Saturday, April 30, 2011

Multiple options to fund PPP in health, education

Multiple options to fund PPP in health, education
Sanjeeb Mukherjee / New Delhi April 28, 2011, 0:24 IST

The government is working on multiple options for financing public-private partnership (PPP) projects in social sectors like health and education. The PPP framework for these projects, like building hospitals and schools, will be different from the existing regime for infrastructure.

Officials said central assistance for financing such projects could be available either directly through the finance ministry or routed through respective ministries (health and education) or even through the Planning Commission.

In a meeting held yesterday, representatives from states, Planning Commission, ministries of health, education, finance and law also discussed models through which government support could be provided to enable access to the poor in hospitals or educational institutions built under the PPP model. “The idea is that both the government and private sector should work together, while the burden for providing access to the poor should rest with the government,” a senior official who participated in the meeting said.

Under the current PPP framework used for the infrastructure sector, mainly covering road, metro and some state government projects, the Planning Commission frames standardised contractual documents for laying down the terminology related to risks, liabilities and performance standards. The schemes and government grants for individual projects are approved by the Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) headed by secretary (economic affairs) in the finance ministry.

The finance ministry had expressed divergent views on the role of the Planning Commission in PPP projects, arguing that such partnerships strictly fall within its domain. Officials said such difference of opinion were common, but finally all the parties have decided to work together.

In its presentation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week to formalise the draft approach paper to the 12th Plan, the Commission had pitched for expanding PPP in health and education sectors. The Prime Minister heads the Commission. “The role of PPP in secondary and tertiary healthcare must be expanded, while such models in school and higher education should also be explored,” the presentation said.

While the final approach paper to the 12th Plan is in its formative stage, the Commission has started working on framing model concession agreements to involve private partners in developing and operating hospitals and educational institutes.

Jharkhand to introduce CCE system in schools

Jharkhand to introduce CCE system in schools
Under the system, students would be asked for weekly projects and oral tests in place of the annual or half-yearly examinations
Submitted by jpgupta on 04/28/2011 - 10:29:24 AM
By Chandrabindu

Ranchi: State-run middle schools in Jharkhand would soon do away with the decade old examination pattern.

A continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) system, an examination module adopted by the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE), would now be in place to assess the performance of the students.

Under the new system, students would not require preparing for the burdensome annual or half-yearly examinations, but they would be asked for weekly projects and oral tests.

The Human Resource Development Department has decided to introduce the new assessment system in all 40,000 schools across the State from the next academic session.

For the purpose, it has mooted training schedule for about 1200 teachers, who in turn will act as mentors to disseminate nitty-gritty of the new evaluation system to over 1.35 lakh teachers within a specified time frame.

To begin with, the CCE system will be implemented for students from class VI to VIIII. HRD Secretary Mridula Sinha said the department intended to impart training to all the teachers by August 15, following which CCE system would be strictly enforced in all the schools.

The department has also decided to train 30 teachers from Ranchi, Ramgarh, Khunti, Simdega and Lohardaga districts on a pilot basis within a fortnight.

Sinha said after the three days training, the teachers would be asked to run a trial of CCE in their respective schools and submit the report of the progress.

Indian education primers get in sync with e-age

Indian education primers get in sync with e-age
Education books are adapting to online aids with digitisation making inroads making higher education more tech oriented
Submitted by jpgupta on 04/28/2011 - 09:53:35 AM
By Madhusree Chatterjee

New Delhi: Supplementary online content, greater emphasis on analysis and India-centric examples... education primers has changed beyond recognition in the country.

Guidebooks for competitive examinations and higher education are now more tech-oriented, India-specific, analytical and precise.

There was a time, a little more than a decade ago, when education primers were slim unimaginative volumes of stock questions and answers with a few activity-oriented papers to solve at the end of the book.

Education books, on the other hand, were humungous information overloads, without precision information or pithy analyses to help students develop an aptitude and razor-sharp reasoning prowess.

But time is at a premium and attention spans shorter. Hence the change in the format of content, say industry insiders.

"The content of college and university education texts has changed. We don't have to sift through pages to look for what we need. The abundance of web supports that come with books allows us to go beyond the run-of-the mill for reference and seek views on experts available online," Rajesh Kumar Mishra, a second year Delhi University student, says.

Education books are adapting to online aids with digitisation making inroads, said Showick Thorpe, author of the CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) Manual 2011.

"Education books are now being written to give 360 degrees of information not only for written examination but also interviews and to increase knowledge thereafter," Thorpe said.

Several generic higher education books written by foreign authors are also being adapted keeping the Indian audience in mind, said Anish Srikrishna, chief marketing officer of Pearson Education Limited, one of the largest publishers of education books globally.

Srikrishna cited the example of the 13th edition of Philip Kotler's famous book "Marketing Management", which Kotler co-wrote with Kevin Keller, Abraham Koshy and Mithileshwar Jha as "Marketing Management: A South Asian Perspective".

The highlight of the South Asian edition was a section on rural marketing memos in each chapter that provide tips and suggestions at all stages of marketing to rural customers.

"Kotler actively participated in adapting the original to the Indian subcontinent reality. Professors in IIM-A (Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad) who co-wrote the book created several India-specific instances pertaining to Indian retail market and Indian retail challenges," Srikrishna said.

According to veteran education manual writer AP Bharadwaj, "students now look for precise information".

"Books should be precise to help students score and at the same time ensure quality. The market is flooded with substandard books and material. None of these books last for more than a few years - and it takes three for a quality work to be established in the market," Bharadwaj said.

KN Panikker, author of the books "Emerging Trends in Higher Education" and "Social Justice in Higher Education", added that student requirements had changed with time, particularly after the entry of IT.

"Students depend on information technology for the specific information that they want. They look for more analytical information in a book. The types of the books have also changed depending on the level of education," Panikker said.

Macmillan, a leading publisher of education books, makes use of multi-media technology by providing web support with its books.

"Web support with printed texts reduces cost of the books — both production and sales costs — and at the same time allows students to access all the information," chief publisher of the higher education division of Macmillan SK Singh said.

The web support includes video clips, animation and interactive websites.

"The interesting thing about e-books is that even in small towns, students are equipped with funky cell phones with large screens and notepads which serve as e-readers," he said.

