Weekly Update on Education

24 May 2011

Bridging Rural-Urban Divide in India Through ICT for Better Life in Rural Communities: World Telecommunications Day
Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India, May 17, 2011

New Delhi, May 17, 2011. Today is World Telecommunications Day. The theme for this year is “Better life in rural communities with ICTs”. This theme is especially pertinent to a country like India, where 70% of the population resides in rural areas. It is an acknowledged fact that in spite of best efforts by the Government, rural areas continue to lack adequate infrastructure in terms of roads, financial services, health and educational facilities, employment opportunities and government services etc.

More [+]

Tests for Pupils, But the Grades Go to Teachers
The New York Times, May 23, 2011

New York City education officials are developing more than a dozen new standardized tests, but in a sign of the times, their main purpose will be to grade teachers, not the students who take them.

Elementary school students would most likely take at least one or two additional tests every year, beginning in the third grade. High school students could take up to eight additional tests a year, and middle school students would also have extra tests. These would be in addition to the state English, math and Regents exams that students already take.

More [+]

The important role of charter schools
The Hill, May 17, 2011

As a parent of two precious and delightful children, I know firsthand the value of a quality education to secure their future.

Many American families are fortunate to live in places where public schools provide engaging and effective instruction, and a culture of achievement that inspires students to aim high and thrive. Other families have the financial means to provide their children with a top-notch private school education. Unfortunately, too many Americans are left without either option, and their children are falling through the cracks.

More [+]

Demographic Dividend or Debt?
The Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2011

With India’s GDP growing at an average of 8% over the last decade, there is widespread belief that India will continue to grow at an exemplary 8%-plus rate in the decades to come.

However, India’s growth is anything but a given, and whether its population yields rich dividends or turns out to be a heavy debt will depend on policies implemented now.

More [+]

Government may allow education bodies to float bonds
Business Standard, May 23, 2011

The ministry of human resource development (MHRD) is considering allowing educational institutions to float bond issues for fund generation.

“At present, we are working on some of these ideas. We are also thinking of a national education finance corporation, which can tap into a lot of such resources. We will try to put it all together and work it out as a strategy in the new scheme in the 12th Five-year Plan,” a senior MHRD official told Business Standard. A widely-accepted concept in the West, a bond issue allows institutions to tap into the vast pool of not only their alumni network, but also people who wish to do their bit for the education sector.

More [+]

We Need to Invest in STEM Education Now
Milpitas Patch, May 23, 2011

As public schools struggle for funding for basic education, we must move forward increasing STEM programs in Milpitas classrooms.

In the midst of our education crisis we need to also need to keep our focus on STEM education. This focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) forms the core development of our future generation of engineers and scientists.

More [+]

Why RTE remains a moral dream
The Hindu, May 20, 2011

The law provides a five-year window to its implementation but the dream it legislated looks as elusive now as it did when the countdown started.

Like the majority of India’s children, the Right to Education (RTE) Act has completed its first year facing malnourishment, neglect and routine criticism. A year after it was notified as law, the right to elementary education remains a dream. The law provides a 5-year window to its implementation but the dream it legislates looks as elusive now as it did when this countdown started. While one important clause is facing a writ in the highest court, other provisions are struggling to receive official attention in State capitals.

More [+]

What Parents Aren’t Asked in School Surveys — and Why
Huffington Post, May 23, 2011

The results of an opinion poll will vary — and not by a little — as a function of how the questions are phrased. “Do you favor special preferences for minorities in the form of affirmative action?” will attract many fewer favorable responses than “Do you favor efforts to help minorities get ahead in order to make up for past discrimination?” And then, of course, there are “push polls,” which only pretend to sample people’s views while attempting to influence them: “Would you be more or less likely to vote for Congressman McDoodle if you knew he was a practicing Satanist?”

More [+]

Research: Dislocated Education – The Case of Tibet

Author: Gerard Postiglione

Abstract: The popularization and sustainability of schools that dislocate ethnic minority students from remote regions of developing countries often rest upon a folk theory of success that calculates the cultural capital and other benefits gained from participation in the relatively higher quality education offered by the boarding schools. This paper examines the policy that established boarding schools in China for students from Tibet. It argues that a weak subtext of opposition culture, stemming from a perceived lack of adequate attention to ethnic minority language and heritage, remains dormant but nonetheless holds the potential to gain saliency as access to high-status employment after graduation tightens in light of an increasingly competitive labor market in the native territory.

More [+]


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



This is our 137th edition. Please give your feedback to make it more useful to you at

Disclaimer: Copyright of the contents of this newsletter remains with the original author/publisher.