Weekly Update on Education (Issue No 201)

21 August 2012

Children empowered to monitor RTE
Deccan Herald, 21 August 2012

Schoolchildren are being empowered to oversee proper implementation of India’s ambitious education-for-all law. The National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore has created a Right to Education (RTE) Vigilance committee comprising children – since they are undisputedly the most important stake-holders in education. “Numerous committees involving all other stakeholders are in existence. We felt there has to be a body comprising children themselves for better implementation of the Act,” said Niranjan Aradhya, a fellow at the Centre for Child and the Law NLSIU, while speaking to Deccan Herald. This comes close on the heels of a RTE Task Force involving parents formed by child rights activists in the City last week.

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Belgaum gets an 'A' in RTE
The Times of India, 16 August 2012

Implementation of the Right to Education Act has been largely successful in the district. Out of the 663 seats reserved under RTE in 53 schools in the district, 527 have been filled with 37 schools filling their quota completely, 14 schools partially and two schools are yet to admit any student under RTE. There are 43 aided and eight unaided schools in Belgaum city. Under RTE, all schools need to reserve 25% of seats for students from economically and socially weaker sections of society. As per block education officer’s category wise reservation 7.5% of the 25% is reserved for SC students, 1.5% for ST students and 16% for students from other backward classes. In Belgaum city, which has a total of 2,616 seats, 663 were reserved under RTE. Of this, 197 seats were for SC, 56 for ST and 410 for OBC. The schools have managed to admit 527 students (129 students from SC, 55 ST and 343 students from OBC). The RTE is applicable for students getting admitted to LKG and Class I.

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NHRC issues notice to Karnataka Chief Secretary on RTE
The Hindu, 21 August 2012

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to the Karnataka Chief Secretary, seeking a report within four weeks, on the allegations that Oxford English School, Nandini Layout, Bangalore, had chopped off tufts of hair from the heads of four children in order to distinguish them under the Right to Education quota. The Commission was acting on the basis of media reports, which alleged that these Standard I students were made to stand separately during the assembly, and their lunch boxes were checked before they entered their classes. They were even forbidden to share their lunch with the rest of the students.

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25% RTE reservation rule sees shoddy performance in schools
The Times of India, 21 August 2012

The state’s mandatory rule of 25% admission reservation for economically backward students in schools, under the Right to Education Act (RTE) has failed to garner satisfactory results. Education department officials have claimed that the poor implementation is due to a delay in receiving the notice. According to the Supreme Court’s (SC) orders all schools, with the exception of unaided minority institutes, will have to reserve 25% of entry-level school admission seats with free and compulsory education for economically weaker section (EWS) and socially disadvantaged group (SDG) students in the age group of 6-14 years under the RTE Act. “We informed the schools in June but none has been able to fill the stipulated target of 25%students,” said education officer of the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC), Nitin Upasani. “We had advertised the RTE requirement in June in newspapers announcing that the 25% reservation rule was applicable in government, local authority schools and private schools,” said Upasani.

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Few opt for education in English
The Times of India, 21 August 2012

Nashik: Citizens in rural areas of district made use of the the advantage offered by the Right To Education (RTE) Act to the fullest by securing admissions for available seats in reputed Marathi medium private schools while few opted for English medium institutes. According to education officials at the zilla parishad which monitored parents’ demands based on the reservation rule, the district has witnessed an overwhelming response for Marathi medium schools. In 59 English medium private schools with a capacity of 3,273 seats, there were 820 seats available under RTE. The total demand, however, stood at 450 only, the officials said. In 88 Marathi medium private schools with a capacity of 6,264 seats, there were 1,594 seats available under RTE. However, the demand exceeded the quota and 1,912 students were admitted.

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65% jump in higher education enrolment in 4 years: Kapil Sibal
The Times of India, 21 August 2012

The number of students enrolling for higher education appears to have shot up dramatically. According to a recent survey done by the HRD ministry, the gross enrolment ratio (GER) for higher education has shot up from 12.4 to 20.2. Disclosing this on Monday at a conference titled, EducatioNext, organized by The Times of India, HRD minister Kapil Sibal said that the figure for India had been hovering at around 12. However, according to the survey there it has surged in the last four years. The main focus of the conference, attended by academics and education experts, was “India-The Education Superpower of the Future”. “The results of the survey are tentative and not firm, but if validated, they are very encouraging. The ratio for developed countries is in the region of 35-40. The survey results show that we are getting there. If they hold, we can expect the ratio to go up to 30-35 by 2029,” he said. GER is a measure of the percentage of the relevant age group that is enrolled.