As Priyanka Awasthi, a second year management student at Symbiosis in Pune, said: "We don't use printed text books. All our books and reading material are available online. Our institute provides us reading material online and I buy all my reference books on the Internet... Higher education books have changed completely with digitisation and online aids."

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Like leader, like school

Like leader, like school
Despite the importance of developing capable school leaders, little thought and almost no action have gone into it
Other Sphere | Anurag Behar

When you meet someone after 30 odd years, and both your minds independently go back to the same images from the past, there must be something riveting about those memories.

My school principal was the much respected educationist H.P. Rajaguru. There were principals before and after him, but no one else has mattered much to me. I met him last week in Bhopal, where I studied, and where he has settled down after an illustrious career.

Also See |Anurag Behar’s previous columns

When principals meet his students after so many decades, they start with the past. Almost the first thing he said was: “I wanted every child to go up on the stage and talk, to build her confidence.”

Like many of my fellow sufferers, this was a definitive point in my memories of childhood: the morning assembly at school, where as a sixth grade student trembling with stage fright I would go up in front of a 1,000 students to read the news.

I remember my school, just another Kendriya Vidyalaya, but always abuzz. We knew it then, and in hindsight it’s even clearer, that it was all my principal’s influence. As he told me last week, he had had a plan, and had been willing to experiment. It envisioned 50% student-learning in the classroom and 50% outside it through a series of well-coordinated activities. This led to an extraordinarily alive school despite the same curriculum, resources and constraints as at all other schools.

The leader makes a big difference in any organization. It’s perhaps more so for a school. Those of us who have seen factories will know how two that have the same process to make the same product can be completely different on all performance parameters—simply because of the factory leader and the culture that he fosters.

The school is a far more complex and sensitive organization than any factory, the proverbial chalk and cheese. A school’s work happens with children, each one different from the other. Even the same child is different at different times. For good education, these differences have to be recognized and worked with. This must happen at every level of interaction with the child, and with every facet of education. Machines don’t have their own minds, moods and motivations. This is not the only reason why the school is infinitely more complex than any factory, but it is a key one.

In a complex system, local, onsite leadership matters even more. Ideally, leadership is a shared endeavour between the designated school leader, teachers and perhaps also the students. But the influence of the individual school leader plays a large part in relative school performances in any education system.

The Indian school system has approximately 1.4 million school leaders. In most cases, and definitely in government schools, the school leader is a tenured teacher. The method of appointing the leader, which takes tenure and not ability as the key factor, and the almost complete absence of real capacity building for a leader once she is appointed are two of the key problems facing Indian education. These issues also present opportunities for driving improvement in the overall system.

While the issues are as relevant for private schools, I will limit my comments to the government school system. In that context, appointment to positions such as school leaders is so deeply rooted in the notion of tenure, and the possibility of a move to any competence and merit driven system is so politically and socially vexing, that it may not be worth attempting.

What could be attempted is rigorous, sustained and comprehensive capacity development. It’s surprising that while the importance of school leaders and the need for their capacity development are so obvious, little thought and almost no action have gone into it.

The Karnataka government has committed to a continuing cycle of capacity development for the state’s 56,000 school, cluster and block level leaders. This long-term and high-intensity programme, on which the Azim Premji Foundation is collaborating with the state government, will complete the first cycle in five years. While it’s too early to talk of any impact, initial signs are promising.

Our experience and that of many others has validated the key dimensions of capacity building for school leaders. This includes perspectives on the purpose of education and on what makes good education, basic people management, planning and personal effectiveness skills, and an understanding of stakeholder engagement methods and of organizations and systems. Doing this at a large scale requires resources and sustained commitment.

Capacity building cannot address all the issues of school leaders, including ones that the larger system burdens them with, but it can make a substantial difference. It can catalyse out-of-place school leaders to find purpose and methods to affect what is in their circle of influence instead of being hobbled by what is outside it. And that can make the difference between a school that improves and one that drifts in the general quagmire.

Anurag Behar is co-CEO of Azim Premji Foundation and also leads sustainability initiatives for Wipro Ltd. He writes every fortnight on issues of ecology and education. Comments are welcome at othersphere@livemint.com

RTE implementation will be through consensus, says government

RTE implementation will be through consensus, says government
Apr 28, 2011, 12.53am IST

CHENNAI: The state government has assured that allotments of poor students to private schools for free education under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act will be based on consensus between the school and the local education officer. Though education department officials will insist that 25% of seats in any school should be given to students from weaker sections, they will not pull up schools if a particular child allotted to the school is not accommodated. "As the first step, we are planning to conduct awareness and orientation programmes for heads of schools to clear misunderstandings about the Act," said director of matriculation schools K Devarajan.

"We have already printed booklets about the Act for distribution among schools," said Devarajan. The department is also planning a series for workshop for schools to help them understand why corporal punishments are banned. "We want teachers to learn to discipline children with positive reinforcement. That will also be vital for the implementation of the RTE Act," he said.

On Wednesday, Devarajan called principals of two schools for issuing circulars asking parents to protest against the implementation of the RTE Act. Some city schools issued circulars to parents that school fees would be raised as 25% of the students have to be given free education if the Act is implemented. They also said that admitting poor students would bring down the quality of education. On Wednesday, school managements had told education department officials that the circulars were meant to gauge parent reactions. "We have told them not to instigate parents," Devarajan said.

The RTE Act was passed by the parliament in April 2010. The state education department has drawn up rules for the implementation of the Act, but they are yet to be made public. "The rules have already been cleared by the law department. But with the model code of conduct in force we were not able to push this forward. We will be making an announcement soon," said school education secretary D Sabitha.

The rules will make it mandatory for schools to reserve 25% of their seats for children from weaker sections. But sources admit that by the time the chief minister signs off on the rules, the admission process would have been completed in most schools and implementation of the Act would be difficult this academic year.

Need for effective enforcement of child rights: Experts

Need for effective enforcement of child rights: Experts

Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), April 30 (IANS) There are several laws to protect the rights of children in India but what is required is effective enforcement of these rights, prominent members of judiciary said here Saturday.

"There are laws for children in India but the challenge is to enforce them. Child is the supreme asset of the nation," Justice Rakesh Saxena of Madhya Pradesh High Court in Jabalpur told the symposium on "Child Rights and Law".

Several district judges, civil society organisations and state government departments are participating in the two-day symposium organised by Human Rights Law Network in partnership with Unicef office for Madhya Pradesh and the state department for women and child development.

