Weekly Update on Education (Issue No 172)

24 January 2012

Right To Education Act: A failure from the start
Indian Traditionalist, 18 January 2012

The RTE Act has proven to be a failure right from the start, which is not surprising since State enforced and funded education forced upon the population will distort existing educational practices and lead to low quality students. State education in human history has been a failure and always will produce failures of students, since education which is very fundamental to the well-being and prosperity of the individual cannot be handled by the State.

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Apple Unveils iBooks 2, iBooks Author, iTunes U for iPad
Education News, 19 January 2012

In its first major announcement since the death of Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. today unveiled plans for iBooks 2 and iBooks Author in an effort to transform the digital textbook market. Phil Schiller, Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, started by detailing the vast number of educational apps — over 20,000 — available for the iPad. Schiller declared simply, “We want to reinvent the textbook.” The move has excited education technology enthusiasts — and likely has school administrators and education officials struggling with how they might handle the fiscal implications of such a major change to how textbooks are purchased and used.

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Primary education in Manipur is not so prime but a fiasco
Kangla Online, 22 January 2012

The vital source of a nation’s strength is education. A good education system is like a gold mine of the nation. Manipur is yet to discover this mine, unfortunately. Education precedes development always. Elementary and primary schools of a nation are the stepping stones of a good education system. Neglecting this system at the start of the system and dreaming of 100% literacy one day, is like the story of a foolish dreamer kicking his milk pot.

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Sharing a Screen, if Not a Classroom
The New York Times, 22 January 2012

In a hushed first-grade classroom at Public School 55 in the South Bronx, Edward Muñoz, a bashful 7-year-old in scuffed sneakers and a worn hoodie, was sounding out tricky words with his tutor. Together they plowed through a book about a birthday barbecue, tackling the words “party” and “presents.” Then they played a rousing game of word-based tic-tac-toe, with Edward eventually declaring victory.

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Higher spending on education is not improving dismal outcomes
The Economic Times, 23 January 2012

India came 72nd of 73 nations in the Programme for International Student Assessment ( PISA) competition, despite fielding students from its best states, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The dismal quality of Indian education is confirmed by the latest Annual Status of Education Report ( ASER). Throwing money ( Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) and legislation ( Right to Education Act) at education has produced no quality gains at all. Abhiyan spending is up from Rs 7,166 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 21,000 crore last year, yet parents are shifting wholesale from free government schools to private options (schools and tuition).

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Need to reshape education: Azim Premji
Daily News and Analysis, 23 January 2012

Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Ltd, believes the educational system in the country needs to be completely retooled. “If a balance is to be achieved, then it is fundamental to our education system that there is more focus on urban schools,” Premji told students on Saturday during the first edition of the company’s Earthian Awards 2011-12. “There is need for a reorientation and the way we measure educational standards should be more competent in nature.”

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Teachers to gherao Education Minister's residence
Zee News, 23 January 2012

Bhiwani: School teachers in Bhiwani have decided to gherao the state Education Minister at her residence on February 2 to press for their demands like promotion from basic cadres and creation of new posts through enforcement of the Right to Education Act. This was disclosed by president of the Haryana Vidyalya Adhyapak Sangh (affiliated to Sarv Karmchari Sangh Haryana), Balwan Singh Dahiya in Bhiwani. Dahiya said that teachers would gherao the residence of the Education Minister and teams had been constituted for this purpose.

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In India, a College Building Boom
Diverse, 18 January 2012

PATNA, India – On the outskirts of this sprawling city in one of India’s poorest states, the whitewashed columns and domes of Chanakya National Law University rise next to a deep and murky swamp. To get there, visitors bump along potholed streets lined with idle men sipping tea and cows rooting through piles of garbage. Despite its inauspicious location, the 4-year-old university has high aspirations. “We’re in a position to be a leading national law school,” said Ravi Sarma, an assistant professor of property law, who moved to Bihar from a nearby state to teach at Chanakya. The university, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, is part of an ambitious plan to expand higher education to India’s most destitute corners, where the country’s vast population of young people is concentrated.

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UNESCO and Education

In the year 2000, the international community signed up to the Education for All and Millennium Development Goals. Currently the two most infl uential frameworks in the field of education, they are an ambitious roadmap for the global community to follow, offering a longterm vision of reduced poverty and hunger, better health and education, sustainable lifestyles, strong partnerships and shared commitments. Worldwide, more people than ever before are benefiting from an education. Over 1.5 billion children and youth are enrolled in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools and universities.

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Freedom Caravan

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

Howard Gardner in India Read more about his tour here


Accountability in education
I was shocked by Lant Pritchett's note on the appalling performance of India's best two states on the international PISA assessment. Click here to read more


Foreign Organization appealing for development of rural education in India
During his tour to India, Jim Luce, leader of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation, was moved to see the noble work undertaken by a 22-year old resident of Bihar, in order to develop educational standards in his area. Click here to read more



Should the funding of government schools be linked to the learning outcomes of their students?

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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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