Weekly Update on Education

25 October 2011

India struggles with boosting education
Market Watch, WSJ, 19 October 2011

The labor force in India is about to explode — with more than 100 million young Indians joining the ranks of the working by 2020. This growth could make India a go-to source for workers, but only if the country improves its education system to create a highly skilled workforce, according to a top Indian official. “This will be a great potential resource only if they are empowered and educated,” said Kapil Sibal, India’s minister for human resources and development, at a recent summit on how the U.S. and India can collaborate on higher education.

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Manmohan joins education drive
Tehelka, 18 October 2011

In a country where a decent level of literacy is still a distant dream, a child’s right to education (RTE) is of primary importance. To spread awareness and encourage education, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written a personal letter to headmasters of 13 lakh primary schools asking them to read it out to students at the morning assembly on Education Day, November 11. The letter marks the formal launch of a year-long campaign for RTE.

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The Talibanisation of education in India
DNA, 24 October 2011

The Taliban in Afghanistan had terrorised people and banned all art and literary works — music, films and books that could change the way people think and make them liberal and noble. The same has now entered our society in a different form, with universities, authors and publishers being forced to withdraw books from the syllabus and market. Delhi University’s cowardly decision to drop AK Ramanujan’s essay, Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples And Three Thoughts On Translations from the BA History (Honours) syllabus has proved that we, too, are succumbing rather easily to the pressure of extremist organisations.

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India education: The chain school
Global Post, 24 October 2011

NEW DELHI, India — In a typical Delhi slum, sewage overflows from the drain alongside the street and scraps of colored paper and empty bottles tumble in the foul wind. Here and there, a spindly boy in threadbare briefs fetches water from the hand-pump and a baby, her eyes blacked with kohl, plays happily in the grime. It’s not an easy place to live. But even here, Ramesh Singh, a bicycle rickshaw driver, opted to send his son, Dhiraj, to a bare-bones private school when a pilot program for school vouchers gave him the chance several years ago.

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India’s vocational future
Mint, 19 October 2011

Vocational education is the poor cousin of what the urban middle class in this country hopes for its children. This is largely because it is directly linked to the perceived low-status manual work. As it exists today, vocational education perpetuates the iniquitous social hierarchy in the country. We need a system that treats vocational subjects as an honourable option and offers them as a serious alternative for students, regardless of their class, caste, region or any other marker of socio-economic status.

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Free universal secondary education in Uganda has yielded mixed results
The Guardian, 25 October 2011

Headteacher David Wanyama sums up his assessment of Uganda’s five-year-old free universal secondary education as “three major achievements and five grave challenges”. Speaking from eastern Uganda, Wanyama praises the initiative for increasing enrolment, especially of poor students. His own student population has swollen from a few hundred in 2006 to almost 3,000 today, 45% of whom are girls.

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Why women’s education in Tanzania is critical for slowing population growth
The Guardian, 24 October 2011

“When you educate a woman, you educate a nation,” says Kalunde, whose foster child was thrown out of her rural school and her home after becoming pregnant. “A woman is a mirror and spends much of her time with her children.” Every day across Tanzania, hundreds of schoolgirls become pregnant, bringing their learning to a halt. The taboo of young mothers returning to lessons is especially strong in the profoundly poor, drought-prone region of Shinyanga, where Kalunde lives, and rate of school pregnancies is rising.

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Selection into Teaching: Evidence from Enseña Perú
Authors: Alfonso and Santiago

Abstract: Having a good teacher is the most important school-related factor for student achievement, to the point of closing the gap between low and high-income students. However, the empirical literature is almost silent regarding teacher selection. This paper estimates a teacher selection model using recruitment data from Enseña Perú, a program that recruits top university graduates from all majors and places them in vulnerable schools. Our results suggest that candidates with volunteering experience and who finished their college degree in the top third of their class are significantly more likely to be selected into the program.

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World bank


Read the Washington Post’s blog that debates Why Teach for America isn’t ‘the answer’ for quality teachers in American schools


Certification Map lists Top 5 Education Technology Blogs for teachers


Read why Swaminathan Aiyar thinks Steve Jobs' idea of education choice in US through vouchers and competition is equally valid for India


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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Is the banning of books in colleges and schools indicative of a growing political interference in the Indian education system?

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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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