The aim is to sensitise judiciary and senior government officials and to explore ways and means for strict implementation of these laws, said a Unicef official.

Justice S.K. Gangele of Gwalior bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court emphasised the need for effective implementation of laws related to child rights at the ground level.

"There is a need to engage workers at the grassroots level in the implementation of these laws," he added.

Tania Goldner, chief of Unicef field office for Madhya Pradesh, said: "There is an urgent need to bring in higher level of enforcement and strengthen implementation of laws and schemes to let children enjoy their rights."

Nonagenarian woman takes class IV exams

Nonagenarian woman takes class IV exams
PTI | 08:04 PM,Apr 28,2011

Alappuzha (Ker), Apr 28 (PTI) A 90-year-old woman showed that age is no bar in the pursuit of education by appearing for the class IV 'equivalent' examination conducted by the State Literacy Mission here today.Fathima Beevi exuded confidence after writing the examination that she would pass the test with good marks, when the results are announced next month."Education is the greatest thing in human life. Both men and women need education to lead a meaningful life," the mother of three said.The nonagenarian woman was given special permission to write the exam, for which the age limit is fixed as 15 years to 50.It was during a home-to-home survey that the literacy workers came across Beevi, a widow, and were moved by her deep interest in learning, Literacy Mission sources said.The rules were relaxed as a special case to allow her to appear for the four-hour exam which covered a combination of various subjects like Malayalam, arithmetics and basic social sciences.Beevi said she had been preparing for the examination for the past four months and that she did well. She went to the exam hall with her son Abdul Hameed.The 'equivalent' examination is conducted for those who had to give up their studies or dropped out from early schooling.

City school fails RTE test

30 failed primary students packed off with transfer certificates
City school fails RTE test
G Manjusainath Bangalore, April 27, DHNS

A school in the City has failed several students in primary classes and removed them from the school by giving them transfer certificates (TCs), thus violating a provision of the Right to Education (RTE) Act that students of primary classes should not be detained.

The RTE Act was passed last year and the State Government implemented it agreeing on five points, including the provision that students in primary classes (upto class VIII) should not be detained. The objective was to bring down the dropout rate and shift the responsibility of learning from the child to the school.

However, throwing the provision of the Act to the winds, St John’s School at Cleveland Town near Frazer Town not only failed some students of primary classes, but also issued TCs to them. Parents of one of the students approached Deccan Herald to narrate their plight.

Requesting anonymity, the child's mother, a government servant, questioned the relevance of the law when private schools are violating it deliberately.

She claimed that at least 30 students from classes VI, VII and VIII were failed by the school this year and all the students were given TCs. She claimed that there are 300 students in each class and the school has divided the class into five sections - A, B, C, D and E.

Fared badly

Documents available with Deccan Herald show that the student in question had fared badly in the class VII examination. The mark sheet carried a note at the bottom - “To repeat 7th Standard. Should have put in more effort.”

Deccan Herald contacted the administrator of the school Arul Raj for his reaction. He said he is only the administrator and he does not look after the academic activities. He said the principal of the school may be contacted. When Raj was asked to give her contact number, he said she (the principal) is out of station.

When Kumar G Nayak, secretary of the primary and secondary education department, was contacted, he said detaining a primary school student was not permissible under any circumstances. When he was told that the student was not only failed, but also removed from the school, Nayak said: “This is terrible. Such things should not happen, I'll look into it.”
City school fails RTE test
G Manjusainath Bangalore, April 27, DHNS

A school in the City has failed several students in primary classes and removed them from the school by giving them transfer certificates (TCs), thus violating a provision of the Right to Education (RTE) Act that students of primary classes should not be detained.

The RTE Act was passed last year and the State Government implemented it agreeing on five points, including the provision that students in primary classes (upto class VIII) should not be detained. The objective was to bring down the dropout rate and shift the responsibility of learning from the child to the school.

However, throwing the provision of the Act to the winds, St John’s School at Cleveland Town near Frazer Town not only failed some students of primary classes, but also issued TCs to them. Parents of one of the students approached Deccan Herald to narrate their plight.

Requesting anonymity, the child's mother, a government servant, questioned the relevance of the law when private schools are violating it deliberately.

She claimed that at least 30 students from classes VI, VII and VIII were failed by the school this year and all the students were given TCs. She claimed that there are 300 students in each class and the school has divided the class into five sections - A, B, C, D and E.

Fared badly

Documents available with Deccan Herald show that the student in question had fared badly in the class VII examination. The mark sheet carried a note at the bottom - “To repeat 7th Standard. Should have put in more effort.”

Deccan Herald contacted the administrator of the school Arul Raj for his reaction. He said he is only the administrator and he does not look after the academic activities. He said the principal of the school may be contacted. When Raj was asked to give her contact number, he said she (the principal) is out of station.

When Kumar G Nayak, secretary of the primary and secondary education department, was contacted, he said detaining a primary school student was not permissible under any circumstances. When he was told that the student was not only failed, but also removed from the school, Nayak said: “This is terrible. Such things should not happen, I'll look into it.”

HRD plans to set up Education Finance Corporation

HRD plans to set up Education Finance Corporation
PTI | 11:04 PM,Apr 28,2011

Chennai, Apr 28 (PTI) The HRD Ministry is contemplating setting up an Education Finance Corporation to enable students get loans to study in quality Business schools, Tamil Nadu HRD minister D Purandeswari said today. "We are seeing whether we can come out with an Education Finance Corporation to lend loans to children and whether this EFC can also support infrastructure creation in the country," she said at a function at Great Lakes Institute of Management. Speaking after presenting diplomas to graduates, she asserted that business schools must ensure quality education is accessible to all students. "Of course, they can do so by providing educational loans and so on.. but I think ways and methods must be evolved to ensure that management education is made possible even through education loans," she said. On the proposed National Commission for Higher Education and Research Bill (NCHER), she said it cannot be put in place without consultations with stakeholders. "We need to hold consultations. We need consensus on that.We all know very well that the Health Ministry and Agriculture Ministry are not happy to be part of it. We will form NCHER after deliberations," she said. The proposed bill will act as a regulator for higher education, oversee universities as well as technical, legal and medical education institutes. On the Right to Education Bill, she urged state Governments to play a "proactive" role in implementing the notifications. "Many articles and clauses in RTE emphasise the very pro active role state governments have to play. Kapil Sibal (HRD Minister) and myself have been continuously holding talks with these governments to review its progress. We had a meeting with state secretaries just two days back," she said. Notification on the rules in the RTE have been announced, she said, adding that Tamil Nadu has notified it while some other states were yet to do so.

