatory system present an overwhelming obstacle. City authorities determine school fees, place ceilings on the size of schools, make it near impossible to change land use to open new schools.

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Muslim clerics oppose Right to Education
Zia Haq, Hindustan Times, July 12, 2010

Nearly a year after India passed the landmark right to education law making schooling compulsory, influential madrasa administrators are preparing to resist it, maintaining the law is a threat to Muslim religious schools. Seminary leaders from all sects will assemble in Delhi in July-end for consultations. called by the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, the country’s largest cleric body. Some of their concerns may be valid, legal experts said. “The Act recognizes only one type of school and only one type of education. It can be used to outlaw madrasas,” Mahmood Madni, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind leader, told HT.

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Research Paper

Balanced Leadership: What 30 years of research tells us about the effect of leadership on student achievement

More than three decades of research on the effects of instruction and schooling on student achievement are creating a new science of education. Starting in 1998 McRel began synthesising this growing body of research through meta-analyses of research on student characteristics and teacher and school practices associated with school effectiveness. The results of The first two meta-analyses have provided practitioners with specific guidance on the curricular, instructional and school practices that when applied appropriately can result in increased student achievement.

Tim Waters, Robert J Marzano and Brian Mc Nulty

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Digital Learning

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The photo shows students learning at a digital classroom in Tamil Nadu. The school education department there seems to strongly believe that things will be smooth, for the textbooks have detailed, self-explanatory notes to guide the teachers.


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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