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HRD ministry amending more education reform bills for consensus
The Economic Times, 20 August 2012

The government is likely to more education reform bills following continued resistance by allies and the Opposition. The government has already made amendments to Prohibition of Unfair Practices Bill and Educational Tribunal Bill. It is now expected to make changes to the National Accreditation Regulatory Authority Bill to address concerns raised by members.There are seven education-related legislations pending in Parliament. The government proposes to introduce the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Bill and the Central Board of Secondary Education in the current session of Parliament. Human resources development minister Kapil Sibal had a brief respite in the budget session, when he was able to ensure the passage of six education bills, including the contentious Copyright Amendment Act.

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Haryana mulls right to play act: Minister
The Times of India, 20 August 2012

To identify sports talent at the school-level, the Haryana government is mulling enactment of a right to play act on the pattern of the Right to Education Act. This was stated by Haryana Education and Social Welfare minister Geeta Bhukkal while interacting with mediapersons at her residence in Jhajjar on Monday. The government is mulling enactment of a right to play act to promote sports activities in the state and identify talent in the field at the school-level itself, she said.

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Education and Poverty: Confronting the Evidence

Abstract: Current U.S. policy initiatives to improve the U.S. education system, including No Child Left Behind, test-based evaluation of teachers and the promotion of competition, are misguided because they either deny or set to the side a basic body of evidence documenting that students from disadvantaged households on average perform less well in school than those from more advantaged families. Because these policy initiatives do not directly address the educational challenges experienced by disadvantaged students, they have contributed little — and are not likely to contribute much in the future — to raising overall student achievement or to reducing achievement and educational attainment gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students. Moreover, such policies have the potential to do serious harm. Addressing the educational challenges faced by children from disadvantaged families will require a broader and bolder approach to education policy than the recent efforts to reform schools.

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Delivering Education: From Policy to Practice

04 December 2012
The Theatre, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India

Save the Date!


Cartoons As Social Objects
I’m not alone when I cite Hugh MacLeod of GapingVoid as one of my favourite cartoonists on the web. I also really like Alex Noriega, Jessica Hagy, Doug Savage but my all time favourite cartoonist (whose work pre-dates the internet easily) is Michael Leunig. A well drawn cartoon can capture an idea or an emotion in ways that words cannot…. It has got me wondering if the idea can be remixed for learning. I mean, education has had learning objects peddled for quite a while now so why not social objects? I think that they already exist anyway in our schools and professional associations, and definitely in learning networks on the web but without the formal identification of such a label. Click here to know more


Right to Education: the story so far
In India, children between the age group of 6 and 14 years have the fundamental right to free and compulsory education.  This right is implemented through the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act).  The Act is applicable to all categories of schools (government and private). According to recent media reports, many schools (including government schools) are flouting norms laid down in the RTE Act.  Unaided schools have criticised state government over norms related to religious and linguistic status of minority schools. The government has also faced flak over unclear norms on neighbourhood schools and reimbursement of money to private schools. Click here to know more


RTE: Right to Education is WRONG!
Recently the supreme court of the political boundaries called India upheld the constitutionally "legal" nature and "rightness" of State rulers' so-called Right to Education Bill. Under this legislation, State officials have made it compulsory for the on-paper private schools to keep 25% quota reserved for students of lower strata of society. Private schools challenged this ruling in the supreme court thinking that they will get the justice! Well, what more can you expect from the judges who are selected by the State officials themselves? They are all part and parcel of the same thug system of State. The independence of the judiciary system is an illusion. It is a joke on the intellect of the populace. The major issue of concern here is, whether someone has a right to education? and more fundamentally,what is a human right? Without understanding the concept of human right, and its negation, human wrong, it is impossible to discuss such issues let alone passing judgements on them by the supreme court judges. Click here to know more



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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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