Weekly Update on Education (Issue No 191)

12 June 2012

Students of State schools can breathe easy
The Hindu, 07 June 2012

VIJAYWADA: Students of government schools have good news. From this academic year, they will not have to write any class test or unit test. The government has decided to do away with all unit tests and leave the students alone with major exams like the quarterly, half-yearly and the annual exam. The move is being implemented as part of Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) programme proposed to be implemented in the new academic year. As per the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE), all written tests must be done away with to pave the way for a pressure-free education of a child in school.

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Many clueless about 25% Right to Education quota with a day left
The Times of India, 08 June 2012

MUMBAI: With just a working day left for schools to follow the 25% reservation clause under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, most are worried as they have not yet received any application for these seats. Over 15 schools in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai told TOI they had not received any application. "We haven't received applications under the clause and we aren't sure if we should fill up seats set aside for students from economically weaker sections. Parents and schools are clueless about the process," said Sandeep Goenka, managing trustee, Billabong High International School, Juhu. Most schools had similar issues and were worried that they will face a penalty even though they haven't received applications.

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Tamilnadu children give inputs for state's 12th five year plan
IBN Live, 08 June 2012

CHENNAI: In a first-of-its kind initiative, children from across Tamil Nadu have given feedback to the State Planning Commission on various child-friendly measures like effective implementation of Right To Education that need to be included in its coming 12th five year plan. Over 50 children representing Federation of Children Movements for Rights to Participation from all districts had consultations from May 6 to 8 at nearby Thirukalukundram and discussed various issues. Vice-Chairperson of the state Planning Commission Santha Sheela Nair earlier told reporters that suggestions from these consultations could be incorporated into the plan. Major suggestions of the children include free and compulsory education, setting up of children's councils and education loan facilities for refugee children.

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Right to education yet to be made mandatory
The Hindu, 08 June 2012

TUMKUR: The former Minister Basavaraj Horatti has alleged that the State Government has failed in making right to education mandatory during this academic year. Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Mr. Horatti alleged that the Government had failed in implementing RTE Act effectively. The Supreme Court had ordered reserving 25 per cent seats in all private schools for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, backward classes and minorities but it is not being followed in the State, he alleged. He agreed that the Opposition parties too had failed in helping the poor get education though compulsory education is in vogue. He said that the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) should have created awareness about Right To Education Act among the people and helped them avail themselves of the facility.

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Right to Education came as divine intervention
The Times of India, 10 June 2012

NAGPUR: Naresh Charde, a driver, has applied for sought admission for his daughter, Samidha, as per the provisions of RTE Act. Charde's wife Nilima is a homemaker as she has to look after their two-year-old younger daughter. Nilima has studied up to Std X. The family resides in a small but pucca house in Manewada, a middle-class locality in the south-east part of the city. His daughter's pre-primary education expenses were about Rs 700 per month and Charde sacrificed many things for that. "It was OK to cut back on other expenses because I wanted her to study, but primary education costs were almost touching Rs 1,500 per month and we just could not figure out what to do. I was heartbroken as I could not live to see my daughter missing out on a chance at a better life just like I did. So, when I became aware of the government initiative, I knew this was divine intervention," said Charde.

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Cotton creates dropouts in Vidarbha
The Hindu, 11 June 2012

It is the beginning of June and 14-year-old Somirao Kavdu Madavi from Yavatmal's Madhavpur village is getting ready with his bags. But he is not going to school. A Standard 4 dropout, he is set to leave for a cotton farm where he works all year around. His family gets Rs. 25,000 for his 12 months of work. The amount, he states, is difficult for his family to let go. As agriculture is not specifically disallowed for children under 14 under the Child Labour (Prevention and Regulation) Act 1986, farmers across Maharashtra employ children: sometimes as full-time labourers like Somirao, otherwise as daily labourers as and when they need them. Activists say it leads to children missing out on education altogether. Vidarbha is a glaring example of this. "While the amount of children working in agriculture, and thus losing access to education is more in Yavatmal, there is largely a societal 'sanction' for using children for farm work all over Vidarbha," says Suresh Bolenwar, a farmer-activist with the Vidarbha Jan Anolan Samiti (VJAS). National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) member Yogesh Dube, who recently released a study that said child labour is prevalent in cotton seed farming in Andhra Pradesh, said the Commission was not aware of the children working on cotton fields in Maharashtra. "If we get media reports about the occurrence we will definitely look into it," he told The Hindu.

