Weekly Update on Education

4 January 2010

English Education: A way out of slums?
Aakar Patel, Mint, December 30, 2010

Every afternoon, by the rear entrance to St Andrew’s school in Mumbai’s Bandra neighbourhood, gather dozens of women. Some are in burqa, most work as servants, all are from the large Muslim slum at the edge of the suburb. From the balcony of my ground-floor flat next door I watch them squat in the sun, awaiting the bell signalling the return of their children. Girls in blue pinafores, boys in blue shorts and white shirt (and a tie after class V) come out to mothers who carry tiffin boxes. Almost inevitably, the women pass a hand over the child, fondling it, ruffling hair, proud. What were the tiffins for, I wondered, till I understood. The children weren’t going home directly but elsewhere, a tuition class perhaps.The school-going children from the slum are many and rising, and a newspaper reported the school’s response: applying a system of reservation by religion. A third of the children admitted would be Hindu, a third Christian and a third Muslim.

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Three new IIMs struggle in the absence of permanent teachers
Prashant K. Nanda, Mint, January 3, 2010

The absence of permanent faculty is hurting the quality of education at the three Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) that opened last year, even as the government readies to launch three more in the next academic session. Visiting professors from other IIMs are taking virtually all classes at the IIMs in Rohtak, Ranchi and Raipur.IIMs are India’s elite business schools. Older IIMs are located in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode and Shillong.

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Iran’s education reform takes anti-Western tack
Thomas Erdbrink, The Washington Post, January 2, 2011

Iran is overhauling its education system to rid it of Western influence, the latest attempt by the government to fortify Islamic values and counter the clout of the country’s increasingly secularized middle class. Starting in September, all Iranian high school students will be introduced to new courses such as “political training” and “living skills” that will warn against “perverted political movements” and encourage girls to marry at an early age, Education Ministry officials say.

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Sibal’s New Year gift may find few takers
Kalpana Pathak, Business Standard, January 1, 2011

Kapil Sibal’s New Year gift may not cheer many management and engineering institutions. The human resource development minister yesterday allowed an additional 200,000 engineering, 80,000 management and 2,200 architecture seats. But data obtained from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) showed that in 2010, around 60,000, or 30 per cent of the existing 200,000 management seats remained vacant. This is the highest vacancy ever in management education, with institutions even accepting money and selling seats to students without entrance test scores.Ditto with engineering institutes, where nearly 530,000 seats or 40 per cent of the total 1.32 million seats remained unoccupied.

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Govt moves to strip Bar council of education role
Dhananjay Mahapatra, The Times of India, January 1, 2011

The UPA government is keen to bring in a new legislation to set up a National Commission for Higher Legal Education and Research, which will take over the traditional role of Bar Council of India (BCI) as the body to grant recognition to law colleges and specify the academic curriculum.The move is not prompted by the recent arrest of a BCI member by CBI on charges of taking bribe to grant recognition to a law college. Rather, the government feels that the statutory body created to enforce code of professional conduct and ethics for the one-million strong lawyers is ill-equipped to decide matters relating to higher legal education and research.

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Nursery admission process to begin in all Delhi schools Monday
Hindustan Times, January 2, 2011

Nursery admissions in Delhi will start in a full-fledged manner on Monday as parents gear up to brave the cold while queuing up at schools for buying application forms. “We are all prepared to start the year by lining up for the admission form,” said Yashika Malik, software professional whose daughter turned three last November.While some schools started selling admission forms Saturday, the bulk of them will start the process on Monday. The forms will be sold till Jan 15.

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School choice, but few real options
Naomi Rubin DeVeaux and Mark Schneider, The Washington Post, January 2, 2011

Every summer, an increasingly common event occurs across the nation – parents open a letter telling them that their child’s school failed to meet benchmarks set by the federal No Child Left Behind law. As a result, the letter explains, they have the right to send their child to another public school if space is available.The District is no stranger to this event. Some 39 percent of D.C. public school children attend independently run but publicly financed charter schools. About 30 percent more reject their neighborhood school to participate in the out-of-boundary program operated by D.C. public schools.

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Bali School Makes Sustainability a Way of Life
Bettina Wassener, The New York Times, January 2, 2011

Half a world away from Cancún, Mexico, and the international climate change talks that took place there last month, a school here in Indonesia is staging its own attempt to save the planet. It is small-scale and literally grassroots — and possibly in some respects more effective than the tortuous efforts of politicians to agree on how to stop global warming.In the midst of the lush, steaming jungle of Bali, along a pitted road, past scattered chickens and singing cicadas, Green School has two dozen buildings made of giant bamboo poles. There are no walls, and there is no air-conditioning. Just gracefully arched roofs, concrete floors and bamboo furniture. There is a big, grassy playground, complete with goalposts made — yes — of bamboo; a bamboo bridge across a rock-strewn river; vegetable patches; and a mud-wrestling pit.

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Research Paper
To Segregate or to Integrate: Education Politics and Democracy

David de la Croix and Matthias Doepke

ABSTRACT: How is the quality of public education affected by the presence of private schools for the rich? Theory and evidence suggest that the link depends crucially on the political system. We develop a theory that integrates private education and fertility decisions with voting on public schooling expenditures. We find that the presence of a large private education sector benefits public schools in a broad-based democracy where politicians are responsive to low-income families but crowds out public education spending in a society that is politically dominated by the rich. The main predictions of the theory are consistent with state-level data and micro data from the U.S. as well as cross-country evidence from the Programme for International Student Assessment study.

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Book of the Month

To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher

William Ayers

NY: Teachers College Press

This new edition, with a Foreword by Sonia Nieto and an Afterword by Mike Rose, is invaluable in helping the reader explore exactly how to approach the sacred role of being a teacher. Ayers, who is now retired from his position as
Distinguished Professor and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, brings to this volume his experiences as a teacher whose students ranged from small children to graduate students. He applies wide reading of literature beyond that specifically thought of as educational. And he applies the lessons he learned from being a parent.

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.




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




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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