Weekly Update on Education (Issue No 190)

29 May 2012

RTE Act income limit works against poor
The Times of India, 28 May, 2012

MYSORE: Speakers at a seminar organized by Kannada activists at the Centenary Hall of Maharaja College here on Sunday expressed their concern over the regulations and guidelines formulated by the state government under the Right To Education (RTE) Act. They opined that there is a possibility of distortion of the provisions of the Act itself to use it for the benefit of the upper middle and the middle class, denying access to education to the poor and the BPL families. Addressing the gathering, education experts said there is every chance of miscarriage of the Act. "Income limit of Rs 3.5 lakh on the children's parents getting admitted under the RTE Act as per the reservation quota itself smacked of ulterior motto of the bureaucracy to dilute the purpose" they said.

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Private schools to be penalised for not implementing RTE: Govt
Business Standard, 24 May 2012

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Government has decided to initiate punitive measures against private schools which had not filled 25 per cent seats with the poor students under Right to Education Act. Affiliation of all these private schools would be cancelled and a fine of Rs one lakh would be imposed on them, Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka said here today. Records of all private schools, specifically mentioning the seats filled with poor students under RTE, have been sought from District Education Officers, he said. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has personally instructed all departments of Punjab Government to ensure implementation of policies structured for uplift of the downtrodden and poor families, Maluka said.

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Clarity on quota seats in minority institutions soon
The Hindu, 29 May 2012

HUBLI: Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri has said that confusion over seat reservation in minority educational institutions would be cleared by the State government shortly. Addressing mediapersons here on Monday, Mr. Kageri admitted that despite the Supreme Court order on exempting minority institutions from reserving 25 per cent seats for disadvantaged children, there was still confusion over which are the minority institutions to be exempted from the purview of the Right To Education Act. “We are aware of the confusion and want to bring clarity to the issue. We have consulted legal experts, keeping in mind the apex court order. We will shortly come out with a clear stand on the issue,” Mr. Kageri said.

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Lukewarm response to RTE quota
The Hindu, 26 May 2012

BANGALORE: There seemed to be a lukewarm response from parents to the novel provision of the Right to Education (RTE) Act — which opens up 25 per cent of admissions in private schools to disadvantaged children — even as the deadline for receiving applications came to a close on Friday. The Hindu team that visited a selection of 15 unaided private schools across Bangalore, picked at random from North and South Divisions, were told by the school authorities that they had either received very few applications compared to the number of seats announced or none at all so far. The Education Department had announced the names of private unaided schools and quota in each, and set May 25 as the deadline for schools to receive applications under the Act.

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Girls get preference under Right to Education Act in Maharashtra
The Times of India, 24 May 2012

MUMBAI: Girls will get preference in admission to schools under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. This will be done as part of the 25%reservation for economically weaker section (EWS) and socially disadvantaged group (SDG) students, said sources. A proposal to this effect was approved at a cabinet meeting in Mantralaya on Wednesday. In a related development, the cabinet approved the definition of EWS. According to this, children of families with an annual income of Rs 1 lakh will be considered under the EWS quota; a similar income slab will apply to the SDGs as well. However, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students have been exempted from this slab as no income limit has been determined for them. A detailed government notification is expected to be issued on Thursday or Friday, it is learnt. A senior Mantralaya official said: "If a school has 100 seats at the entry level, 25 will be reserved for EWS students under the RTE Act. Of these, five seats will be available for SC/ST students, according to a constitutional provision for 20% reservation for these communities." "The cabinet decision will give girls preference over boys," the official said.

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Flaws in RTE Implementation
Deccan Herald, 29 May 2012

The Act envisages that all the children from age 6 to 14 will be provided free and compulsory education by the Government. So far, so good. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of this new law. All children between ages 6 and 14 have to be educated, free of charge by the government. Obviously, this means Class I to VIII. What about pre-school education for these children? Pre-school education is available in every nook and cranny of our country. It may range from traditional ‘anganawadis’ to modern ‘nursery schools’. This aspect has been forgotten or ignored by this law. Such pre-school is necessary for working parents’ children in particular, if we are talking about the deprived sections where both parents will have to go out to work to eke out a living. This is the first major flaw in this law. Its fall-out is obvious. Schools of the new variety have pre-school as part of the school. The children who are in pre-school progress to the primary section of the school. In this scenario, how can the school provide 25% of seats to children who knock on their doors at Class I? The School may not have any vacancies.

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CBSE schools grapple with RTE Act
The Hindu, 18 May 2012

CHENNAI: Most city schools that are affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have completed admissions for the new academic year. Different schools are responding differently to the clause on 25 per cent reservation that is mandated by the Right to Education (RTE) Act. While some schools say they received no query from parents of eligible children, others point to the presence of government schools within a 1-km radius. A lot of awareness may be required before the objective of this clause of the RTE Act is realised, say educationists. The reservation, according to Tamil Nadu's guidelines for the RTE Act, is applicable to students coming from economically weaker sections — where the student's parents or guardians should have an annual income that is lower than Rs. 2 lakh — or from disadvantaged groups that include SC, ST, BC and MBC children, as well as orphaned children, children with HIV/AIDS or disabilities, and children of transgenders or scavengers. School heads observe that of the applications they received for admission, most were eligible only in the ‘disadvantaged groups' category. Chinmaya Vidyalaya principal C. Sathiamoorthy said: “Hardly five per cent of our applications came from parents with an annual income lower then Rs. 2 lakh. We have reserved 40 seats in L.K.G. for children from these sections.”

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Romney attacks Obama’s education policy
Daily Herald, 23 May 2012

WASHINGTON: Calling it a "national education emergency," Mitt Romney said Wednesday that poor and disabled children should be allowed to escape failing public schools by using federal dollars to pay for private schools and other alternative settings. Under a banner that read "A Chance for Every Child," the likely GOP presidential nominee seized on K-12 education, an area that had so far been overlooked on the campaign trail. It is also considered one of President Barack Obama's strengths, bringing him more bipartisan support than any other issue and winning him accolades from Republican governors such as Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio. Romney said he wanted to expand choices for families so that children can flee failing schools. His campaign released a white paper highlighting his support for federal vouchers -- a plan to reroute tax dollars sent to public schools to help educate poor and disabled children and instead let those dollars follow the children to private schools. The federal government will spend $48.8 billion this year to help educate poor and disabled children.

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Low cost private schooling in India: Is it pro poor and equitable?
Authors: Joanna Harma

Abstract: India has seen an explosion in low-fee private (LFP) schooling aimed at the poorer strata of society, and this once-urban phenomenon has spread in the last decade to rural areas, with implications for equity due to the level of direct costs involved. This study explores whether or not LFP schooling in rural India is pro-poor and equitable, and finds that these schools are unaffordable to the bottom two wealth quintiles of families. This conclusion has implications for policy formation and shows that increased reliance on a market in education will not help to achieve equitable access to primary schooling for all.

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New Study from UK Think Tank Shows How Big Government Undermines Prosperity
The Centre for Policy Studies has released a new study, authored by Ryan Bourne and Thomas Oechsle, examining the relationship between economic growth and the size of the public sector. Click here to read more


Delhi Budget: More EWS seats; 100 new schools
A cash subsidy for students and an increase in EWS seats in schools are part of the Delhi government's ambitious plans for education sector this fiscal. Click here to know more


Higher education must adapt to changes
Prof  S Bisalaiah warned of dire consequences, if India’s higher education system did not adapt to changes. “It is sad that we do not have a vision map for higher education. Click here to learn more



Does the private school advantage in a village reduce with a strong government presence?

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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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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


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