Weekly Update on Education

9 November 2010

Big-ticket education deals this week
Charu Sudan Kasturi, Hindustan Times, November 7, 2010

US President Barack Obama’s visit to India is set to start to an unprecedented wave of back-to-back, big-ticket international education deals over the coming week aimed at making India a global education destination. India will sign key education pacts with Canada on Tuesday and the UK on Thursday after finalising projects with Obama’s delegation on Monday, top government sources confirmed.

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India will do well to learn the US vocational education model
Prashant K. Nanda, Mint, November 4, 2010

India is a developing country with a developed talent— that’s what Jack Welch, then chief executive of General Electric Co. (GE), said a decade ago. That sentiment is behind education emerging as one of the key areas of collaboration between the US and India. Sample this: Human resource development minister Kapil Sibal has travelled to the US twice in the last six months along with top bureaucrats and academics. Several US officials, including secretary of state Hillary Clinton and under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs Judith McHale, have reiterated the need for better educational tie-ups.

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No poll duty for govt teachers during school hours
Sandeep Dua, The Times of India, November 7, 2010

Government teachers who have been crying foul over being posted for election duties during school timings can now be asked to do their duties after the hours. In his letter to all the deputy commissioners of Punjab, the Director General of School Education (DGSE) Krishan Kumar said that they should not call the teachers for the census counting or for election duties during school timings. The copy of the Right to Education Act has also been sent to the DCs as per the order of the Supreme Court.

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Drama behind the RTE Act
PTI, October 4, 2010

The Central Government may be basking in self-admiration for having enacted a legislation that provides for free and compulsory education to every child aged 6 to 14. The road to realising this long-cherished but seldom-pursued goal, however, is marred by several challenges. More than seven months after the landmark Right to Education (RTE) Act came into force, its implementation in the State remains on a shaky ground as private schools, especially in Bangalore, continue to raise serious objections to various key clauses of the legislation. These schools may be criticised for being ‘elitist and snobby’, but they insist they are “not against the legislation per se”. .

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Mid Day Meal scheme hits rough weather
Anupam Bhagria, Indian Express, November 1, 2010

The Mid Day Meal Scheme, which was started to enhance enrolment and maintenance of good student strength in government schools, has come to a halt in some schools. The scheme was kicked off all over India in 2003, under which the schools get raw materials like wheat and rice from the district Food and Civil Supplies department and funds for processing are given by the Central and state governments. Sources say that due to non-availability of ration and funds, the scheme has been stopped in some schools of the district.

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School Choice on Trial
Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2010

School choice plans are proliferating around the nation, and today the Supreme Court will hear a case that could stop them cold on dubious legal grounds. In Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn, the question is whether a scholarship tax credit program that has operated in Arizona since 1997 violates the First Amendment’s clause that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

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Dramatic Election Gains for School Choice
Business Wire, November 5, 2010

The future for school choice programs across the country brightened dramatically this week in the wake of the election of several new governors and state legislators, strengthening a growing bipartisan coalition for school choice, according to the American Federation for Children (AFC). “Now is the time to move forward with big, bold change that will ensure equal educational opportunity for every child.” The Federation and its affiliated political committees were triumphant in almost every one of the 200+ state elections in which the organizations were involved and invested over $3 million in state primary and general elections.In key states for the school choice movement—including Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Georgia, Ohio, and Wisconsin—school choice champions made significant gains.

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Miles to go for proper schooling
Sabloo Thomas, New Indian Express, November 7, 2010

The provision in the Right to Education (RTE) Act that a child should be able to access a school within a kilometre’s walk is seen by many as the most revolutionary part of the Act. But the challenge is to transfer the radical fervour seen on paper to reality. This reporter went down to the Attappady tribal area of Palakkad district in Kerala, the most educationally-backward region in a state that has the highest literacy rate in the country, looking for signs of transformation. What I came across instead was a land that was deprived of even the most basic facilities.Websites that appeal to every taste and hobby help create virtual hang-outs for the young.

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Research Paper
The Impact of Public Education Expenditure on Human Capital, Growth, and Poverty in Tanzania and Zambia- A General Equilibrium Approach

Hong-Sang Jung and Erik Thorbecke


The impact of public education expenditure on human capital, the supply of different labor skills, and its macroeconomic and distributional consequences is appraised within a multisector CGE model. The model is applied to and calibrated for two Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs), Tanzania and Zambia. The simulation results suggest that education expenditure can raise economic growth. However, to maximize benefits from education expenditure, a sufficiently high level of physical investment is needed, as are measures that improve the match between the pattern of educational output and the structure of effective demand for labor. An important result of the simulation experiments is that a well-targeted pattern of education expenditure can be effective for poverty alleviation.


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Book of the Month

Creative Dialogue: Talk for Thinking in the Classroom

Robert Fisher

London: Routledge

In this challenging and thought provoking text, Robert Fisher raises serious questions about questioning and talk in the classroom. Creative Dialogue is well documented with informative headings and is infused with demonstrative stories from the traditional tales featuring wise man and trickster, Nasruddin. These stories not only illustrate the meaning of each chapter but are guaranteed to capture the imagination of the reader.

For more click here


Student First! Magazine

The inaugural issue of Student First! Magazine is out. Read it 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.



Student First! Dialogue Series

Topic: Social Audit in School Education

18 November 2010

Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre,

New Delhi

For more information


School Choice National Conference 2010

18 December 2010, 9 am - 6 pm
The Theatre, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India

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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