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Schools get more time to fill RTE seats
Hindustan Times, 12 June 2012

MUMBAI: The state education department on Monday gave schools a two-week extension on their deadline to enroll children from weaker sections in the 25% seats reserved for them under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. Schools claimed that they did not get enough applications to fill the quota by June 10, the deadline the state government had previously set. Principals said that they had not received enough applications owing to lack of awareness among the beneficiaries of 25% quota. "We will give schools at least two weeks to comply with all the norms under the RTE Act, which also includes the 25% reservation. If they do not follow the deadline, they could be de-recognised," said Sanjay Deshmukh, director, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. The decision to extend the deadline was taken after a two-day conference organised by UNICEFand the state government in Lonavala.

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Rajasthan education department tells schools to admit orphaned children under RTE
The Times of India, 12 June 2012

JAIPUR: The education department on Monday issued notices to schools asking them to admit orphaned children through lottery system for filling 25% seats as per RTE provisions. So for, orphans were deprived of the benefits under Right To Education Act as they were told to bring parents' income certificate and caste certificate as per RTE rules. TOI had first reported the plight of such children. Going a step further, the education department directed the schools that if orphaned children do not get admission through lottery, then they shall be given admission in schools by creating extra seats. They will be given admission on the basis of the affidavits submitted by wardens or superintendents of orphanages or care homes.

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Education free, but what about accessories?
The Times of India, 09 June 2012

BANGALORE: When Mohsina Begum, a mother of three, was told about the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE), her joy knew no bounds. Already burdened with the responsibility of educating two children, Mohsina was finding it difficult to get her third child admitted in a school. "I was paying the tuition fee for two children and was left with no money to invest in my third child. Then I was told about RTE and free education to Economically Weaker Section (EWS)," says Mohsina, who appears to have hit a roadblock despite RTE being in place. "I was elated that my child can study now as education is free. I went to the New Citizen School in Kushalnagar and filled up the application form. Everything was going well, till yesterday, when the school demanded Rs 3,705 for the textbooks and the school uniform. I have hit a roadblock once again. The maximum that I can arrange for right now is Rs 1,000. If the school does not agree, I will have to pull my child out,'' says Mohsina.

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Michael Gove is right: we must do better
The Telegraph, 11 June 2012

Say what you like about the British education system, but when it comes to passing the buck, it remains world-class. When business and industry complain – as they so frequently do – about the quality of the graduates they are asked to find jobs for, the universities tend to blame the secondary schools for not preparing students adequately for the demands of higher education. The secondaries, in turn, blame the primary schools for failing to equip pupils with the basic skills needed at GCSE or A-level. The primaries presumably excuse themselves by arguing that they have to invest too much time in repairing the damage inflicted by the nurseries.

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Why are Migrant Students Better Off in Certain Types of Educational Systems or Schools than in Others?
Authors: Jaap Dronkers, Rolf van der Velden and Allison Dunne

Abstract: The main research question of this article is concerned with the combined estimation of the effects of educational systems, school composition, track level, and country of origin on the educational achievement of 15-year-old migrant students. The authors focus specifically on the effects of socioeconomic and ethnic background on achievement scores and the extent to which these effects are affected by characteristics of the school, track, or educational system in which these students are enrolled. In doing so, they examine the 'sorting' mechanisms of schools and tracks in highly stratified, moderately stratified, and comprehensive education systems. They use data from the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) wave. Compared with previous research in this area, the article's main contribution is in explicitly including the tracks-within-school level as a separate unit of analysis, which leads to less biased results concerning the effects of educational system characteristics. The results highlight the importance of including factors of track level and school composition in the debate surrounding educational inequality of opportunity for students in different education contexts. The findings clearly indicate that analyses of the effects of educational system characteristics are flawed if the analysis only uses a country level and a student level and ignores the tracks-within-school-level characteristics.

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One Simple Step to Increase our GDP
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme and the Right to Education Act say that every child in India is guaranteed an education. Despite that, most regular schools in India deny admission to children with disabilities. With education, the disabled can contribute to the growth and wealth of our nation. Click here to read more


Is the “conditional” in CCTs just a monitoring technology? Evidence from Brazil
The typical arguments made for the conditioning argument of CCTs are usually based on paternalism, externalities,   or political economy. However, a new study finds that parents prefer CCTs to unconditional transfers because the conditioning enables them to monitor school attendance. Click here to learn more


Innovative Voucher Model from Pakistan
In 2006, Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) launched its Education Voucher Scheme (EVS) with an aim to bring education to children belonging to less affluent and underprivileged families, who would otherwise have been deprived from the benefits of schooling. Click here to know more



Should the IIT’s be kept out of the purview of the joint entrance examination?

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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


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