Minority educational institutions unable to give 25% seats to students

Minority educational institutions unable to give 25% seats to students
Agencies

Posted: Thursday, Apr 28, 2011 at 1519 hrs IST
Tags: Minority Educational Institutions | Economically Weaker Sections
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New Delhi: Minority educational institutions in the city have expressed inability to implement government guidelines on reserving 25 per cent seats for students from economically weaker sections as per provisions of the Right to Education Act, citing financial constraints.

These schools have already approached National Minority Commission to take up the issue with the HRD Ministry as well as Delhi govt.

NCM member H S Hanspal, who looks after minority related issues in Delhi, today took up the matter during a meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit but she apparently told him that only HRD Ministry can examine the issue.

"We will soon take up the issue with HRD Ministry. These schools have told us that they cannot provide free education to 25 per cent students due to financial constraints," he told reporters after a meeting with Dikshit.

Delhi Government, earlier this year, had issued a notification making it mandatory for all schools in the city to reserve 25 per cent of seats for economically weaker sections (EWS) as per provisions of the RTE Act.

Haryana to create database of private schools

Haryana to create database of private schools

Chandigarh, April 28 (IANS) The Haryana government has decided to create a database of all privately-managed educational institutions in the state to quickly resolve various issues pertaining to these institutions, officials said Thursday.

These institutions will include those recognised or unrecognised, aided or unaided, affiliated or not affiliated to the Board of School Education, a spokesman of the school education department said here.

The spokesman said that the main objective behind creating a database of all privately managed educational institutions functioning in the state was to resolve quickly various issues pertaining to these institutions and bring about efficiency and transparency in the system.

‘All such institutions would be allotted unique ID (identity) code. The authorized signatory would use this code for the submission of any proposal or matter pertaining to his or her institution. As a first step, all such institutions would apply online on the website of the School Education Department, Haryana for the allotment of unique ID code. Process would be completed by end of May 2011,’ he added.

International schools: Syllabus offered by these institutes yet to be recognised in India

International schools: Syllabus offered by these institutes yet to be recognised in India
TNN | Apr 30, 2011, 06.09am IST

COIMBATORE: They call themselves 'international' schools, but some of these international courses are yet to get recognition in India. Most of these schools just follow the international syllabus, but are not affiliated to any board of education in India or abroad. In addition, these schools do not come under the scanner of either the central or state school education departments. With building approvals from local bodies, it is relatively easier to start an international school without going through the bureaucratic maze.

Of them, only the Chinmaya International School can be termed international. It has students from across the country as well as from abroad. Starting in 1968 on a sprawling 100 acre green campus, it currently has 500 students from 23 Indian states and 19 countries. The school follows the CBSE syllabus and students have the option of appearing for the IB examination at the Plus Two level. The IB, headquartered in Geneva, conducts the examination, based on a broader spectrum of subjects. The Ratna International Public School (RIPS) follows the ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education).

But almost all other international schools in Coimbatore follow the IGCSE syllabus, the most popular international curriculum drafted by Cambridge University. Offered by Good Shepherd Public School in Udhagamandalam, IGCSE is globally recognised. But there are apprehensions about the validity of IGCSE in the Indian context. "Content wise IGCSE and IB are more advanced and student friendly than CBSE and ICSE. Getting affiliation from international boards is also relatively easy as compared to CBSE and ICSE.

However, Indian universities seldom entertain students from schools that offer IGCSE and IB curriculums, points out Madan A Senthil, chairman of RIPS. "These students can avail only the NRI quota to get admission for professional courses. Most parents are unaware of this aspect," he says. Though there is no official ban on international school students from joining Indian universities and colleges, the fact is that the admission procedures are tougher for them. Babitha Sharma, principal of Monarch International School, is hopeful that these issues will be sorted out sooner than later.

"The Union Human Resources Development Minister has now allowed the entry of foreign universities in a big way and that would give a distinct advantage to our students. In the days to come, there will be more IGCSE and IB students in Indian universities too," she said. But not all are convinced. Child rights activist and campaigner for neighbourhood schools, C.Nambi says, "An international school is an institution that educates students from different parts of the country and the world. Thus such schools are culturally diverse.

Unfortunately, the newly started schools in Coimbatore are not as yet ready to accommodate foreign students." Eminent educationist S Rajagopal makes a forceful point against the international syllabus. "In Europe too, different countries adopt different curriculum. Education should reflect the cultural values and needs of the local community."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Schools try to drum up support against RTE

Schools try to drum up support against RTE
TNN | Apr 28, 2011, 01.31am IST

CHENNAI: The Right to Education Act has sounded all good and noble, but as its implementation nears, schools are charting either a collision course with the government or suggesting alternatives.

A couple of schools have sent circulars to parents eliciting their protest against the Act which the schools fear would lower the standards of education. The government reacted promptly, serving a notice on one of the schools, thus silencing many others. But it looks like a lot more schools are not ready to tow the government line and set apart 25% of seats to children from economically poorer sections.

Many school managements support the views of Sri Sankara Senior Secondary School and Lady Andal Venkatasubbarao Matriculation Higher Secondary School who had sent out circulars to parents earlier this week. One school correspondent, who did not wish to be named, said, "The government cannot thrust its responsibility of educating all the children on us. If the government expects us to provide the same facilities and resources that our students enjoy to the poor children in the neighbourhood, the government should allow us to run another shift for them. It's not possible to accomodate the children in the same class."

Others are of the view that it is also in the best interests of the poor students that they not be put in the same class. Educational consultant K R Maalathi said, " RTE is a great move for a developing country like ours, but there are several practical difficulties that have to be addressed. A child from a poor socio-economic background will face disparity in the class. He will start comparing his lunch or accessories or after school activities with that of his classmates and might get demoralised. His parents will also find such an education unaffordable. Everybody would like to be considerate, but it would create chaos in the classroom."

