Weekly Update on Education

21 September 2010

Accounts leash on private schools – Government move to stop institutions from hiking tuition fees arbitrarily
Mita Mukherjee, The Telegraph, September 20, 2010

The state government has decided to ask private schools to furnish details of their accounts to stop them from indiscriminately hiking fees. Although all private schools will be required to reveal the data, the government’s focus is on English-medium institutions as they have been frequently accused of raising fees arbitrarily. The state education department will soon send a circular to nearly 500 private English-medium schools — both unaided and partially aided (those getting dearness allowance) — telling them that it will be binding on them to provide details of their financial data (income and expenditure) whenever asked by the government.The government can take legal action if the schools fail to reveal the figures.

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Speaking the right language
Hindustan Times, September 17, 2010

Union minister for human resource development Kapil Sibal is clearly a follower of Confucius who once said, “If language is not correct, what is said is not meant…” Something perhaps that India and China could well do without. So, Mr Sibal’s initiative to introduce Mandarin in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum will go a long way towards exciting interest in schools about China, still largely a mystery to most Indians who seem to identify far more with more distant lands like the US. Mr Sibal is on the right track, given that China is not just a powerful neighbour but also a huge consumer of global resources.

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Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidates advocate school-vouchers bill at forum
Tom Infield, The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 15, 2010

Addressing “school choice” advocates, the two candidates for Pennsylvania governor said Tuesday they generally support a bill that would permit low-income students in failing public schools to obtain vouchers they could use for attendance at another public school or private school. That commitment by Republican Tom Corbett and Democrat Dan Onorato represented a major shift in the education debate since the last election for governor in 2006, when school choice was not a top issue.It reflects a growing split among public-education advocates, including liberals, over whether taxpayer-funded vouchers should ever be permitted, even in school districts with low test scores and high dropout rates.

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It’s criminal to close schools that teach the poor
Gurcharan Das, The Times of India, September 19, 2010

India must be unique in the world for wanting to close down schools that serve the poor. What would be admired elsewhere as an example of entrepreneurial initiative (or jugaad as we say) is illegal here. These schools typically charge Rs 100 to 250 per month in fees but do not get recognition because they fail to meet standards. For example, they don’t have a large enough playing field or they cannot pay the minimum government teacher salary of Rs 20,000 a month. In order to comply with standards, they would have to raise fees to Rs 1,200, but then the poor would not be able to afford them.

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School For Change – A new breed of managers is required to sustain India’s growth
S.L. Rao, The Telegraph, September 20, 2010

Management education is now 45 years old if we count the business administration departments established in 1955 in Delhi and two other universities. The number of management schools recognized by the Central government is now said to have reached 2,500. India and the United States of America have the largest number of students going to business schools. The vast majority of these schools in India is well below standard, with few staff members and that of low quality, poor facilities as in libraries and computers. The image of most is that they are there only to make money for the promoters. Business school students do not come for an education but for the choicest jobs. Business school education is seen as inculcating greed as the highest virtue. The large number of MBAs in financial firms in the US at the time the world economy was thrown by their mismanagement into recession is validation of this.

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Education in poor countries hurt by financial crisis
Michelle Nichols, Reuters Africa, September 20, 2010

As world leaders meet this week to review a U.N. bid to cut poverty and hunger by 2015, the Global Campaign for Education warned that the financial crisis had halted improvements in education for children in impoverished countries. There are 69 million children out of school around the world, said a report on the world’s 60 poorest nations by the campaign, a coalition of more than 100 organizations. But if all those children could be educated to leave school with just basic reading skills, about 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty, it said.“If scientists can genetically modify food and NASA can send missions to Mars, politicians must be able to find the resources to get millions of children into school and change the prospects of a generation of children,” said the campaign’s president, Kailash Satyarthi.

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Maharashtra may fail to implement no-fail policy
Yogita Rao, Daily News & Analysis, September 19, 2010

Though the grading system in schools was introduced over a month ago by the state education department, teachers are yet to undergo training to implement it. The system has to be in place before the no-fail policy introduced under the Right to Education Act can be implemented. What is now worrying students and teachers is that the first semester is coming to an end. The government resolution had laid down a plan for the implementation of the new grading system in schools, which reduced the numbers of unit tests. It also introduced formative and summative assessment for students from Std I to VIII. Summative assessment requires a semester-end test, while for the formative one students need to be evaluated throughout the year, every day.“Even though the semester is almost over, we are clueless on the new pattern.

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70 million children get no education, says report
Jessica Shepherd, The Guardian, September 20, 2010

Almost 70 million children across the world are prevented from going to school each day, a study published today reveals. Those living in north-eastern Africa are the least likely to receive a good education – or any education at all, an umbrella body of charities and teaching unions known as the Global Campaign for Education has found.It ranks the world’s poorest countries according to their education systems. Somalia has the least functional system in the world with just 10% of children going to primary school, while Eritrea is second worst..

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Research Paper

Can Cost-Benefit Analysis Guide Education Policy in Developing Countries?

ABSTRACT: Cost-benefit analysis in education is an important tool in the economists’ arsenal. However, it is essential that research, especially on the social benefits of education, make further progress to make cost-benefit analysis more useful. There is a need for more research on the effects of policy interventions on outcomes beyond access to a year in school and what they earn as a result, such as onwhat children actually learn. Such research should focus on ensuring that the interventions are attributable to outcomes. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to go through the discipline of noting the benefits and costs, even if social rates of return cannot be calculated robustly.

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Global Education Statistics

Distribution of aid to basic education by levels



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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Student First! Dialogue

Social Audit in School Education

Thursday, 4 November 2010 | 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India

For more details 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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