Weekly Update on Education

06 September 2011

England’s first free schools open their doors to pupils
BBC, September 1, 2011

Twenty-four are due to open in the next few weeks – the majority next week.

On Thursday, lessons will begin at two schools – Aldborough E-ACT primary in Redbridge, London, and the Hindu Krishna-Avanti primary in Leicester. The government says the state-funded but semi-independent schools will improve standards but critics say they will take pupils and money from other schools at a time of cut-backs.

Free schools are very similar to academies in that they do not have to follow the national curriculum, can vary the pay and conditions of teachers, are directly funded by central government and are outside of local authority control.

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Hostile research against independent schools
The Drum, September 1, 2011

In a comment piece headed ‘Only the demise of independent schools will please Gillard’s educrats’ (The Drum, 17 March 2011) I argued that Australia’s cultural-left education establishment wanted to undermine and weaken non-government schools by denying them proper funding and by destroying their autonomy.

I also suggested that the vehicle to be used to achieve such ends was the funding review chaired by the Sydney businessman David Gonski and initiated by Prime Minister Julia Gillard when she was education minister.

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An initiative to reach the unreached via 3G
The Times of India, September 1, 2011

A unique initiative to reach out to the children of migrant community, using community radio with mobile phones, was launched across 45 classrooms in Gurgaon. The idea is to prepare these children, between the age of four to eight, for school by giving access to high quality educational radio content through mobile phones and integrating them through 3G platforms.

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Time for a rejig?
The Hindu, September 5, 2011

Over the past few years the concept of affiliation of colleges to a university has increasingly fallen out of favour with many in academia. To some it has almost become a dirty word, synonymous with the stifling inertia of a university's bureaucracy and indeed with almost everything that is wrong with the higher education system. A recent study— ‘Affiliation System: A Study of Kerala Experience' — done by former Vice-Chancellor of the Calicut University A. N. P. Ummerkutty for the Kerala State Higher Education Council offers what could be a conceptual framework for recasting the relationship between universities and colleges in a Kerala context.

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INDIA: Implications of the foreign education bill
University World News, September 5, 2011

When it comes to parliamentary time it seems the foreign education bill is forever the bridesmaid, never the bride. The twist in the tale is that, for the vast majority of universities, the legislation could be more relevant than they have bargained for. Despite reading volumes of editorial about the foreign education bill over the last year, one point seems to keep slipping everyone's attention: it isn't just about setting up a campus but regulating all foreign university activity in India that leads to the award of foreign university qualifications.

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CII, Tata launch PPP initiative in vocational education
Business Standard, September 5, 2011

Ushering in a public private partnership (PPP) model in vocation education space in Uttar Pradesh, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Tata Motors have joined hands with the state vocational education department. The initiative will acquaint the faculty with latest technologies and correct the skill sets as required by the industry so that they are passed on to learners.

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India Invisible
The Times of India, September 5, 2011

Despite the Indian government's efforts to bring about a radical change in the Indian higher education sector, no Indian university has made it to the top 200 this year. As to the participation of Indian universities, Sowter points out that India remains one of the most difficult places to glean good data from. He adds that greater openness and responsiveness from Indian institutions would better reflect their strengths.

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Students Today, Teachers Tomorrow? Identifying constraints on the provision of education

Research: Policy research working paper
Authors: Tahir Andrabi, Jishnu Das Asim Ijaz Khwaja

Abstract:This paper shows that public investments in secondary education facilitate future educational provision by increasing the local pool of potential teachers and therefore decreasing the cost of providing education. In other words, the students of today become the teachers of tomorrow.

There are two steps to the argument. First, the paper shows that the construction of government girls' secondary schools (GSS) in Pakistan had a large causal impact on the education market: Estimates suggest that villages where such schools were constructed are 27 percentage points, or three times more likely to see private schools emerge in the following years. The focus on private schools is important since the private sector better reflects local market conditions and thus aids in the identification of the teacher supply channel. Secondly, the paper argues that GSS construction impacts private school location because it augments local teacher supply in an environment with low female geographical and occupational mobility.

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Education outcomes, school governance and parents' demand for accountability: evidence from Albania

Research: Policy research working paper
Authors: Serra, Danila; Barr, Abigail; Packard, Truman;

Abstract: The extent to which teachers and school directors are held to account may play a central role in determining education outcomes, particularly in developing and transition countries where institutional deficiencies can distort incentives. This paper investigates the relationship between an expanded set of school inputs, including proxies for the functionality of “top-down” and “bottom up” accountability systems, and education outputs in Albanian primary schools. In general, the survey data highlight problems of limited parental involvement and lack of information about participatory accountability structures. The experiments indicate that the lack of parental participation in the school accountability system is owing to information constraints and weak institutions that allow parent class representatives to be appointed by teachers rather than elected by parents.

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Student First! Dialogue Series on Quality Education for All

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

Gowri Ishwaran: Padma Shri Awardee and Founder Principal of Sanskriti School
Kiran Bhatty: National commissioner, Right to Education Act, NCPCR
Dinesh Kothari: Founder and Pro Vice-Chairman of Delhi Public School

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

For more details click here


“How the private sector can help achieve learning for all”

The World Bank Group’s new Education Strategy 2020 champions learning for all and recognizes that global progress towards this goal will require the commitment of all actors – including governments, communities and private entities. The strategy acknowledges the vital role the private sector can play in helping expand and improve educational opportunity. Private sector participation in education is a growing part of education systems and has helped make significant educational advancements possible in many countries.

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.

Log on to
for more information.



Who should be responsible for integrating the children admitted under the 25% reservation scheme?

To vote 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 our 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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