Weekly Update on Education

17 August 2010


Some good news, some bad
Tavleen Singh, Indian Express, August 15, 2010

Independence Day stirs nationalistic emotions even in the cynical heart of your humble columnist so I want to begin this Independence Day piece with good news. It comes from the Human Resource Development Ministry. Incidentally, it should go back to being the Education Ministry because there can be no ‘human resource development’ without education. Ever since Rajiv Gandhi changed the nomenclature, this most important of all ministries became a place of dead wood and rotten political games. If Arjun Singh spent his tenure promoting dodgy Leftist ideas, his successor, Murli Manohar Joshi, spent it rewriting history to prove that Hindus in ancient times did not eat beef.

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B-schools turn to villages for lessons in CSR
Prashant K. Nanda, Mint, August 16, 2010

At the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM-L), students pursuing the two-year master’s in business administration (MBA) programme will soon be reading up case studies about the Maoist rebellion and tribal displacement caused by large industrial projects.The business school (B-school) also plans to adopt a village so students can interact with its residents, learn about their problems and help solve them. “While our students will teach the villagers, they will learn the challenges they face in solving real-life situations, from sanitation to the family budget,” says Sushil Kumar, an IIM-L professor.

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RTE admission formula: 25% walk in, category-wise for rest
The Times of India, August 15, 2010

After a day-long consultation with experts and school principals a way out has been found to deal with the provision of no-screening in the Right to Education Act. The consensus view at Saturday’s meeting was that while 25% reservation to children of economically weaker sections will be given without any screening and on the basis of random selection through a draw of lots, for the remaining 75% there will be a rational system of categorisation and children of that category will be given admission without any screening test through a draw of lots. However, the meeting did not discuss how residential schools will implement the RTE Act. HRD minister Kapil Sibal said another meeting will be called to discuss this issue.

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Khurshid for overseer in biz education
Economic Times, August 14, 2010

Corporate affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Friday favoured a regulator in management education to improve the quality of these courses. “There is need to consider it (management education regulator),” Khurshid told reporters here. He said the University Grants Commission do not regulate management education, since they regulate universities. “There are two ways to improve the quality. One is that you leave it to the market. Second, you set up the regulator. I feel that there should a regulator instead of controller. That can be internal also,” he added on the sidelines of a function on management here.

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From today, school cannot increase fees arbitrarily thanks to govt rules
Yogita Rao, Daily News & Analysis, August 16, 2010

The state government is ready to implement the fee hike policy formulated a month ago. After a new government resolution (GR) was passed on July 15 and a subsequent court hearing, the authorities had announced that it would be implemented from August 15. From Monday, school managements will be unable to introduce a random fee hike, without the approval of the school management committees or parent-teacher associations.Also, schools will now be compelled to set up a website with vital information, such as their balance sheet. School education minister Balasaheb Thorat said, “The government will be implementing the government resolution from Monday. The schools have to set up their website soon and department offices will monitor them. The court had asked the state government to wait for a month before implementing it.”

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A-level chaos as universities shun A* grade
Graeme Paton, The Telegraph, August 13, 2010

Only 13 universities in Britain will admit students next week using the grade which has been introduced for the first time to pick out exceptional candidates.Most institutions are shunning the A* amid fears it is too hard to predict and will lead to a sharp rise in the number of teenagers admitted from private schools. Oxford alone has already rejected around 12,500 candidates, many of whom are expected to gain A*s.The disclosure came as it emerged on Friday that the official qualifications regulator had ordered exam boards to alter A-level grade boundaries because too many candidates than expected were gaining the A*.

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Law Ministry mulls commission to regulate legal education
Hindustan Times, August 13, 2010

The Law Ministry plans to set up a national commission to regulate various aspects of legal education in India, a job so far entrusted with the Bar Council of India. The draft Higher Legal Education and Research Bill, 2010, prepared by the Ministry provides for creation of a national commission to regulate various aspects of legal education. The bill provides for the regulation of various aspects of higher legal education and research, grant of recognition to law schools, colleges and institutions imparting legal education and research.

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Class struggle
The Times of India, August 14, 2010

The success of programmes like the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) in getting most children enrolled at the primary level has created the illusion that the government is now finally getting down to business and boldly financing education. Spending on education quadrupled between 1990-91 and 2000-01 . Since 2004-05 , the combined expenditure on education by the Centre and states has increased at a blistering pace — from about Rs 96,694 crore to Rs 1,86,499 crore, an almost 100 per cent increase. However, during this period, total expenditure by the government on all sectors has also gone up considerably, backed by the high growth rate of the Indian economy. But how much of the total government expenditure — and GDP — is the share that goes to education? It has remained virtually stagnant since 1991-92.

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Research Paper

School Evaluation: Current Practices In OECDRe Countries And A Literature Review
Violaine Faubert

ABSTRACT: This paper examines the current academic and policy literatures concerning school evaluation in primary and secondary education within the OECD countries. First, it provides a typology of the existing systems of school evaluation across the OECD. It encompasses the diverse criteria and instruments commonly used to carry out schools evaluation, as well as the players involved in the design and implementation of school evaluation. It also describes potential consequences for schools. Second, this paper analyses how school evaluation schemes are interrelated with other components of the evaluation framework, such as teacher evaluation and system evaluation. The potential complementarities, duplication and inconsistency of objectives stemming from these interrelations are discussed. Third, this paper presents the advantages and drawbacks of different approaches to school evaluation, the resistance and implementation difficulties resulting from misalignment of interests between different stakeholders, and possible ways to overcome impediments to implementation. Finally, it reviews the quantitative and qualitative evidence available on the impact of different school evaluation schemes on school performance, student learning and the incentives for the teaching staff.

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Primary school entrance age

No. of countries
4 yrs
5 yrs
6 yrs
7 yrs
8 yrs

Source: UIS Data Centre, May 2010




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.
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400 girl children from poor families of North East Delhi receive school vouchers for a period of 4 years.
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Student First! Dialogue Series

Topic: National Curriculum: Does one size fit all?

8 September 2010

Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre,

New Delhi

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