Many parents say education should be beyond class barriers, and should be used to fight discrimation rather than fan it. "In a mixed group there are a lot of opportunities for children to learn from each other. Both groups will be able to understand the different classes of people living in the country and appreciate them. To facilitate this, schools should be allowed to collect a special fee to provide the poor children the same facilities enjoyed by the other fee-paying students," said J Devaparasad, parent of an LKG student.

Educationist S S Rajagopalan said that till 1978 there were no private schools and everybody studied in government schools. "After the privatisation of education, commercialisation of education began. This has brought in class orientation in school education. This is against the constitutional right to equality," he said.

Students fail, parents allege RTE violation by school

Students fail, parents allege RTE violation by school

Parents of class II students of Hume McHenry Memorial High School in Salisbury Park on Tuesday protested outside the school alleging the school authorities have violated the Right to Education Act (RTE) by failing a few students. While the principal admitted that some students have been failed, he said all the students will be promoted and the intention of failing them was to let parents know where their wards were lagging behind.

The parents, who went to the school to talk to the principal, however, said the school had failed the children because a few of them had complained against one of the teachers. ¿A few months ago, we went to the principal to complain against a teacher who shouts at children and behaves badly in class. The children of those parents have been failed,¿ said a parent on condition of anonymity.

Snehita Shivsagar, another parent, said, ¿We complained against a teacher who never used to teach properly. Following this, that teacher refused to check the notebooks of the children whose parents had complained against her. The school is going against the RTE. As per the Act, they are not allowed to fail a student till class VIII. As many as 10 students, out of 40 have been failed by the school. They have failed the students saying they are an ICSE school and only SSC schools are supposed to follow the RTE norms.¿

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Principal Bakul Bhosale maintains that whatever is being done is for the greater benefit of the children in a long run. “The intention behind writing ‘failed’ in the marksheets of the students is to make the parents realise that their children lag behind in certain subjects and need to work harder. We are not holding back any of the students in the same class.”

A few parents also alleged the school was running a “tuition business” after the school hours and children were being forced to join the tuition classes. To this, the principal said, “We do organise tuition classes. But that is because many of the parents were sending their wards to teachers’ homes for tuitions. We started this to help students, who are a little weak, improve. However, even this is being misunderstood by parents. If the parents have a problem with this, we will stop it from the coming academic year.”

When contacted, deputy director of education Sunil Magar said, “Even if they (school) are not following the RTE, we cannot do anything as they are CBSE and ICSE schools.”

Govt allays apprehensions on amendments in Wakf, RTE Acts

Govt allays apprehensions on amendments in Wakf, RTE Acts
PTI | 10:04 PM,Apr 27,2011

New Delhi, Apr 27 (PTI) Government today sought to allay apprehensions over certain proposed amendments in Wakf Act and Right to Education Act, saying there is no question of departure from fundamental principles of non-interference in the constitutional rights of minority institutions."There is no question of departure from fundamental principles of non-interference in the constitutional rights of minority institutions be their educational, religious or charitable," the Ministry of Minority Affairs said.The ministry also said that it was "pointless and inappropriate" to raise doubts regarding amendments to the Wakf Act, which had already been debated in Lok Sabha and after its passage from the Lower House, has been referred to the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha."It might be recalled that after several days of Lok Sabha not functioning, a slot was fortunately made available just before Lok Sabha adjourned sine die. Records will show that several important Muslim MPs contributed to the debate and the Bill was passed unanimously."The Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha that has several leading Muslim MPs including a Member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board will give its report shortly," the ministry said in a statement.The clarification came following media reports regarding a meeting of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) in Hyderabad objecting to some of the provisions of these legislations.The ministry felt that the reports seemed to distort some aspects of proposed legislations to amend The Wakf Act, 1995 and Right to Education Act.In a meeting on April 25, the AIMPLB threatened to launch an agitation against attempts to interfere with the Islamic law, Shariah and exhorted Muslims across the country to join the stir. AIMPLB President Moulana Syed Mohammad Hasan Rabe Nadvi urged the Muslims to join AIMPLB in its efforts "to prevent changes in the Muslim personal laws" and also to oppose Wakf Amendment Bill 2010 and Right to Education Act 2009, which he said were defective and went "against the interests" of the community.

Fine abolition will spur student absenteeism

Fine abolition will spur student absenteeism
TNN | Apr 28, 2011, 12.07am IST

GURGAON: The state government moves to abolish the good old fine system for being absent in government schools has been greeted with dismay by teachers in rural areas. They claim the move will encourage absenteeism among students.

The education department had issued a special direction earlier this month in which abolition of absence fee (10 paisa per absence) and tuition fee in the government schools was accounted.

The government teachers have welcomed the state governments move of waiving of tuition fee (Rs 10 per annum) with effect from April 1. This will be implemented for the Classes IX to XII. The move of waiving of the tuition fee for students in rural schools should have been done long time ago after the government implemented the Right to Education (RTE) Act in the state, said a teacher posted in a rural school. The state governments decision to abolish both the fees has been done as per the RTE Act which completed one year of full implementation early this month.

The teachers also claimed that the fine for being absent has a symbolic value in villages and its abolition will send the wrong message among the students and parents. Now, after this new rule, students will be free to remain absent and teachers cant use fine as deterrence in the class. This will encourage absenteeism in government schools, said Vinod Thakran, functionary of a JBT Association.

Low student attendance in schools in villages is a perennial problem and the fine for being absent has been the only deterrent available for teachers and headmasters.

Awarding recognition to school to get easier

Awarding recognition to school to get easier
Hindustan Times

To encourage more educational societies to open schools in the Capital, the process of awarding recognition to schools will now be made easier and transparent. Education minister Arvinder Singh said schools applying for recognition will now be able to track the movement of their application online. Education department officials will have to regularly update the status of the file.

Of 100-150 applications received every year, only 10-15 finally manage to get recognition. “The files are often not cleared by officials at the lower level. We have now changed the system,” the minister said.

Instead of going to the office of their area’s deputy director, applicants will now have to apply at education department’s head office. “Documents will be verified then and there and the file will be sent to the deputy director for physical verification,” Singh said.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

After training, private enterprise sees money in education

After training, private enterprise sees money in education
Submitted by admin4 on 25 April 2011 - 12:21pm

By Priyanka Sahay, IANS,

New Delhi : With India needing 45,000 more colleges in the next 10 years to serve some 400 million students, education is not only attracting private enterprise but also emerging as a preferred investment destination.

