Weekly Update on Education (Issue No 204)

11 Sep 2012

Unaided schools not at cost of aided ones: SC
Zee News, September 05, 2012

New Delhi: The state is justified in denying recognition to unaided schools if it adversely affects the interests of the government run-aided schools, the Supreme Court has held. “The state spends large amount by way of aid, grant etc for running schools in the aided sector as well as the state-owned schools. “Indiscriminate grant of recognition to schools in the unaided sector may have an adverse effect on the state-owned schools as well as the existing schools in the aided sector, by way of division fall, retrenchment of teachers etc.

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Centre not to bear cost of RTE fee reimbursement
Indian Express, Sept 01, 2012

The government will have to bear the entire cost of fee reimbursement to schools under the Right to Education Act as the Centre will not provide financial aid to any state this year. According to sources, the proposal of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to support states in a 65:35 cost sharing ratio is still pending before the Union Cabinet. “Not just Karnataka, no other state will receive finance from the Centre. That is why the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has no provision for fee reimbursement in its budget this year,” said an SSA official.

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Home-schooling is allowed under RTE Act, says Centre
HT, July 20, 2012

The Right To Education (RTE) Act does not come in the way of home-schooling. Parents can teach their children outside the formal education system, the Centre said in an affidavit filed in the Delhi high court. The school education department submitted the affidavit dated July 16, in a petition that said the RTE Act equated schooling with education and did not accommodate those who opted for home-schooling. The petition, filed by Shreya Sahai, through her mother, had argued that the Act does not cater to gifted or talented children who leave the schooling system, or those in alternative schools.

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Want to look at the PISA test questions and try them out yourself?
Education in india Blog, Jan 23, 2012

Sample questions from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests have been published by the OECD, the organisation that conducts the tests. Check out the questions. If your children are about 15 years old or more, you could ask them to try out the sample questions and see how they fare. Teachers may also like to try them out. It would be interesting to find out what teachers think of the level of these questions and the capability of their students to answer them. The list has sample questions from the field trials and the actual PISA tests administered in 2000, 2003 and 2006 including questions testing reading literacy, mathematical literacy, and scientific literacy. The detailed answer keys to all the questions are also provided.

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State can’t violate Supreme Court directive on RTE
Times of India, June 28, 2012

HYDERABAD: Protecting private schools from implementing the Right to Education act is a state government order, according to which seats in neighbourhood government and aided schools should be filled before private schools are approached for admission under RTE. The order has been a key reason for private schools to steer clear of earmarking 25 per cent seats under the RTE Act. But Supreme Court advocate Ashok Agarwal, who has been spearheading the RTE implementation, says that the GO is in violation of the Act. In the city on Wednesday, Ashok Agarwal told TOI that he had been travelling to various districts across Andhra Pradesh to meet lawyers and create awareness about the act so that they can take up cases of violation. “Section 12 of the RTE Act makes it very clear that it is a child’s right to get admission in a private school and such a government order (issued by the state government) is in contradiction of this provision. The state while framing the rules cannot violate the act, they don’t have power. This amounts to repealing section 12,” Agarwal said.

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Grace time ticking for unrecognized schools
Times of India, June 16, 2012

HYDERABAD: Parents and students of unrecognized schools in the Old City can heave a sigh of relief, albeit temporarily, as the school education department is likely to allow institutions identified for closure a grace period of up to two months to get their papers in order. Among the 230 unrecognized schools identified for closure this year, close to100 are from the Old City. The drive against unrecognized schools began on June 11. But before it could reach the Old City, department officials decided to tread softly as parents voiced concerns that the action was delayed as schools were set to reopen. District education department officials revealed that it has informally agreed to give schools some more time to get recognitions and other certifications from the government. But they cautioned that this should not be seen as a dilution in the determination of the drive.

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Special educators must in private schools
Times of India, Sept 6, 2012

NEW DELHI: Disabled students enrolled in private schools received a unique gift from the Delhi high court on Teachers’ Day – special educators. A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw directed all private unaided schools in the capital to hire two qualified special educators as per the mandate of the Right to Education Act (RTE). The bench made it clear that special educators are required not just in government-run or aided schools but should also in private schools as they too enroll disabled students with special needs. HC was hearing a plea by civil rights organization Social Jurist which sought to extend appointment of special educators to private schools.

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Condoleezza Rice Pushes GOP Message for Choice, Against Unions
Education Week, Sept 2, 2012

The pointed, education-themed remarks to delegates by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the second night of the Republican convention reinforced the GOP platform’s position on school choice—and took yet another Republican stab at teachers. (Rice hit those themes again at a panel discussion sponsored by Bloomberg media here Thursday, saying that if she had one stab at changing education, she’d seriously scale up school choice.) Her Wednesday speech to the delegates may not have been as sharp as that of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s on the first night of the convention. And she was reiterating points she’s made about education in the past. But they likely struck a chord, based on the enthusiastic response.

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Demand and supply gap continues in higher education in India
Inside India Blog, June 28, 2012

For the new academic season starting in August 2012, the Delhi University has received 140,000 applications for 54,000 undergraduate seats across its network of colleges in Delhi. One particular college, St. Stephens has 420 undergraduate seats in Humanities and Science – and it has received 22,000 applications. The average grade requirement for a student to qualify for admission in this college is 91% and above. With stronger presence on the ground, and more intensive marketing, foreign universities can easily target a segment of this student pool – those who can afford to pay for higher education abroad.

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How teacher turnover harms student achievement
Matthew Ronfeldt, University of Michigan; Susanna Loeb, Stanford University; Jim Wyckoff, University of Virginia

Abstract: Several developing countries have decentralized control over public schools to their local communities, with the goals of enhancing accountability and improving school outcomes. However, too often this decentralization is meaningless as the communities have very low awareness of their roles and entitled services, and their participation in school management remains abysmal. Availability of information can be a powerful catalyst towards stimulating public demand for quality services. This study evaluates the impact of an information campaign on school outcomes in three states in India. The campaign provided parents with information on their oversight roles in schools and the education services they are entitled to. Results show that providing information improves both oversight capacity of communities and learning outcomes, while lowering wastage of public resources by increasing teacher effort in classrooms, particularly in lagging states.

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Delivering Education: From Policy to Practice

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

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Goa second best in higher education access
PANAJI: Goa has 24.59 institutes of higher education available per lakh for its youth in the age group of 18 to 23. Goa has also provided this age group the best access to engineering and technical colleges after Andhra Pradesh. Click here to read more


True education
This is true knowledge: to seek the Self as the true end of wisdom always. To seek anything else is ignorance. - Bhagwad Gita 13.11. Click here to read more


Future of the country depends on education system
The future of a country depends on the prevailing education system and the literacy rate, said National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Project Director D. Anjaneya Reddy. Speaking at an awareness programme on ‘Child Line’, here on Sunday, Mr. Reddy said that if the Government takes measures for strict implementation of laws framed for child rights protection and their welfare, education system would be good, which in turn will help in the nation building. Click here to read more



Do you think the definition of literacy should be widened to include minimum literacy and arithmetic levels?

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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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