Weekly Update on Education

17 May 2011

The new caste system of free India, Oriya Column
Orissa Diary, May 15, 2011

The enactment of Right to Education Act, 2009 has generated a nation-wide debate on the school and mass education. There are various aspects of this act which needs a proper discussion and debate. One needs to see how relevant this act is in the context of Odisha. More than this, one should also see the present condition of the school education system prevailing in Odisha as well as in India to understand the effectiveness of the education reforms.

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South Africa: ‘Education as an Elixir for Freedom’
Chalk Board, May 10, 2011

Good evening. Thank you for Professor Desai for this opportunity, and good evening to you all. My speech tonight will rely on facts and figures, because they paint a picture we need to look at and comprehend. But facts and figures alone would make for a dull evening, and a ‘lesson’ that would surely fail to impress the best among the teaching students of UWC! So I will begin with a poem.

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An Enlightened Education
Transitions Online, April 20, 2011

ALSOZSOLCA, Hungary | “Who knows where Mumbai is?” Tibor Derdak asks a group of young students in a village school in eastern Hungary. After some wild guesses one of them answers correctly: “India.” “And what’s the weather like there?” Derdak asks.

Derdak, principal of Ambedkar High School, is teaching the students about a country that has particular significance for them. It was in India that Bimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born into a family of Dalits, sometimes called untouchables. The first justice minister of the free India, Ambedkar spent a lifetime fighting for the rights of the oppressed Dalits.

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Afghanistan: Reviving a Vision of Cultural Enlightenment
Chalk Board, May 10, 2011

A chain of about 100 Azad Schools throughout the erstwhile frontier province and Fata followed. Bacha understood that the Pakhtoons needed to be made fully conscious of the importance of non-violence, education, women’s emancipation, their local culture, history and social traditions, to unite as a proud nation that was also self-sufficient.

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Ghana, a developed country by 2025?
Indepth Africa, May 10, 2011

“Hello, I am Indian. I was in Ghana for 5 months recently. I made some observations. I think Ghanaians have potential to rise. They are extremely honest, courteous & hardworking. They love peace.

You are so right about Education. Education in Ghana is horrible. It needs to be revamped right from the Kindergarten to Doctoral level.”

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‘Education is a necessary but not a sufficient basis for social mobility’
The Hindu, May 9, 2011

Interview with Craig Jeffrey, an Oxford academic.

Has wider access to education increased social mobility in India? How much does the class still matter in India even though the constitution guarantees equality of opportunities to all? And what does the future hold for those who don’t come from the “right” class or have the “right” connections?

Oxford academic Craig Jeffrey, who spent several years in India and has written a book Timepass: Youth, Class, and the Politics of Waiting in India (Stanford University Press, California) examining the lives of middle class Indian youth, answers these and a host of other questions in a conversation with Hasan Suroor.

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Right to Education to cover all categories of disability
Infochange India, May 17, 2011

A month after being passed by Parliament, the Right to Education Act is set to be amended to include all categories of differently-abled children in its ambit. The move comes after intervention by the prime minister’s office following protests from disabled rights groups

The human resource development (HRD) ministry has admitted that a section of the Right to Education (RTE) Act pertaining to “disadvantaged sections” will have to be changed as it does not cover all disabled children. According to the proposed amendment, the Act will now include children covered under the National Trust Act and any other law that deals with those suffering from mental as well as physical disorders.

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Speaking Up in Class, Silently, Using Social Media
Newyork Times, May 13, 2011

Wasn’t it just the other day that teachers confiscated cellphones and principals warned about oversharing on MySpace?

Now, Erin Olson, an English teacher in Sioux Rapids, Iowa, is among a small but growing cadre of educators trying to exploit Twitter-like technology to enhance classroom discussion. Last Friday, as some of her 11th graders read aloud from a poem called “To the Lady,” which ponders why bystanders do not intervene to stop injustice, others kept up a running commentary on their laptops.

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Research: Big BRICs, Weak Foundations: The Beginning of Public Elementary Education in Brazil, Russia, India, and China, 1880–1930

Author: Latika Chaudhary, Aldo Musacchio, Steven Nafziger, and Se Yan

Abstract: Our paper provides a comparative perspective on the development of public primary education in four of the largest developing economies circa 1910, BRIC – Brazil, Russia, India and China. These four countries encompassed almost 50 percent of the world’s population in 1910, but remarkably few of their citizens attended any school in the early 20th century. We present new, comparable data on school inputs and outputs for BRIC that are drawn from a variety of archival and published sources. Similar to recent studies that emphasize the importance of income, political decentralization, and the level of political voice to the spread of primary education in developed economies, we also find these factors to be important in the context of BRIC. We also outline other factors such as local ethnic and religious heterogeneity, the institutional legacies of colonialism and serfdom, and, especially, the characteristics of the political and economic elite that help explain the low achievement levels of these countries and the incredible amount of heterogeneity within each BRIC.

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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!

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