"Education is now being considered one of most preferred sectors for investments," says Narayanan Ramaswamy, executive director with consultancy KPMG. "Sectors like technology, hospitality and financial services are particularly attractive," Ramaswamy told IANS.

"The only concern is how long it will take to get returns on investment."

For long, running schools and colleges had been the domain of state-run and state-funded institutions, philanthropists, welfare trusts, missionaries and the like. But experts say this is expected to undergo a change now on the lines of what happened in training.

If institutions such as NIIT, Aptech, Franklin and Rau's Study Circle led the boom in training, the education sector is witnessing the expansion of franchises such as Aloha, Edify School, Abacus and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Bal Mandir.

The potential for business is also huge. As a leading industrialist, whose family runs both non-profit and private education institutions, put it recently: "At just $1,000 per year per person for higher education, India is a $200-billion market by 2020."

"In other countries, the private sector plays a meaningful role in helping governments. It is nice to see a similar trend emerging in India as well," Barry O'Callaghan, chairman, Education Media and Publishing Group International, told IANS.

"Research shows the market can benefit from the education sector becoming an enterprise," adds O'Callaghan, whose group builds and runs education content and services firms in India and China in partnerships with local institutions and entrepreneurs.

According to Gaurav Marya, president of Franchise India - an industry lobby for those in the franchise business -, the education and training sector was no longer limited to some philanthropists and waas actually attracting private investment.

"We are witnessing a phenomenal change. Education now is being looked as a good business opportunity. Education as an enterprise is no more a bad word. There is a huge amount of interest from the private players," adds Marya.

It is this industry lobby that says in its report entitled "Indian Education Franchising Report 2011" that the next 10 years will see India need at least 1,000 more universities and 45,000 more colleges to cater to an estimated 400 million students.

But for that to happen there are some fundamental issues that need to be addressed, says O'Callaghan. "You need huge sums of money to correct it," he says, adding it also needs to spread to rural areas that has weak infrastructure, sanitation and faculty.

"There is a wide gap in the services provided by the education sector. In urban areas, there is mushrooming of schools. But we do not find good institutions in rural areas," says Ashok Ganguly, former chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education.

"The government needs to ensure that the gap is filled," he says, adding only then will the Right to Education Act achieve the desired objective and spread literacy across the country.

In fact, the human resource development ministry had estimated that to implement this law and arrest drop-out rates, an investment of Rs.2.3 trillion (Over $50 billion) was required over five years beginning April 1 last year.

That is a huge amount, leaving no alternative but to rope in the private sector. "The only concern is regulatory measures must be clear and transparent."

(Priyanka Sahay can be reached at priyanka.sahay@ians.in and biz@ians.in)

IMPLB to oppose Wakf Amendment Bill, Right to Education Act

IMPLB to oppose Wakf Amendment Bill, Right to Education Act
PTI | 04:04 PM,Apr 25,2011

Hyderabad, Apr 25 (PTI) Muslims all over the country would launch agitation against any attempt to interfere in the Muslim Sharia, warned Moulana Syed Mohammad Hasan Rabe Nadvi, President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), here. Nadvi exhorted the Muslims to join AIMPLB in its efforts to prevent changes in the Muslim personal laws, and also to oppose Wakf Amendment Bill - 2010 and Right to Education Act 2009 which he said were defective and went "against the interests" of the community. AIMPLB is opposed to some provisions in Right to Education Act which have a bearing on education in Madarassas. Addressing a public meeting here last night, he urged the Muslim community to resist any move in the form of bills and amendments which amounted to changing shariat law. The meeting was organised by the All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) on the sidelines of the two-day executive committee meeting of the AIMPLB. The executive committee discussed the Babri-Masjid demolition case and other issues including maintenance for divorced Muslim women. The committee has appealed to the Chief Justice of India to form a larger bench to reconsider the Shah Bano case, and also review the Delhi High Court judgement legalising homosexuality.

Putting schooling to the test

Putting schooling to the test

Amendments to the Indian Constitution are not unusual, but a change in the Fundamental Rights section is a rare, momentous occasion. In August 2002, the basic character of the Constitution was amended to make free and compulsory education a fundamental right of every child. It took seven long years after that for the Parliament to adopt the Right to Education (RTE) legislation, and the law became operational little over a year ago.

Recently, the government of India released a report on the progress made. Clearly, consequential action has begun to gather pace in most states. However, very little is known about how the law takes tangible shape at the ground level, in schools and classrooms.

RTE is the only Central legislation in school education that continues to be controlled and supervised by the states. The Centre and various states have yet to agree on their respective roles, with sensitive federal questions at stake. Though many state governments have vouched for their commitment to RTE, they seem to be still gauging the level of their direct responsibility for implementing a Central Act. And without the full ownership and active interest of state governments, the law is unlikely to get implemented at all.

RTE expects every school to maintain a teacher-pupil ratio of 1:30. For this to happen, the country needs to appoint more than a million teachers in the next couple of years. Where do we find so many of them? Further, this shortage of qualified teachers is a problem mainly in eight states. As a human resource development ministry report identifies, these states not only have a high percentage of untrained teachers but also a low capacity for teacher preparation. Further, the Act demands that the teacher-pupil ratio be maintained by every school, implying that mere state-level and district-level averages will not suffice. Irrational deployment is a problem in almost all states, but it is not an easy issue to tackle, as transfers and postings are highly politicised in most states.

RTE expects that every school be equipped with certain minimum infrastructure. As the specifications are so basic, that should not create any issue. But there are simply too many government schools that currently fail to meet the benchmark, despite enormous investments made in recent years under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. This clause is also likely to pose a challenge to non-governmental organisations and small private schools which invariably function with subminimal facilities using scarce resources from charity or relatively small school fees. Can we afford to push them out altogether? What would happen to children attending these schools? Should the government provide supplementary resources? While many NGOs are agitated over this question, state governments appear barely concerned.

The Act envisages major de-centralisation of school management by mandating the constitution of a school management committee in every school with a significant representation of parents. In addition, the monitoring of the Act’s implementation at the local level is vested with panchayati raj bodies. This demands high levels of involvement from parents and teachers as well as the local political leadership.

