Weekly Update on Education (Issue No 171)

17 January 2012

India's Education Dream Risks Remaining Just That
The New York Times, 15 January 2012

NEW DELHI — At one of the better colleges in India’s capital, there is just one large room for 140 faculty members to sit and have a cup of tea or grade papers. “If even half show up, there aren’t enough chairs,” said Ghazala Amin, a history professor there. “There is no other place to work. In this situation, how do you expect teachers to work?” The lack of amenities for faculty members is not the only issue. After 30 years at Jesus and Mary College, which is one of dozens administered by the University of Delhi, Ms. Amin makes the equivalent of $22,000 a year — less than half of what some of her better students will make in their first jobs.

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Sibal hits out at states over education reforms
Firstpost, 16 January 2012

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal today took on the states for blaming the Centre for all ills plaguing Education, asking them to play a more “proactive” role since the responsibility in this sector lay “squarely on their shoulders”. Sibal said any decision taken by the Central Government for overall development of education in the country is perceived as an attack on the federal structure. “This is the tragedy of the country… we all blame the Central Government for everything. If a child does not go to school, the Minister and the Centre must respond. This is not the job of the Central Government. If we try and set standards and request the boards to apply those standards, then they say, it is an attack on federal structure,” he lamented.

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Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia Aim to Raise Their Higher Education Profile
The New York Times, 15 January 2012

PRAGUE — Charles University in Prague was founded in 1348. Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, has been around since 1364, while Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest has been operating since 1635. But after 40 years of communism, the educational systems of the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia have fallen behind those of their Western neighbors. Now, education ministers from those countries — who cooperate on a variety of issues under the umbrella of the Visegrad Group — have decided to band together to learn from each other and make strides toward reform.

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Drop in learning level in India since 2006: Study
Daily Bhaskar, 16 January 2012

Ahmedabad: Ahmedabad-based Educational Initiatives (EI) carried out a research recently and brought out a study titled Quality Education Study (QES). The study sought to assess the current scenario of education in five metros across India with an aim to promote learning among schoolchildren with understanding. Quality education is often associated with first -quality learning environments and second- holistic development of students (UNESCO, 2002). The study, which has been conceptualised and managed jointly by Wipro and EI, brings out some very interesting trends seen among school-going children.

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RTE Act has hit student-teacher ratio, admit school authorities
Indian Express, 16 January 2012

After the introduction of Right To Education (RTE) Act, the student-teacher ratio has disturbed the equilibrium in municipal corporation-run schools in Ahmedabad leading to a shortage of nearly 500 teachers. Nearly 100 teachers are required in Urdu medium schools because many from Urdu schools, despite existing shortage, have been moved to Gujarati medium schools. The situation is precarious particularly in Urdu and other language mediums because of the special nature of language skills of their staff. Again, their appointments in Gujarati medium schools are also of no use because they do not possess necessary teaching skills in that language, pointed out teachers teaching in those schools.

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Aakash tablet: Datawind opposes test standard of IIT for Aakash
The Economic Times, 14 January 2012

NEW DELHI: IT device maker Datawind today said the proposed product testing criteria by IIT (Jodhpur) cannot be applied to the first version of Aakash tablets, the world's cheapest, supplied by the company. IIT (Jodhpur)'s test criteria include conditions like water resistance whereby a unit of Aakash tablet will be placed in a rain chamber supplying rain at a rate of no less than 4 inches per hour. Datawind CEO Sunit Sing Tuli told PTI that the test specifications have been proposed by the IIT after the tender document was submitted and were not a part of the original tender.

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Short essay on Non-formal education in India
Preserve Articles, 16 January 2012

NFE is one of the recent concepts being adopted in Indian Education. In the context of the Indian situation, non-formal education has assumed a slightly different connotation. It has been accepted as complementary and supplementary to the formal education. It has been widely accepted by our government and people because the formal system has failed or is inadequate to fulfil our commitment to the constitutional directive (Art. 45) that is, to achieve universalization of elementary education for all the children of 6-14 age group within the fixed time limit.

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Vidya Mandir celebrates diamond jubilee
The Times of India, 16 January 2012

PALANPUR: "I'm impressed by the facilities offered for higher education," said Union minister for heavy industries Praful Patel, inaugurating the Diamond Jubilee function at Vidya Mandir Complex here on Sunday. "Vidya Mandir education complex in the Jewellers' city of Palanpur provides a glimpse of a superb example of public- private partnership (PPP). One can't depend on government all the time. It is high time PPP becomes a reality," Patel said. Well-known academician and dean of INSEAD, the leading international business school, Dipak C Jain, said nothing is impossible for a youth with strong will and dedication. Emphasizing the importance of educating women, he said, "A mother has a pivotal role in the making of a successful man."

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Right to Education Act and Educationally Backward States in India
Authors: Aggarwal, Tushar

Abstract: This paper presents the estimates of educational attainment and educational inequality for educationally backward states of India. Using three rounds of the nationally representative household surveys carried out by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in 1993-94, 1999-2000 and 2004-05, we estimate average years of schooling and the education Gini index. The estimates show that educational attainment is very low and the extent of inequality is high in all the states. The study adds to the evidence on large gender inequalities in educational attainment in the states of Bihar and Rajasthan. The results are very distressed for disadvantaged social groups of the society. There is a need to give attention on education of females belonging to these social groups, particularly in rural areas, to make the Right to Education Act successful in these states.

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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


Can Technology Transform Education Before It’s Too Late?
As technology continues its march toward the Singularity, transforming the way we work, socialize and play at an increasing rate, there is one very important aspect of American society that lags behind: education. Click here to read more


ASER Press Release
The Annual Status for Education Report 2011 was released by the Honourable Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Kapil Sibal. Click here to read more



Are State governments alone responsible for poor learning outcomes in our schools?

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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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