Weekly Update on Education (Issue No 180)

20 Mar 2012

India’s education budget up 18% to Rs61,427 crore
Livemint, 16 March 2012

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday proposed an almost 18% increase in the education budget to Rs61,427 crore for the fiscal starting on 1 April amid increasing concern that India risks losing its competitive edge because of a perceived drop in the quality of education. The amount proposed in Mukherjee’s budget speech in Parliament compares with an allocation of Rs52060 crore for education in the current financial year. School education, with a student base of more than 220 million, received the maximum focus with the outlay for fiscal 2013 pegged at Rs45,969 crore.

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Investment by private players will improve education sector
Daily News and Analysis, 17 March 2012

Pune’s education sector cheered some of the announcements in the Union Budget like the scheme for education loans, public private partnership (PPP) for new schools, national programme of midday meals and upgradation of existing government medical colleges to the level of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Former vice-chancellor Ram Takwale said, “Giving the banks the role of distributing loans to deserving students is welcome. Implementation of the scheme by another agency would have caused problems.”

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Right to education fails to get pass marks, again
The Times of India, 17 March 2012

India's ambitious plan of seeing every child in school was short-changed in the Budget again. While the finance minister set aside Rs 25,555 crore for implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, up by 21.7% from last year's Rs 21,000 crore, the allotment failed to enthuse experts. Describing the move as "disappointing", Vinod Raina-an architect of the RTE Act-said: "This year, there is once again a shortfall in funding a fundamental right. It shows how serious the government really is about the RTE (Act)."

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Sibal’s RTE Act is just not working
The Tribune, 18 March 2012

15-year old Indian students, who were put through a two-hour international test for the first time, stood second last among 73 countries, only beating Kyrgyzstan when tested on their reading, math and science abilities. In contrast, 25 per cent of the 15-year olds in Shanghai demonstrated advanced mathematical and thinking skills to solve complex problems. The desperate situation calls for a new Right to Education Act. IT is a tautology that something that cannot work will not work. How true this has been for the Right to Education Act (RTEA)!

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Government to ensure all children get primary education by 2015
The Times of India, 19 March 2012

JAIPUR: The state education department has come up with a roadmap to ensure that by 2015 all children will be able to complete a full course on primary education. Principal secretary (education) Ashok Sampatram on Sunday presented a futuristic plan in this regard on the last day of the two-day symposium on 'Millennium Development Goals in 12th Plan of Rajasthan: Integrated and Futuristic Approach' organized by state planning board in collaboration with UNICEF, Rajasthan.

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What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success
The Atlantic, 29 December 2011

Everyone agrees the United States needs to improve its education system dramatically, but how? One of the hottest trends in education reform lately is looking at the stunning success of the West's reigning education superpower, Finland. Trouble is, when it comes to the lessons that Finnish schools have to offer, most of the discussion seems to be missing the point. The small Nordic country of Finland used to be known -- if it was known for anything at all -- as the home of Nokia, the mobile phone giant. But lately Finland has been attracting attention on global surveys of quality of life -- Newsweek ranked it number one last year.

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Indian girl trapped in life of cigarette rolling
NECN, 18 March 2012

DHULIYAN, India (AP) — Sagira Ansari sits on a dusty sack outside her uneven brick home in this poor town in eastern India, her legs folded beneath her. She cracks her knuckles, and then rubs charcoal ash between her palms. With the unthinking swiftness of a movement performed countless times before, she slashes a naked razor blade into a square-cut leaf to trim off the veins. She drops in flakes of tobacco, packs them with her thumbs, rolls the leaf tightly between her fingers and ties it off with two twists of a red thread.

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2 yrs after RTE, UT sans monitoring body
The Indian Express, 19 March 2012

Even two years after the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act in the city, the authorities have failed to set up the Right to Education Protection Authority (REPA) to address complaints regarding denial of admission and child rights. It is mandatory for the state to set up the body within six months of implementation of the Act to ensure redressal of complaints regarding denial of admission and to monitor proper implementation of the Act.

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Public and private partnership in primary education in India: A study of unrecognised schools in Haryana
Author: Yash Aggarwal
National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration New Delhi, March 2000

Abstract: The recent evidence from NSSO and other studies demonstrates that a large proportion of children are attending private unrecognised primary schools. This proportion is highest in Haryana (18.7%) and is followed by Punjab (15.5%), Uttar Pradesh (10%) and Bihar (9.2%). The all India average share of children enrolled in unrecognised schools at primary stage was 4.8% as compared to 2.6% for upper primary classes. The rural urban differentials were striking in almost all the states. At the national level, some decline in Class I enrolment was observed in the last 3-5 years. This could be due to the shift of children from formal to non- formal or to other modes of education including unrecognised schools. It is paradoxical that the states with high proportion of children attending unrecognised schools are from both the economically advanced regions of Punjab and Haryana as well as from the economically poor regions of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

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CNBC Awaz show on the state of education in India with experts from across the country. The program featured Ajay Shah, Parth
J Shah, Amit Kaushik and Luis Miranda To watch the program, visit the links provided here


An update on the use of e-readers in Africa
What does it take to introduce e-books and e-readers into communities in low income countries -- and is this a good idea? Click here to read more


Reaching the poorest
Around 30 children, mostly from families of Somali herders, sit listening as an enthusiastic 18-year-old teacher, Ibrahim Hussein, gives an arithmetic lesson. Click here to read more


Need for a new framework
Despite radical expansion of educational facilities in secondary schooling, a large number of students are not able to take advantage of formal schooling. Click here to read more



Will the increased budgetary allocation for the RTE impact learning outcomes in government 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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