But unfortunately not much has been done to develop awareness and capabilities among teachers, headmasters and school management committee members or panchayati raj representatives. As of now, most of these people are unaware of the implications of RTE to their work. The task is staggering, with around 1.3 million schools and around 6 million teachers. There is yet no established mechanism to reach out on such a large scale within the state system. This can be done only through mass mobilisation, possibly with civil society support. It is urgent that civil society agencies as well as the government (state and Central) engage in an exercise of re-drawing their roles in the implementation of the Act.

Despite the regulatory framework, teacher preparation in the country is in total chaos. It should be recognised that all external measures for implementing the Act come unstuck if the teacher in the classroom fails to protect the interests of the children. The Act has several specifications on what should happen in the schools and the classrooms. Though notifications have been issued by many states banning corporal punishment, no detention policy, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and so on, serious attention has not been paid to ensuring the rights of the children in the school. This should include the right of every child to be treated properly without discrimination and facilitated to learn as per the curriculum. Without protecting these rights, large assurances will lead us nowhere, and teachers are the prime actors in this regard. The country must invest more in ensuring that teachers are better prepared not only in terms of pedagogy, but also the values that must be upheld .

Much has been written about the issue of 25 per cent seats for economically weaker sections in private schools. Considering that the issue concerns only around 5 per cent of the high-end private schools, this is not likely to significantly impact the implementation and the achievement of the goal of universalisation. Nevertheless, it is a crucial clause for making our schools more inclusive places. There is mounting empirical evidence on the long-term benefits of diverse classrooms .

Many scholars consider inadequate financial allocations a major constraint for the implementation of the Act. It is true that the current levels of resource allocation would not suffice to effectively achieve the RTEgoals. But the immediate challenge is not so much that of inadequate finances; it is about the effective use of the existing resources and monitoring of the implementation of the provisions of the Act. One should assume that with faster growth and increased availability of resources, finances will not be the real hurdle. Further, one should hope that with the Census figures indicating drastic reduction in the population growth rate, the demand for school places will begin to shrink faster, giving greater scope to focus on quality.

The RTE Act gives a five-year window to achieve all these components of the law, and one is already behind us. If we are to keep to the 2015 deadline for full implementation, we must see a far greater sense of urgency on the parts of both the Centre and the state governments.

The writer is vice-chancellor of the National University for Educational Planning and Administration and a member of the national advisory committee on the right to education

FIR against education dept officers

FIR against education dept officers
PTI | 01:04 PM,Apr 25,2011

Mainpuri (UP), Apr 25 (PTI) An FIR has been lodged against some officers of the education department and an office bearer of an NGO for allegedly misappropriating food grains to a tune of several crore rupees under mid day meal scheme.On the directives of the District Magistrate Ranveer Prasad, district supply inspector Sanjay Mishra lodged the FIR against former Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) Raghubir Singh, present BSA K D N Ram, clerk Vishun Dayal and secretary of an NGO Sanjay Misra, police said here.The accused misappropriated food grains, including wheat and rice, of more than Rs 7.63 crore meant for mid day meals for schools. Raids were also conducted at Balaji Rice Mill and 860 bags of wheat and 3,214 bags of rice were seized. The FIR stated that NGO 'Search' which managed supply of food grains to schools had shown supply of 46884.8 quintals valued at Rs 7.63 crore.During an inquiry conducted on the directives of the DM, it was detected that food grains were not supplied to the schools and the former BSA Singh, present BSA Ram, clerk Dayal and NGO Search Secretary Prashant Misra diverted it to their own benefit, police said.

Govt plans an RTE redressal system

Govt plans an RTE redressal system

With a barrage of Right to Education (RTE) related grievances piling up at the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry and the state governments, the government is considering setting up a well defined grievance redressal mechanism and a law to check malpractices in school education. The RTE promises free and compulsory education to all children aged between six and 14.

At a review of the implementation of the RTE Act chaired by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, all states have been asked to put grievance redressal systems in place. Listing out legal entitlements guaranteed under the RTE Act and making this information available in the public along with lists of designated officers for each of these legal entitlements has also been suggested.

The lists should be displayed on school walls and panchayat buildings for wider dissemination of information. The ministry has advised that officers designated to handle legal entitlements should be education officers and a time schedule should be fixed for disposal of such grievances and complaints. A three month timeline should, it is suggested, be considered the maximum waiting period for disposal of such complaints.

Union HRD Minister Reviews Implementation of RTE

Union HRD Minister Reviews Implementation of RTE
Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development reviewed the implementation of the RTE Act, 2009 at a meeting with State Education Secretaries here today. Also present in the meeting were Dr. D Purendeswari, MoS for HRD, Smt. Anshu Vaish, Secretary, Dept. of School Education and Literacy and other senior officials. During the meeting among the matters discussed was the need for a grievance redressal mechanism for the RTE. It was pointed out that the RTE Act makes local authorities the grievance redressal agencies and the SCPCRs the appellate bodies at the State level. In this context it is necessary to establish the modalities through which child rights under the RTE Act are protected and violations can be dealt with.

On the subject of Rationalizing Teacher Deployment, it was stated that a computerized software has been developed to facilitate states to undertake redeployment of teachers. The software uses the DISE database and can be customized to specific needs of the States. It has the potential to:

• Generate a list of under-served and over-served schools.
• Create a vacancy database.
• Generate a list of vacancies subjects-wise.
• Be sensitive to the needs of physically handicapped teachers, women teachers and other categories as prioritized by the State.
• Correct existing imbalances in teacher deployment.

Some of the other issues that were addressed during the meeting include a review of the status of notification of State rules under RTE Act, 2009 . A Review of status of constitution of SCPCR/REPA for protection of rights of children under the RTE Act was also done. The subject of Community Mobilisation and awareness creation of RTE was also underlined. Teacher related issues, including, Teacher Vacancies in State sector and SSA, Additional teachers to fulfill RTE Mandate, Teacher Qualifications and Revision of Recruitments Rules, Relaxation of Teacher Qualifications, Teacher Eligibility Test, Training of Untrained Teachers came up for discussion during the review. Also discussed was reimbursement for admission of 25 per cent children from disadvantaged groups and weaker sections in unaided schools

Software developed to monitor teacher’s vacancies in India

Software developed to monitor teacher’s vacancies in India

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) New software has been developed to monitor teacher deployment as the Right To Education Act is implemented across the country, a human resource development ministry official said Monday.

The software, which will use data from district information system for education and generate lists on teacher requirements developed by the ministry, was discussed in a meeting on the RTE Act chaired by Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal.

