Weekly Update on Education

23 August 2011

Four schools upgraded into higher secondary schools
The Hindu, August 19, 2011

Four government high schools in rural parts of the district have been upgraded into higher secondary schools, out of the 100 listed by the State government for upgrading this year. The institutions were at Natham in Musiri educational district, Sirugambur in Lalgudi educational district, and in Amanakampatti near Manapparai and Poongudi near Srirangam in Tiruchi educational district, Chief Educational Officer T. Mohana Kumar said. Hitherto, students from these high schools had to travel for five to eight km to pursue higher secondary education.

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Apex court puts seal of approval on Maharashtra’s ‘best-five’ education policy
DNA, August 19, 2011

The Supreme Court has approved an amendment made by the Maharashtra government for ‘best-five’ affected Secondary School Certificate (SSC) students and also allowed Indian Certificate of School Education (ICSE) students who wish to attend junior and senior colleges to either opt for the policy or contest it at an appropriate forum. This ruling has put to rest the two-year controversy over the state’s controversial `best-five policy’ that allowed different combinations of subject scores for SSC and ICSE students to apply for admission to junior colleges.

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Educomp stocks nosedive after income tax raids
Business Standard, August 19, 2011

The stocks of Educomp, an education services solutions provider, took a beating on the bourses on Thursday following reports that the Income Tax (I-T) department conducted Rs search and surveys’ on its premises. The company’s shares plunged over 13 per cent in intra-day trade hitting its 52-week low at Rs 221. The shares closed at Rs 234.35, down 8.9 per cent from yesterday’s closing price. A senior I-T department official told Business Standard that searches were conducted on three premises and surveys were carried out on 11 premises of the company located in the Delhi-National Capital Region.

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Rural education need of the hour: Ranjekar
The Times of India, August 20, 2011

With only 12 of every hundred students who join Class I pursuing higher education, Dilip Ranjekar, CEO of Azim Premji Foundation felt that lack of political will and accountability is hampering equitable development of education in rural India. He was speaking at ‘Samriddhi’, a conference on ‘Business in Rural Markets’ held at the Goa Institute of Management, Sanquelim.

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New Limits on Bus Drivers for Schools
The New York Times, August 16, 2011

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation on Tuesday expanding the kinds of criminal convictions that bar people from driving school buses. The list includes several sex crimes, like predatory sexual assault, disseminating indecent materials to minors, sex trafficking and persistent sexual abuse. In all, convictions for 26 felonies will become automatic disqualifying factors, raising the number of such offenses to 58. The law also makes the ban permanent rather than temporary for those convicted of vehicular manslaughter, aggravated vehicular homicide or promoting prostitution.

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Schools ‘to be ranked by Oxbridge success rate’
The Telegraph, August 23, 2011

Official league tables could show the proportion of teenagers that state secondary schools and sixth-form colleges send to Britain’s top two universities each year. The move is intended to reveal which schools push children the furthest and prepare them best for the rigorous Oxbridge applications process. It comes amid fears that some schools and colleges are failing to encourage pupils to aspire to elite universities, allowing privately-educated students to dominate places.

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Lessons in Green IT from London Schools
Reuters, August 17, 2011

Although universities are often criticized as ivory towers, divorced from the real world, when it comes to feeling the impacts of energy-sucking IT and office equipment, colleges are, to borrow a phrase from Us Weekly, “just like us.” Dozens of computers left running all night? Check. Sprawling data centers in need of serious energy management? They’ve got ‘em. Ancient, energy-draining printers that see too much action? In every building. So a new study that shows how higher education institutions around London are putting green IT to work — as well as what solutions haven’t gained traction — offers plenty of lessons for the private sector as well.

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Lessons to be learnt
The Hindu, August 18, 2011

India is among the few countries to have a day specially dedicated to teachers besides a clutch of awards to recognise their good work. Yet somehow, these gestures have failed to send out a strong message to most teachers in our government schools — the largest provider of school education in the country — that they are actually doing a crucial job for the society. There’s good reason too. Poorly paid for a long time (till the Sixth Pay Commission was implemented), teaching has often been seen as a thankless job, many times the last resort to grab a government job.

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Beijing crushes “independent’ schools
The Star, August 17, 2011

Until recently, 11-year-old Shen Mingcong was a happy-go-lucky Grade 4 student at the aptly named New Hope Experimental School here. But on Wednesday, she stood silently and watched as trucks carted away the bricks of what was once her school — together with her youthful memories. “As you can see it’s all demolished now,” she said shyly. “It looks like I’ll have to go back to my hometown. “I really don’t want to,” said Shen, a slight, pretty girl wearing a t-shirt adorned with a wide-eyed cartoon character. “Who wants to live away from your parents?”

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The Impact of Tuition Fees and Support on University

Research Paper
Authors: Lorraine Dearden, Emla Fitzsimons, Gill Wyness

Abstract: Understanding how policy can affect university participation is important for understanding how governments can promote human capital accumulation. In this paper, we estimate the separate impacts of tuition fees and maintenance grants on the decision to enter university in the UK. We use Labour Force Survey data covering 1992-2007, a period of important variation in higher education finance, which saw the introduction of up-front tuition fees and the abolition of maintenance grants in 1998, followed some eight years later by a shift to higher deferred fees and the reinstatement of maintenance grants. We create a pseudo-panel of university participation of cohorts defined by sex, region of residence and family background, and estimate a number of different specifications on these aggregated data. Our findings show that tuition fees have had a significant negative effect on participation, with a £1,000 increase in fees resulting in a decrease in participation of 3.9 percentage points, which equates to an elasticity of -0.14. Non-repayable support in the form of maintenance grants has had a positive effect on participation, with a £1,000 increase in grants resulting in a 2.6 percentage point increase in participation, which equates to an elasticity of 0.18. These findings are comparable to, but of a slightly lower magnitude than, those in the related US literature.

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Economic Returns to Education: What We Know, What We Don’t Know, and Where We Are Going – Some Brief Pointers

Research Paper
Authors: Colm Harmon

Abstract: The estimation of the economic return to education has perhaps been one of the predominant areas of analysis in applied economics for over 50 years. In this short note we consider some of the recent directions taken by the literature, and also some of the blockages faced by both science and policymakers in pushing forward some key issues. This serves by way of introduction to a set of papers for a special issue of the Economics of Education Review.

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"Giving Education…."
- Courtesy KAP

Giving Education

For more go to



Next Student First! Dialogue Series on Quality Education for All

"25% reservation under the RTE act: are we getting it right?”

14 September 2011
6:30 - 8:30 PM
Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India


Colin Ward: the ‘gentle’ anarchist and informal education

Often described as ‘Britain’s most famous anarchist’, Colin Ward’s political beliefs provoked and inspired his publications, as well as his long-held concern with place and social justice. Here, Sarah Mills explores the contribution of Colin Ward and the significance of his work for those involved in informal education.

Reproduced from the Encyclopaedia of Informal Education


“More on SMS use in education in Pakistan”

The World Bank has considered of the use of mobile technologies as part of its support for international development efforts over the past decade.  As part of its 'Innovation Days' event this week, the World Bank showcasing new approaches to some long-standing development challenges.  Judging by many of the exhibits and discussions going on related to the use of mobile phones, it is clear that what was for a number of years a rather fringe topic of conversation among small pockets of people here -- primarily those working in the ICT sector and on microfinance -- has now exploded into the consciousness of World Bank and other international donor staff working in most sectors.

For more visit World Bank’s blog


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.

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Will the RTE prescribed School Management Committee bring accountability in schools?

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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 our website


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