Weekly Update on Education

30 November 2010

RTE implementation in state improper: survey
Indian Express, November 29, 2010

A month-long campaign in the rural areas to raise awareness about the Right to Education (RTE) Act has revealed high drop-out rates and dilapidated educational infrastructure across several districts. The activists have now charged the state government for not forming a commission to implement the Central law. They have said nine others states have already formed a commission, and even where consultations are being organised, it remains “secretive” and “unknown”.On Sunday, activists of the Buniyadi Adhikar Andolan Gujarat (BAAG) and Child Rights and You (CRY) presented to journalists videos and documents they had shot and collected from 133 villages in six talukas.

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Govt no to schools testing kids,parents profiling in admission
Economic Times, November 25, 2010

Amid confusion among schools about admission norms upto Class I, Government has made it clear that children or parents should not be subjected to “testing and interview” and there should be no profiling based on education qualification of parents. Though the fresh guidelines issued under the Right to Education Act state that the admissions will be based on ‘random selection’, it allows schools to frame their own admission policy to categorise students “on rational, reasonable and just basis”.The clarification comes after several unaided and aided schools sought clarification on procedure to be followed for admission as section 13(1) of the Right to Education Act states no school or person shall subject the child or his/her parents to any “screening procedure”.

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The GOP’s Education Dilemma
Diane Ravitch, Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2010

Now that Republicans have regained control of the House of Representatives, they must take a stand in the battle for control of American education. The issue today is between those who want to federalize education policy and those who want to maintain state and local control of the public schools. Historically, the GOP has always been the party of local control, and for most of the 20th century Republicans opposed almost every effort by Democrats to expand the power of the federal government over the nation’s public classrooms.In 1965, when Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Republicans worried that it was the start of intrusive federal mandates. In time, though, they accepted that there is a legitimate federal role in providing extra funding for needy students, ensuring educational opportunity for children with disabilities, protecting students’ civil rights, gathering accurate data, and sponsoring research.

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Skilling India
The Economic Times, November 29, 2010

We welcome the initiative a number of companies are increasingly taking to train new entrants to the labour force in skills, some of which ET has covered last week. This is entirely appropriate, and superior to the notion, gaining popularity in important circles, that we should make skill formation a key element of the formal education system. The objective of education should be retained as development of the innate human potential of the young, its moulding to a specific skill being a later specialisation or an incidental part of the formal curriculum.India has done reasonably well in the information technology industry without all formal education programmes seeking to churn out IT workers. That only about 15% of those coming out of the education system are employable is a problem, true; but this owes more to the quality of the education system and less to a specific skill deficit.

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Bengal rejects text watchdog plan
Basant Kumar Mohanty, The Telegraph, November 29, 2010

Bengal is among three states that have opposed a human resource development ministry proposal to set up a national watchdog to monitor school textbooks adopted by education boards. The other two dissenting states are Gujarat and Orissa. Fourteen states and Union territories have supported the idea, though. The ministry had sought the opinion of the states and the Union territories on the proposal to set up a National Textbook Council (NTC) that would monitor the quality of textbooks adopted by different school boards. The proposed council would see that textbooks do not carry undesirable content and are in sync with the secular values enshrined in the Constitution. The proposal was mooted in 2005 by a committee of the Central Advisory Board of Education, an advisory council that has all state education ministers as its members.

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Headteachers launch protest as Michael Gove takes axe to school sports budget
Toby Helm, The Guardian, November 28, 2010

Headteachers will launch a national revolt today against plans to cut school sport as Michael Gove comes under intense pressure from inside and outside government to rethink his plans. Sixty headteachers from across England have expressed their outrage at his decision to end the entire £162m budget for School Sport Partnerships (SSPs) in a hard-hitting letter to the Observer. Their intervention comes as the head of the Canadian Olympic Committee also raises his concerns in a letter to Gove, arguing that with the 2012 London games approaching, it was vital that the SSPs should be kept in place.The heads, many in charge of specialist sports colleges, which use the funds to provide coaches and expert help to other schools in their areas, decided to act after the Observer highlighted the effects of the cuts last weekend.

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Parliamentary panel cautions govt on new IITs
The Times of India, November 26, 2010

A Parliamentary panel today cautioned the Centre that mere declaration of certain institutes as institutions of national importance will only be a quantitative achievement and the new IITs may not be able to match the established standards in near future. The observation was made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resources Development in its report tabled in the Rajya Sabha on the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961, which is aimed at declaring certain institutes of technology to be institutions of national importance.In the report, the committee said that the government had constituted an expert committee to identify certain academic institutions which had the potential for being upgraded to the level of IITs and the institute of technology, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) had been recommended for the purpose.

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Non-government schools better at providing a ladder of opportunity for all
Kevin Donnelley, Australian Conservative, November 28, 2010

As the saying goes, never let the truth get in the way of a good story. One of the myths spread by Catholic and independent school critics is that because such schools only serve wealthy and privileged students they don’t deserve government funding. A second myth is that a student’s socioeconomic background is the most influential factor determining educational success or failure. Put simply, working class and migrant students, through no fault of their own, fail to perform as well academically as students from wealthy homes with well-qualified parents.It’s not only long time critics, like the Australian Education Union and Canberra-based Trevor Cobbold, that use such myths to attack funding to Catholic and independent schools.

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Research Paper

Dr. Ravinder Rena, Factors Affecting the Enrollment and the Retention of Students at Primary Education in Andhra Pradesh – A Village Level Study

Essays in Education, Vol. 22, pp. 102-112, Fall 2007


There is an imperative need to change the education pattern to achieve universal primary education in India. Even after 60 years of Independence, India faces obstacles in providing Education For All. This study was conducted in a primary school of Errabelly village of Karimnager district of Andhra Pradesh, India. The study revealed that children dropped out of school so as to assist in household and agricultural activities. It also reveals that the dropout rate of girls is more than that of boys. The study recommended that budgetary allocations should be increased so as to encourage the primary school participation and provide some form of financial assistance to the students.

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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.






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