Weekly Update on Education

15 November 2011

Is closing down schools the answer?
The Hindu, 14 November 2011

Staring us in the face as we celebrate Children’s Day this year in Karnataka is the Government’s decision to close down schools that have an enrolment of less than five students. Ironically, this process is under way even as the country has just about begun implementing the Right to Education Act that promises every single child in the country eight years of free and compulsory education.

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Parent members irregular in school committee meetings
Indian Express, 14 November 2011

While the School Management Committees in city government schools have been in place since the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009 in Chandigarh last year, some school heads are now complaining of a lack of cooperation by parent members. As per the provisions of the Right to Education Act, 75 per cent of the representatives of SMCs shall be from amongst parents or guardians of children.

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How to teach our teachers
The Hindu, 13 November 2011

On every Children’s Day, a lot is said on children’s right to have a joyful, creative education, and the need for a better future for under-served children, including girl children, among other things. From November 15, it is “business as usual”. In a Government school a bright young child would be asked to read a particular lesson loudly, after which the whole class would repeat. Not many children would understand the content of the lesson – even less number of children would think about what it means. Caning of children by unscrupulous teachers would continue.

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The Global Search for Education: More from India
Education News, 4 October 2011

Is there a future for a US – India partnership in education? In his remarks at the recent Brookings Institute conference in Washington, Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns commented, “We are counting on India’s rise, not just as an economic partner, but as a global power – one that engages everywhere from Latin America to the Middle East to South Asia.” Is there also a partnership opportunity in education? What might these two education systems be able to learn from each other?

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The right to fix your education
Indian Express, 14 November 2011

On Friday, the Prime Minister launched the Shiksha Ka Haq Abhiyan — a yearlong nationwide campaign for promoting the Right to Education (RTE). As these efforts gain ground, the country faces one important choice: should elementary education be delivered through the current model, which focuses on the expansion of schooling through a top-down, centralised delivery system? Or should we use the RTE as an opportunity to fundamentally alter the current system, to create a bottom-up delivery model which builds on an understanding of children’s learning needs, and which privileges innovation and accountability for learning, rather than schooling?

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Pitroda for early passage of higher education Bills
Business Standard, 13 November 2011

Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, is unhappy with the delay in implementation of higher education reforms. Pitroda who was speaking at the Ficci Higher Education Summit here said, “I am personally not happy with what has happened to the higher education recommendations. We have been waiting for government to act. We have talked enough about what needs to be done for higher education. We can’t spend another decade talking about higher education. We have bills drafted relating to foreign universities, innovation universities, and overarching bodies. But none of these bills have been tabled or passed. That is a big challenge.”

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Mukesh Ambani buys 38.5% in Extramarks Education
Business Standard, 8 November 2011

Mukesh Ambani-owned Infotel has acquired 38.5% stake in digital learning solutions firm Extramarks Education, a move that will help Reliance Industries (RIL) to strengthen its content pipeline as it looks to launch its broadband services soon. Infotel Broadband Services has acquired 38.5% stake in Extramarks Education and the investment has been made through an affiliate company Reliance Strategic Investments for an undisclosed amount.

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South Korean parents told: pre-school English ‘harmful’
The Guardian, 8 November 2011

Parents in South Korea who put their pre-school-age children into English language classes are wasting their money and could be slowing their educational development. This is the message that an education pressure group, World Without Worries About Private Education, is trying to get across in a society where pressure to attain exam success has created a boom in private tuition and growing numbers of English language classes for kindergarten-aged children.

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Closer to home: how to help schools in low- and middle-income countries respond to children’s language needs
Authors: Pinnock, Mackenzie, Pearce & Young

Abstract: Why are children’s learning levels in many countries so far below expectations? Why do so many children fail to complete school, despite efforts to improve the quality of education? Many children around the world find education impossible because they are taught in a language which they do not understand. School language is one of the biggest barriers to quality education in the majority of developing and middle-income countries (UNESCO, 2009).

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The Karnataka government's decision to close down schools that have an enrolment of less than five students deals a major blow to the RTE Act that promises every single child in the country eight years of free and compulsory education. Watch the slideshow here


Harry Patrinos on What We Can Learn from Innovative Schools that Cater to the Poor


Our Right to Education Act is a Wrong to Education Act’ say Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo in Tehelka


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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for more information



Should the RTE Act mandate government schools to maintain a minimum Pupil-Teacher-Ratio?

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!

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