Issue # 298 | 26 August 2014










Impact Of The RTE Shutdown Of Schools


Some years ago I wrote in an article that Right to Education (RTE) could cause budget schools to shut down. And that is happening today. As feared, RTE has made it more difficult for children to go to school whereas it should have created more opportunities for them. Let’s understand the issue. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, (popularly known as ‘RTE’) gives every child the right to full-time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school (which satisfies certain essential norms and standards). These input norms include prescribed Pupil-Teacher Ratios, standards for buildings and infrastructure, defined school-working days, defined teacher-working hours and the appointment of appropriately trained teachers. There is no mention at all about outputs and no requirements about improving the quality of education. [For more information on the RTE you can check].

In the recent past, budget schools have proliferated in India. These schools charge fees of around Rs 200-600 per month and serve as an alternative to the free government school system. Given the low fees, these schools cannot afford large infrastructure or offer the same salaries that government schools offer their teachers. But many parents prefer to spend money sending their children to these budget schools instead of sending them for free to a government school.










Are Educational Certificates The Only Measure Of A Person's Intellect?


Are educational certificates the only measure of a persons intellect?

A huge political is going on over the educational qualification of the newly-appointed HRD minister Smriti Irani. Should we estimate the worth of a person on the basis of certificates when a large number of the greatest achievers the world has known are or were college dropouts. We debate!.









Dropping Out Of School In Malaysia: What We Know And What Needs To Be Done


In 2013, IDEAS conducted a survey on education, also known as Giving Voice to the Poor, to uncover the needs and aspirations of parents from low-income households around Malaysia. The survey covered over 1,200 respondents of which 150 respondents had at least one child who had dropped out of school. This paper takes a closer look at this group of 150 in an attempt to further understand issues that parents perceive as the reasons for a child dropping out. These reasons include a lack of interest for school, the inability to pay for education-related expenses, and poor academic performance among others. Involvement of parents in a child’s education related activities at home, frequency of interaction of parents with school teachers, management and PTA, and parents’ opinions of education including technical and vocational education pathways are also considered. While data from the Ministry of Education show that the dropout rates are low in Malaysia, the absolute number of students leaving the system before completing a full secondary education reaches into the thousands. A majority of these students are from low-income households, hindering their ability to improve upon their socioeconomic status.

This paper hopes to add to the existing literature on dropouts in Malaysia and provide a more contemporary look at the issue and proposes that the issue of dropouts in the country deserves a reexamination in the form of a more comprehensive study.













Degrees Or Abilities - What Makes A Good HRD Minister?


Smriti Irani's '6-day degree' (now certificate) programme from Yale led to yet another debate about formal qualifications and suitability for a job: what is your take?


"Bihar Is Where Learning Is Fun: Mission Gunwatta"

Government schools in Bihar test grouping children by level of learning instead of age for improving outcomes.

Ashwaq Masoodi writes.


SOS: Save 300,000 Budget Private Schools


Special Report by Autar Nehru, Aruna Ravikumar and Nadia Lewis,

Education World: The Human Development Magazine,

August 2014



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All-India // Zee News // 26 August 2014

NGOs Pursue Education For All

Right to Education Bill was a milestone in many ways in the history of Indian education sector. However, there are many stumbling blocks that need to be cleared. Gauri Rane speaks to NGOs in pursuit of the goal of education for all.


Global // The Mercury // 25 August 2014

The Moral Price Of Private Schooling

Frank Meintjies says South Africa needs to guard against the undermining of the fundamental right to education. Privatisation of schooling in South Africa is on the up – and it’s a worrying trend. Private or independent schools were always part of the landscape; around 1994 there were just over 500 registered schools, but this number had ballooned to more than five times that number in 2012.


All India // Live Mint // 25 August 2014

Human Resources Development Ministry Calls Meet On Outcomes

New Delhi: Union human resources ministry officials led by minister Smriti Irani will meet state education secretaries on Tuesday to review the outcome of the right to education (RTE) act, the mid-day meal (MDM) scheme and efforts to improve female literacy, as the new government nears its 100th day in office.


Global // The Express Tribune // 23 August 2014

A Commendable Step

In a rare instance of communities pushing back against threats by extremists, the schools that were closed in Panjgur, western Balochistan, are again open. In early May, pamphlets were distributed threatening violence if the schools did not stop co-education and what was described as a ‘Westernised’ curriculum (the schools all taught English as a second or third language).


Maharashtra // Times of India // 22 August 2014

PIL: Good Roads Should Be Schoolchildren's Right

MUMBAI: The right to have motorable roads should be made integral to right to education, says a PIL, highlighting the "nightmare" of children who have to walk through a 500-metre stretch to attend their school in Aarey Milk Colony, Goregaon (East). BEST has refused to ply buses on the stretch, saying it is risky as the road is narrow and uneven.






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