Weekly Update on Education (Issue No 224)

05 Feb 2013

National Advisory Council approves monitoring mechanism for RtE
Times of India, January 29th, 2013

The National Advisory Council has given in principle approval for a monitoring and grievance redress architecture from local to national level for effective implementation of Right to Education (RTE).The recommendation submitted by a working group to the NAC had suggested HRD Ministry to take steps in this direction. The group also suggested that the Ministry and states institutionalise mechanisms for dialogue and mediation that ensure participation of all stakeholders in resolving grievances.

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Decision for RTE in convent schools soon
Times of India, January 29th, 2013

The state education department is soon going to dispel the ambiguity that looms over the 'leased' convent schools whether they come under the ambit of the Right to education (RTE) Act or not. A decision in this regard is likely to be taken in a couple of days. Highly placed sources in the education department said, Carmel Convent BHEL, St Xavier, St Mary, Campion School, St Theresa, St Thomas, All Saint's, St John's and Hema Higher Secondary among others are on leased land and hence it was not clear whether these schools would have to reserve 25% of their seats for the BPL children coming under the RTE Act.

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Teacher education program: State departments to discuss panel recommendation
Times of India, January 28th, 2013

The government has convened a meeting of state education departments here tomorrow to deliberate upon a panel's recommendations on improving teacher education programmes which include pre-entry testing of candidates for admission to training institutes. The Supreme Court-appointed Justice J S Verma Commission on improving teacher education system had submitted its report last August, with the suggestion of also exploring possibility of engaging teacher educators as visiting faculty in schools. It had suggested development of a framework on school audit and teacher performance and increased investment in establishing teacher education institutions.

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Child rights panel to ask collector to ensure RTE norms
Times of India, January 27th, 2013

After receiving several complaints that the admission forms for the underprivileged children under the Right to Education (RTE) Act are not available in the private schools, the child rights panel has written to the district collector recently to ensure that forms are available. The collector has now asked the district education officer (DEO) to issue orders for the same. Chairperson of the state commission for protection of child rights (SCPCR) Usha Chaturvedi said that several parents had complained to the commission that the admission forms for the 25% underprivileged children were not available with the private CBSE schools. "The schools said that they did not receive any such orders from the DEO," she said.

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Nursery admission subject to outcome of PIL
Hindustan Times, January 29th, 2013

In another hearing of a PIL filed against the point system followed by private schools for nursery admissions, the Delhi High Court said the validity of the admission process will be subject to its final verdict. But the court did not stay the admission process. As per the admission schedule, Delhi schools are likely to come out with their first lists within a week. A bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice VK Jain has already made it clear that "prima-facie" the present admission criteria of primacy to sibling, first-child, alumni, parents' profession, etc are against the Right to Education (RTE) Act that prohibits any kind of discrimination.

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Higher Education in 12th Plan: Paradigm shift in favour of for profit
Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLVIII No. 4 January 26th, 2013

The Twelfth Plan has chosen an approach that will promote private capital in higher education with an eye on profit generation - a stance contradicting present policy. It has not considered the alternate path of garnering resources for the public and private sectors through the creation of a National Education Finance Corporation.

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Adding glamour to D. Ed
The Hindu, January 28th, 2013

Teacher education finds itself at a crossroads now. Never has the significance of providing future teachers the right training been more debated than in recent times. Realising the dire need to revamp existing systems of preparing aspiring teachers, who in turn prepare a whole generation of future citizens, concrete steps are now being taken to bring in the necessary changes.

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Education First
The Hindu, January 23rd, 2013

Reiterating that education is an important sector for Microsoft Corporation, the IT major announced a global investment of $250 million over five years into its Microsoft Partners in Learning (MPIL) programme recently, taking its total investment in the program to $750 million over 15 years.

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Unconscionable politics hampers education
The Daily Star, January 5th, 2013

The prevailing political turmoil in the country is one of the major reasons for lessening the learning hours in schools as the classes often get postponed due to the political programmes like hartal, said educationists and experts.“Compared to other countries, primary school students in Bangladesh generally do not get enough learning hours in primary schools,” said Dr Manzoor Ahmed, senior adviser of the Institute of Educational Development, Brac University.

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The fed’s education power grab
Los Angeles Times, January 24th, 2013

In December, California's application for a waiver from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act was denied by the U.S. Department of Education. This, we were told, was because California had failed to embrace the federal department's reform agenda, especially on issues of evaluating teachers.

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The question of right to education is not a new one to our country’s socio-political and legal discourse. The idea of free and compulsory education is as old as our constitution – which through the Directive Principles promised free and compulsory education to all children until they complete fourteen years of age. This constitutional promise was read into Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution by various pronouncements of the Supreme Court. The Apex court observed that the right education is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution as dignity of individuals cannot be assured unless accompanied by right to education. To give effect to Art 45 and these judicial pronouncements, the Parliament decided to insert Art 21-A to the Constitution to make the right to education justiciable. Click here to read more

Justice Radhakrishnan gave the following reasons in his dissenting judgment. To understand the scope and intent of Art 21A, Justice Radhakrishnan relied on the legislative history of Article 21-A. In pursuance of the Supreme Court judgment in Unnikrishnan, the Department of Education and Human Resources, Government of India drafted a Bill [Constitution (Eighty-third Amendment) Bill, 1997] so as to insert a new Article 21A in the Constitution, with an intent to make right to education a fundamental right, which read as follows:. Click here to read more

Indian Union Minister asks banks to give more education loans
In a noted shift from traditional political stance and an acknowledgement of the dire straits of the Indian higher education supply gap, Union Finance Minister Mr P Chidambaram encouraged Indian banks to provide more education loans to students. The demand for education continues to escalate and easy access to education loans is one of the major factors in the increasing number of students choosing to study abroad. Click here to read more

Do you think the increasing number of enrolment in private schools will lead to better learning outcome?

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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)
A comprehensive analysis on reservation in private schools under the Right to Education Act, providing a seven-step model for 25% implementation.

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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