Weekly Update on Education

14 September 2010

India’s missing educators
Narayan Ramachandran, Mint, September 12, 2010

Another Teacher’s Day has come and gone. Like the ones before it, we have had the usual combination of speeches (New Delhi), awards (Mohali), “felicitations” (Mangalore), blood donations (Ulhasnagar), walkouts (Shillong), food poisonings (Mumbai), teacher thrashings (Malda) and black badges (Ludhiana). Barely a week later, we are back to the status quo. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, on whose birthday the day is celebrated, must be doing a summersault in his grave.

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Demystifying education: Something that could improve people’s lives
Economic Times, September 12, 2010

When Sanjit “Bunker” Roy was in college, and then in a job that allowed him a comfortable lifestyle, he had never thought about becoming a social entrepreneur. But the job itself, which involved mining and deep wells, led him to it. “I lived with very poor people under the stars and heard the simple stories they had to tell—stories of their knowledge and wisdom that only life can teach.”Such was the impact that his motivation shifted from just having a comfortable life back home, to improving that of the poor. Since 1972, his Barefoot College in Rajasthan has trained more than 3 million rural women from poor agricultural communities as midwives, handpump mechanics, solar engineers, artisans, weavers, crèche teachers, parabolic solar cooker engineers, FM radio operators, dentists, masons, and day and night school teachers.

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Higher education standards in decline since 1970s: Expert
B K Mishra, The Times of India, September 13, 2010

Expressing serious concern over the progressive decline in higher education standards in Bihar and Jharkhand, some eminent educationists of the state on Sunday demanded urgent steps for improving the system. Participating at a panel discussion on “Problems and prospects of higher education in Bihar and Jharkhand” organized by the Economics Association of Bihar at AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies here, they pleaded for better governance of the educational institutions and stressed on transparency in their functioning. Central University of Bihar (CUB) vice-chancellor Janak Pandey presided.LN Mithila Univerity VC SP Singh said that the deterioration of higher education started in the 1970s and culminated in the 1990s. Lack of general infrastructure, ever increasing onslaught on the university autonomy and undue political interference have been telling upon the quality of higher education, he said.

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Declining by degree
The Economist, September 2, 2010

Fifty years ago, in the glorious age of three-martini lunches and all-smoking offices, America’s car companies were universally admired. Everybody wanted to know the secrets of their success. How did they churn out dazzling new models every year? How did they manage so many people so successfully (General Motors was then the biggest private-sector employer in the world)? And how did they keep their customers so happy? Today the world is equally in awe of American universities. They dominate global rankings: on the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy’s list of the world’s best universities, 17 of the top 20 are American, and 35 of the top 50. They employ 70% of living Nobel prizewinners in science and economics and produce a disproportionate share of the world’s most-cited articles in academic journals. Everyone wants to know their secret recipe.

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Sibal says he’s in no hurry on education reforms
The Times of India, September 9, 2010

With memories of deferment of the Educational Tribunals Bill still fresh in his mind, HRD minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday invoked the name of Rajiv Gandhi, in the presence of UPA and National Advisory Council chairperson Sonia Gandhi, to make the point to his detractors that he was in no hurry to bring in educational reforms. Speaking at the inauguration of buildings of 31 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, Sibal said, ” Rajiv Gandhi had said we need to improve the quality of education and in months. Twenty-five years have elapsed and we are at the same stage. Now people say we are in a hurry. We should be in a hurry.”For Sonia Gandhi herself, 25 years of JNV was a proud moment. Started by Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 with two schools there are now 593 JNVs all over the country. Gandhi paid tributes to her late husband for his “vision” that has made JNVs a success story providing quality education to children from economically and socially weaker sections.

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Govt revises SSA norms
Business Standard, September 9, 2010

Aiming at smooth implementation of the Right to Education Act, the Government today approved revision of existing norms of the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan programme to bring it in conformity with the Act. The SSA, a major flagship programme of the Government to universalise elementary education in the country, will be the main vehicle for implementation of the RTE Act. The revised SSA norms, vetted by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), includes provision for teachers and classroom, support for academic supervision, research evaluation and monitoring and opening of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas.New norms under the SSA for uniforms, transportation costs and residential schools to implement the combined RTE-SSA programme have also been included.

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Gov. Christie signs bill allowing N.J. residents to send children to public schools in other towns
Jessica Calefati,, September 12, 2010

Parents dissatisfied with the quality of their local public schools can now send their children to classrooms beyond district boundaries — in some cases at taxpayer expense. Sponsored by Assembly Democrats Mila Jasey, Joan Voss and Paul Moriarty, a new law allows up to 10 percent of a district’s students to attend any other public school in the state whose enrollment is not at capacity. If more than 10 percent of a district’s students seek enrollment in new schools, it’s unclear what criteria that district would use to select which students are allowed to leave. The bill also requires home districts to provide and pay for students’ transportation to new schools up to 20 miles away, a significant financial responsibility the bill’s sponsors did not negate.

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6,000 school to be run on PPP mode soon: Purandeswari
The Hindu, September 9, 2010

The Centre will soon announce guidelines for promoting schools and institutions of learning under the public-private partnership (PPP) model. The Planning Commission, entrusted with the task of finalising norms for PPP mode projects in education, has almost finalised the plan and “6,000 model schools to be run on the PPP mode are on the anvil,” Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeswari said.Participating in a roundtable of CEOs organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Wednesday, Ms. Purandeswari said the government was coming out with the “Rashtriya Saaksharta Kosh” (national literacy fund), the proceeds of which could be used to give performance-based rewards to literacy achievers.

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Research Paper
The Role and Impact of Public-Private Partnerships in Education

Harry Anthony Patrinos, Felipe Barrera-Osorio and Juliana Guáqueta

World Bank

ABSTRACT: Education is widely believed to be critical for any nation’s economic, political, and social development. It is widely believed to help people escape from poverty and participate more fully in society and in the market place. These are a few of the reasons why governments around the world assume the responsibility for providing and financing education, especially basic education. But this responsibility is a large and complex one for any government to meet adequately, which is why it is important for governments to explore diverse ways of financing and providing educational services. This study presents the results of the first phase of a multi-year program to examine the role of public-private partnerships in education. It focuses on contracting models at the primary and secondary education levels. It reviews the conceptual underpinnings for why such partnerships might contribute to achieving a country’s education goals, reviews empirical evidence, and offers some guidelines for operations.

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SNAPS Photo Contest

The contest seeks to showcase the
inspirational work that is being done around the world to
advance the APS sector and increase the quality of education that
these schools provide to students.
We are looking for inspirational images of APS around the world.
These images may reflect a wide variety of schools, students,
teachers, parents, stakeholders, technology & interventions and
educational products & services that make up this dynamic

For more click here






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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