Weekly Update on Education

28 December 2010


CBSE set to scrap Class 12 exam
Maitreyee Boruah, Daily News & Analysis, December 27, 2010

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is continuing with its efforts to ease the burden of exams on its students.After having made Class X exams optional, the board now aims at scrapping the Class XII board exams. At the recently concluded 17th National Annual Conference of Sahodaya School Complexes 2010 held in Bangalore, CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi hinted that Class XII board exams would also be made optional in the near future.Sources at CBSE said that the Class XII board exam is likely to become optional from 2013 onwards. The board’s latest initiative to do-away with Class XII board exam is part of its ongoing education reform, under the guidance of ministry of human resource development (MHRD).

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Edvantage 2010: The Economics of Education
Nilakshi Sharma, The Economic Times, December 23, 2010

India is poised on the edge of a precipice – our undeniably unique demographic situation can either be an unparalleled dividend or absolute disaster. And the pivot upon which the fate of the nation hangs in balance is Education. Kapil Sibal succinctly summed it up when he said, “If you look at the history of civilizations, the economic prosperity of countries depends upon conquering newer frontiers of knowledge.”

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Enumeration work irks teachers
Renuka Phadnis, The Hindu, December 27, 2010

Some women teachers of government schools here have said that they are put to great hardship while implementing their duties as booth-level officers (BLOs) for revising voters’ list as teaching in schools is affected and they are forced to visit houses late in the evening. The teachers complain that BLO duties require them to do the work after school hours, which they find distressing as it means visiting houses after dusk. If they take it up during school hours, it affects their schedule to complete portions.The BLO work, which is on-going, involves verification of applications to add, delete or modify voters’ lists, including adding those who have become eligible to vote or deleting the names of dead voters. Each teacher has to visit 300 houses in 15 days to cover between 800 to 1,000 people. They are called every year, sometimes more than once, for this duty.

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Hurdles Emerge in Rising Effort to Rate Teachers
Sharon Otterman, The New York Times, December 26, 2010

For the past three years, Katie Ward and Melanie McIver have worked as a team at Public School 321 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, teaching a fourth-grade class. But on the reports that rank the city’s teachers based on their students’ standardized test scores, Ms. Ward’s name is nowhere to be found. Melanie McIver, a teacher at Public School 321 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with Elizabeth Phillips, background, the school principal. Both women have seen issues related to the city’s system of ranking teachers, which is at the heart of a lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.“I feel as though I don’t exist,” she said last Monday, looking up from playing a vocabulary game with her students.

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Bengal govt clears 17 pc OBC quota in higher education
Shiv Sahay Singh, Indian Express, December 24, 2010

Paving way for enrollment of more minorites and Other Backward Communities in West Bengal, the state assembly announced a 17 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher educational institutions on Thursday. Higher Education Minister Sudarshan Roychowdhury said the reservation will be implemented in two phases under two groups – A and B.While in academic year 2011-12 the reservation will be ten per cent, five per cent for Group A and five per cent for Group B, in 2012-13, another seven per cent will be implemented, five per cent in Group A and two per cent in Group B.

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Coming soon: a code of ethics for teachers
Mathang Seshagiri, The Times of India, December 24, 2010

Like the legal eagles and medicos, lakhs of school teachers across India will soon be bound by a stringent code of ethics in a bid to instil professionalism among them. A four-member committee of the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) has mooted a mechanism for registration of persons eligible for teaching in schools. Freshly-appointed teachers will be administered an oath to observe a 23-point code of professional ethics to enhance the dignity of their profession.The committee, headed by former director of NCERT, A K Sharma, has drawn up a three-tiered code listing the obligations of teachers towards students, parents, society and colleagues. Ethics committees, starting with schools and leading upto a pan-India level, may deal with violations of the code.

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Govt may add 200,000 engineering seats
Prashant K Nanda, Mint, December 21, 2010

The government is considering allowing engineering schools to admit more students in an attempt which will add around 200,000 seats in graduate courses and that seeks to address a growing shortage of engineers in the country. India has around 1.3 million students enrolled in around 3,200 engineering colleges, and produces nearly 500,000 engineers a year.“India needs two kinds of education expansion—one providing access to a large number of people and two improving the quality of education that we impart. While increasing the number of seats is in the direction of providing more people higher education, my concern is will quality get affected,” said Narayanan Ramaswamy, executive director (education) at audit firm KPMG. “There is already a shortage of faculty to the tune of 30% and here we are increasing the students without increasing the teachers who will teach them. This may produce some sub-standard engineers in the country.”

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HRD putting systems in place ahead of RTE rollout
Akshaya Mukul, The Times of India, December 25, 2010

With barely few months left for the Right to Education ( RTE) Act to be implemented across the nation, the HRD ministry says it has put most of the systems and processes in place. The key issue yet to be decided is the screening process in residential schools like the government-run Navodaya Vidyalayas and private boarding schools. The defiance of screening rules by the Delhi government is also likely to come up for discussion, sources said.Lack of funds for recruiting teachers has also been dealt with. The Centre has not only approved hiring of 4.55 lakh teachers out of the 5.08-lakh vacancy, but also agreed to pay for their salaries.

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Research Paper
How Large are Returns to Schooling? Hint: Money Isn’t Everything
Philip Oreopoulos and Kjell G. Salvanes

ABSTRACT: This paper explores the many avenues by which schooling affects lifetime well-being. Experiences and skills acquired in school reverberate throughout life, not just through higher earnings. Schooling also affects the degree one enjoys work and the likelihood of being unemployed. It leads individuals to make better decisions about health, marriage, and parenting. It also improves patience, making individuals more goal-oriented and less likely to engage in risky behavior. Schooling improves trust and social interaction, and may offer substantial consumption value to some students. We discuss various mechanisms to explain how these relationships may occur independent of wealth effects, and present evidence that non-pecuniary returns to schooling are at least as large as pecuniary ones. Ironically, one explanation why some early school leavers miss out on these high returns is that they lack the very same decision making skills that more schooling would help improve.

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Statistics on Indian Education
Youth (1524 years) literacy rate, 20032007, female
Primary school enrolment ratio 20032008, gross, male
Primary school enrolment ratio 20032008, gross, female
Primary school enrolment ratio 20032008, net, male
Primary school enrolment ratio 20032008, net, female

Source: UNICEF




Skill Vouchers - Global Experiences and Lessons for India

Leah Verghese and Parth J Shah

A study of the role that skill vouchers can play in catalysing demand for quality skill development services. This study examines global experiences with skill vouchers and draws lessons for India from these experiences.

For more click here

Reservation in Private Schools under the Right to Education Act: Model for Implementation

Shekhar Mittal and Parth J Shah

Through this document the Centre for Civil Society seeks to highlight the lacunae in the current framework for 25% reservation for weaker and disadvantaged groups in unaided private schools and seeks to provide inputs on effective implementation of the same.

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.



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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