Weekly Update on Education (Issue No 170)

10 January 2012

Right to Education Act makes admission chaotic in Tripura
Newkerala .com, 03 January 2012

A few government-run English medium schools in Agartala has witnessed chaotic situations at the beginning of the current academic session reportedly due to implementation of Right to Education Act (REA). State Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty told media here today the state government had set up a few English medium schools in Agartala to compete the private convent schools and facilitate the poor meritorious students but REA had created new problem for the management of the schools.

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Govt shuts down mobile schools for slum kids
The Times of India, 04 January 2012

BANGALORE: The Right to Education (RTE) which is aimed at providing compulsory education to children below 14 has actually spelt a doom for 421 children in Bangalore's slums. Even as the government is citing financial constraints in implementing the RTE, it has scrapped the system of mobile schools simply because the RTE does not have the provision. The school on wheels provided basic learning for slum children in seven areas in the city. "We were taught at the mobile school which was informative and interesting. Although we have a tent school in place now as an alternative, there is a lot of distraction. We are out of the classroom most of the time to attend to household chores," said seven-year-old Babita of Kothanur Dinne slum, who once enjoyed her lessons imparted at mobile schools and is currently attending classes at the tent school, located in the slum area.

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‘28,000 labourers’ children getting free education
Daily Times, 04 January 2012

LAHORE: A delegation of students and teachers from private schools called upon the Provincial Minister for Labour Haji Ehsanuddin Qureshi at his office on Tuesday. Ehsanuddin urged the teachers to promote leadership qualities within the students as well as hone their talents, transforming them into confident and energetic youth leaders. He said that 28,000 labourers’ children were being provided free-of-cost standardised education at 46 workers’ welfare schools while 8,000 schools had also been established that were providing education to the adults. He added that public-private partnership could pave way for eradication of poverty and illiteracy by promoting qualitative education, especially among the underprivileged segment of society that was unable to afford quality education in expensive educational institutions due to lack of financial resources.

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Steering education revolution from Azamgarh shacks
Ummid .com, 05 January 2012

Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh): A single bamboo stick holds the thatched roof together, the discoloured floor serves as both bench and chair, the kids sit in neat rows and a man sits on a printed mattress. It is from humble rooms like this that a quiet education revolution is unravelling in this eastern Uttar Pradesh district that was associated in public memory not long ago for alleged involvement of some of its youth in extremist activities. Tanzeem Al-Farooq, an NGO formed in 1987 with just Rs.10 as initial capital by some youngsters, has set up at least 300 such primary schools in villages in Azamgarh, about 220 km from the state capital Lucknow, and nearby areas that have a substantial number of Muslims.

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Why is India wasting its biggest and brightest asset?
Firstpost, 04 January 2012

What is India’s biggest — and brightest — asset? Its people. Or more precisely, its youthful, working-age population, which is set to become the world’s largest working-age population (972 million) by 2030. In theory, economies that make productive use of their youth population can experience huge advances in growth. That’s what called “reaping the demographic dividend.” Yet, India seems dangerously close to squandering its huge advantage given that it still isn’t doing enough to make productive use of its youth population. What do we mean by that? Providing proper education and skills training to our young men and women. Without those things, they can’t be active and productive members of society.

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Educating the poor in India: lessons for America
Flypaper, 02 January 2012

A fascinating story in the New York Times about schooling in India has a few things to teach American educators; mainly, that the poor really do want a good education. (I have had extended discussions with colleagues about the question of educating the poor (see here, here, and here) and Kathleen Porter Magee’s The “Poverty Matters” Trap is a must-read for anyone investigating the subject.) As it turns out, public schools in India, like many in the U.S., are apparently lousy – “in many states,” write Vikas Bajaj and Jim Yardley about India, “government education is in severe disarray, with teachers often failing to show up.” But unlike the U.S., where charter schools and vouchers have begun to offer alternatives, In India the poor have turned to a network of private schools to educate their children.

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Michael Gove: Academy school critics ‘happy with failure’
BBC News, 04 January 2012

Education Secretary Michael Gove has accused those who oppose his academies programme of being “happy with failure”. Mr Gove wants more schools in England to become academies, which are state-funded but semi-independent and outside local authority control. In a speech in London, he said some of those who opposed the academies programme were “enemies of promise”. A union leader has described the comment as an “insult” to teachers. Head teachers say academy conversion does not raise standards in itself. Up to 200 schools are being told they have to become academies because they are not meeting government standards. In a speech at an academy in London, Mr Gove said while most local authorities were “being co-operative” about their schools making this change, some were “being obstructive”. Under the academy programme, the influence of local authorities over schools is reduced. Critics – such as Labour opponents and the teaching unions – say the programme will lead to a fragmented system with little local accountability. The government says it cuts bureaucracy, frees head teachers and will improve standards.

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India’s next big growth bet: seriously, you need to study this
Firstpost.Economy, 03 January 2012

If you’re hunting for a sector that promises big growth in future, you could do with a little (or a lot more) education. According to an Anand Rathi report, India’s education sector ranks among the top 10 in value terms. Households account for about 35 percent of that spending, which is higher compared with other countries. The cost of educational services in India is one of the lowest in the world — less than one-sixth of the global average, notes Anand Rathi. The cost of education in India is half of that in China, one-fourth of that in Mexico, one-tenth of that in Canada and one-fifteenth of that in the US. However, if measured in global average prices, yearly education spending in India, at $600 billion, is even higher than in the US, the brokerage said.

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They Spend WHAT? The Real Cost of Public Schools
Authors: Schaeffer

Abstract: Although public schools are usually the biggest item in state and local budgets, spending figures provided by public school officials and reported in the media often leave out major costs of education and thus understate what is actually spent. To document the phenomenon, this paper reviews district budgets and state records for the nation’s five largest metro areas and the District of Columbia. It reveals that, on average, per-pupil spending in these areas is 44 percent higher than officially reported. Real spending per pupil ranges from a low of nearly $12,000 in the Phoenix area schools to a high of nearly $27,000 in the New York metro area. The gap between real and reported per-pupil spending ranges from a low of 23 percent in the Chicago area to a high of 90 percent in the Los Angeles metro region.

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Freedom Caravan

Freedom Caravan: The Morality of Capitalism
An internationally recognised education fest in various campuses in Delhi and Pune

National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) meeting at ASSOCHAM, New Delhi
NISA Launch
More photographs here


The first PISA results for India: The end of the beginning
Some argued the levels of learning inside Indian elementary schools (primary and upper primary) are a national scandal and a threat to the future of India's society, polity, and economy. Click here to read more


In A Village, Private Schools Do More With Less
The phenomena of Indian parents sending their children to private school, no matter whether they are rich or poor, isn’t just happening in big cities. It has spread to towns and villages, as well. Click here to read more


Will more school choice improve Arizona education?
The state's newest program, "empowerment savings accounts," gives them funds to use on private school tuition, home-school curriculum or education services, as long as they leave their public schools. Click here to read more



Will shutting down budget private schools reduce the access to education, especially for the poor?

To vote click here


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


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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