Weekly Update on Education

26 April 2011

Putting schooling to the test
Indian Express, April 26, 2011

Amendments to the Indian Constitution are not unusual, but a change in the Fundamental Rights section is a rare, momentous occasion. In August 2002, the basic character of the Constitution was amended to make free and compulsory education a fundamental right of every child. It took seven long years after that for the Parliament to adopt the Right to Education (RTE) legislation, and the law became operational little over a year ago.

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Good Education Is a Right, Not a Crime
The Root, April 22, 2011

Start typing “mother arrested” into Google, and the Internet wastes no time filling in the rest: “for lying about her address.” Not “for selling her daughters on Craigslist,” “for feeding her sons drywall” or “for locking her kids in the basement like Boo Radley,” but for trying to educate them beyond the borders of their block. In the United States of America, educating your children by any means necessary is a punishable offense.

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Madrassas get only meagre share of pie
Times of India, April 22, 2011

Though Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), a national flagship programme to provide quality elementary education to all children in the 614 years age group through a time bound approach, extends assistance to minority institutions like madrassas/makhtabs, these institutions need more facilities equal to SSA-covered schools to meet the objective of the Right to Education Act (RET) in earnest.

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Rigor Is Better
The American, April 20, 2011

Last week the National Center for Education Statistics released the latest High School Transcript Study, which presents information from transcripts collected from a nationally representative sample of more than 37,000 high school graduates from more than 700 public and private schools. The study documents the number and types of courses that high school graduates in the class of 2009 took and how their course-taking patterns relate to their performance on the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) mathematics and science assessments.

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Education 2.0: The Khan Academy
The Dawn, April 26, 2011

What if your child could get a free, world-class education from a man with an MBA from Harvard and three Bachelors degrees in Math, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science from MIT? Salman Khan is offering just that from his wooden desk made of antique telephone poles in the heart of Silicon Valley.

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On school choice we must look to the US
The Telegraph, April 26, 2011

One of the most powerful ideas in education reform is the “voucher”. At present, the Government spends more than £5,000 per year on average for a child in a state school (more for secondary schools, less for primary schools). With a “voucher”, parents could choose to take that money and spend it on a place in a private school. Parents would gain a much greater range of choice overnight, and research suggests that greater choice leads to better results. This is the evidence from Sweden, which has served as the inspiration for Michael Gove’s free schools.

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Andhra Pradesh CM approves proposal for rationalization of School: Student : Teacher ratio
India Education Diary, April 21, 2011

The Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy today approved a proposal for rationalization of School: Student : Teacher ratio throughout the State followed by teachers transfers and Teacher Eligibility Test (TET).

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Looking for ‘impact of scale’, an entrepreneur tries again
Mint, April 21, 2011

Bangalore: It was 1994. Pradeep Singh, a Harvard Business School (HBS) alumnus and Microsoft Corp. veteran asked for a meeting with N.R. Narayana Murthy and Nandan Nilekani on a little business idea he had. Back then, when you were from Microsoft, people listened.

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School Inputs, Household Substitution, and Test Scores

Jishnu Das, Stefan Dercon, James Habyarimana, Pramila Krishnan, Karthik Muralidharan and Venkatesh Sundararaman

Abstract: Empirical studies of the relationship between school inputs and test scores typically do not account for the fact that households will respond to changes in school inputs. We present a dynamic household optimization model relating test scores to school and household inputs, and test its predictions in two very different low-income country settings – Zambia and India. We measure household spending changes and student test score gains in response to unanticipated as well as anticipated changes in school funding. Consistent with the optimization model, we find in both settings that households offset anticipated grants more than unanticipated grants. We also find that unanticipated school grants lead to significant improvements in student test scores but anticipated grants have no impact on test scores. Our results suggest that naïve estimates of public education spending on learning outcomes that do not account for optimal household responses are likely to be considerably biased if used to estimate parameters of an education production function.

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ENABLE – ARK & CCS’s School Access and Voucher Programme

ARK’s work in Delhi has identified many communities where children are facing multiple social and economic challenges which put them at great risk of being excluded, dropping out or never attending school. To address this need ARK has partnered with Centre for Civil Society (CCS)
to implement ENABLE (Ensure Access to Better Learning Experiences), a school access and
voucher programme for underprivileged children in Shahdara.Read more


WISE Awards 2011: Now open for submissions

Innovative educational projects from all regions of the world and from all educational sectors may now be entered for the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Awards 2011 at The submissions deadline is 31 May 2011.

Click here for details.


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.

Money for RTE

Has enough money been allocated to ensure effective implementation of RTE? Cast your vote and tell us your thoughts.

For more click here

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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