Weekly Update on Education

10 May 2011

EduVARTA: Using SMS to educate rural youth!
Rediff Business, May 6, 2011

Ravi Ghate is proud of his academic failure. “12th pass, 2nd year diploma failed,” he beams as he introduces himself.

This pride stems from his belief that failure in academics has brought him international acclaim. It is this failure that made him think about millions of Indian youth like himself and the thought led him to create an award-winning, UNESCO-recognised social SMS enterprise called SMSONE.

SMSONE, a Short Message Service-based local community newsletter, uses the basic SMS text to deliver hyper local news in some of the remotest parts of the country.

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India Inc yet to warm up to PPP model for rural education
Financial Chronicle, May 9, 2011

The government’s plan to provide education to India’s rural masses has not found many takers from India Inc.

With private companies shying away from partnering with government in rural areas, the Public Private Parnership (PPP) model seems to have been limited to some cities and urban districts.

As per an HRD ministry proposal, 6000 model schools were to be set up on PPP mode in partnership with private companies.

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Coming Soon: the ’3 idiots’ formula for SSC schools
Mid-Day, May 10, 2011

It was a scene straight out of the Bollywood movie 3 Idiots. And the protagonist this time was state Education Minister Rajendra Darda. In the city to meet officials from the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) entrusted with the task of revising the curriculum for SSC schools, Darda insisted that practical and not rote learning be the new mantra of education.

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Akshaya Patra Mid-Day-Meal Project for Students in Bangalore

The aim of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, in carrying out the mid-day meal program, is that the meal should act as an incentive to bring the children back to school.

A hungry child is less likely to attend school regularly. Often, hunger drains them of their will and ability to learn. It also delays or stops the physical or mental growth of children.

Malnutrition adversely affects Universality of Elementary Education. Even if a malnourished child does attend school, she /he finds it difficult to concentrate on and participate in the teaching/ learning activities in school. Unable to cope, she/he would drop out.

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Englewood program works to lift underachieving students – New Jersey, May 9, 2011

Think boot camp for the average student, with the ultimate goal of shaping B, C and D earners into high achievers bound for college.

Englewood’s AVID program — an intense, voluntary curriculum that targets middle achievers — is creating an increasing number of success stories, largely by combining academics with life skills.

Advancement Via Individual Determination, serving 15 schools across New Jersey and some 4,600 schools nationwide, focuses on the least-served students — those who have the desire to go to college, but are falling short.

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RTI lessons for school children
Times of India, May 9, 2011

LUCKNOW: Even as the ten-member joint committee comprising representatives of the civil society and the UPA government is drafting Jan Lokpal Bill for curbing corruption, social activists led by Magsaysay award winner Sandeep Pandey have launched a campaign in Lucknow teaching school children how to use the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005 to end corruption.

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Lost in the School Choice Maze
The New York Times, May 6, 2011

New York: ON the last day in March, when most eighth graders in New York City learned where they would be going to high school in the fall, Radcliffe Saddler watched the majority of his classmates rip open thin envelopes and celebrate.

Some students opened thick envelopes just as he did and started crying. Radcliffe, an honors student at Isaac Bildersee Middle School in Canarsie, Brooklyn, was determined to hold in his emotions until he got home.

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5 Ideas to Prepare Students for Success Without Standardized Testing
Huffington Post, May 9, 2011

Just type the word “testing” into the search box on Facebook and you’ll find thousands of parents distraught over the standardized tests their children are being forced to take despite the fact that these parents know it is not in the best interests for their children who in many cases are becoming physically ill and emotionally traumatized by the experience of sitting for up to two weeks straight filling out bubble sheets and answering prompts. Schools are reluctant and even misleading when it comes to informing parents they can simply opt out often arguing that although they acknowledge that it might not be in the best interest of the child, without standardized tests, everything will fall apart.

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Getting Girls Into School; Evidence from a Scholarship Program in Cambodia

Authors: Deon Filmer and Norbert Schady

Abstract: Increasing the schooling attainment of girls is a challenge in much of the developing world. In this paper we evaluate the impact of a program that gives scholarships to girls making the transition between the last year of primary school and the first year of secondary school in Cambodia. We show that the scholarship program had a large, positive effect on the school enrollment and attendance of girls.

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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


School Vouchers for Girls

400 girl children from poor families of North East Delhi receive school vouchers for a period of 4 years.
For details visit website


Support Children's Right to Education of Choice!

For more details on how to support, log on to or email us at



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