‘The software will have potential to generate a list of under-served and over-served schools, create a vacancy database, generate a list of vacancies subject-wise and correct existing imbalances in teacher deployment,’ the official said after the meeting.

The RTE Act fixes the teacher-student ratio at a maximum of 1:30, and also has special criteria for teachers regarding their qualification.

‘It will also be sensitive to the needs of physically handicapped teachers, women teachers and other categories as prioritised by the state,’ the official said.

The meeting, which focused on the monitoring of RTE implementation, also discussed making local authorities the grievance redressal agencies and the state commissions for protection of child rights the appellate bodies at the state level.

Union HRD Minister Chairs first Meeting of National Mission of RMSA

Union HRD Minister Chairs first Meeting of National Mission of RMSA
The first Meeting of the National Mission of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) was held under the Chairmanship of Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) here today. The National Mission is the apex body to take decisions on implementation, monitoring and evaluation of RMSA so as to implement the programme efficiently and effectively. The Mission is chaired by Minister of Human Resource Development and consists of Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy as Vice-chairperson, Secretary of the Planning Commission, Secretaries of 8 other Ministries/ Departments, Director, NCERT, Vice-Chancellor, NUEPA, Chairman, CBSE and Secretaries of School Education of all States and Union Territories. The Department of School Education & Literacy made a presentation on the current scenario of secondary education in the country and the role of RMSA in universalisation of secondary education.

The programme was launched in March, 2009 as part of the Central Government’s commitment to make secondary education of good quality available, accessible and affordable to all young persons.

The objective of the scheme is to enhance access to and improve quality of education at secondary stage, while ensuring equity. The scheme envisages enhancing the enrolment ratio from 52.26% in 2005-06 to 75% for classes IX-X within 5 years by providing a secondary school within a reasonable distance of every habitation, improving quality of education imparted at secondary level through making all secondary schools conform to prescribed norms, removal of gender, socio-economic and disability barriers, universal access to secondary level education by 2017, and universal retention by 2020.

Broad physical targets include providing facilities for opening of about 11,000 new secondary schools, strengthening of about 44,000 existing govt. secondary schools, appointment of additional teachers to improve Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) and to provide subject specific teachers.

While reviewing and thereafter during the discussion on the progress of implementation of RMSA, a number of States pointed out problems in implementation of the scheme due to huge infrastructure deficit existing in secondary education. They also expressed the need for greater support to manage and monitor the RMSA. Several State Secretaries suggested that the scope of RMSA should be expanded to include Government-aided schools and to include the higher secondary stage, i.e., classes XI and XII. The Mission deliberated on these issues and recommended to the Ministry to initiate necessary processes for the required modifications.

Recognizing the need for access and quality to be concurrent points of focus in the programme, the Mission also approved adoption of a list of quality enhancing interventions drawn up on the basis of interactions with the State Governments, other stakeholders and deliberations in the Project Approval Board (PAB). These include appointment of teachers under RMSA, induction training of teachers, workshops on module developments for in-service training of teachers, management training of school heads, training of principals, etc.

It was agreed that disaggregated data for disadvantaged groups such as disabled students, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, girls, minorities, etc need to be collected, regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure equity and full participation of all disadvantaged groups in the scheme. The Mission stressed the need for enhancing the pace of implementation at the State level so that the objective of universalisation of secondary education by 2017 can be achieved.

MV/AS
(Release ID :71793)

Punjab plans massive teachers’ recruitment

Punjab plans massive teachers’ recruitment
It has decided to recruit over 5,300 teachers within the next two months to fill the vacant posts in its schools across the state
Published on 04/25/2011 - 12:12:58 PM
By Hemant Singh

Chandigarh: Facing the acute shortage of teachers in its schools, Punjab government has decided to recruit over 5300 teachers within the next two months.

“Education system is suffering due to the shortage of teaching staff in our schools. Therefore we have directed the authorities concerned to recruit 5,342 teachers in different categories to make education system more efficient and smooth in the state,” Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said.

“Large number of posts is lying vacant in various schools and we have issued strict instructions to the Education Department to also expedite the process of promotions of teachers to the level of Principals,” he added.

Badal said that fresh recruitments will be made to fill 4,155 vacant posts of B Ed (bachelors in education), 646 of PTI (physical training instructors) and 541 of DPE (diploma in physical education) teachers within next two months.

“We have also asked the department to depute science teachers in those schools where the state government has recently upgraded the infrastructure to impart quality science education. It would help in attracting more quality students in government schools," he pointed out.

Badal said that 7,654 B Ed teachers, who were recruited recently, would also be posted in various schools within a week. Regarding the entrance test for fresh recruitment, he said that it would be conducted as per the Education Department’s guidelines.

Timeframe proposed for RTE complaints

Timeframe proposed for RTE complaints
Charu Sudan Kasturi, Hindustan Times

The government on Monday proposed a roadmap for time-bound redressal of grievances under the landmark Right to Education Act. The move comes three weeks after the country's apex watchdog for the law raised concerns about the absence of such a mechanism. The human resource development ministry on Mon day discussed with states the proposal to set up a detailed grievance redressal mechanism for the law, with specific authorities and timeframe to tackle each violation under the Act.

The move comes amid increasing complaints of violations under the law, which guarantees schooling to all children between 6 and 14 years. The law bars corporal punishment, donations and even screening tests for admissions to schools.

It also requires all schools to register with the government and meet a set of quality parameters — including the teacher-to-student ratio, classrooms, toilets and drinking water — within three years.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, appointed the top referee for RTE Act disputes and complaints, had on March 31, raised concerns over the lack of clarity on roles of different implementing agencies.

It had asked the government to set up a clear grievance redressal mechanism and even submitted a blueprint.

Though Section 32 of the RTE Act requires local authorities appointed by state governments to settle all complaints in three months, it does not elaborate how a single officer is to address complaints.

The outline for the grievance redressal mechanism discussed on Monday proposes a detailed structure of which officer —within the police, bureaucracy and other authorities — parents and students are to approach with complaints. The mechanism will also put in place time periods — all less than three months — for each type of grievance to be redressed.

Critics have argued that the absence of a clear grievance redressal structure makes it hard for parents and students to understand who to approach.

RTE officials to probe child right violations

RTE officials to probe child right violations
NEW DELHI, April 25, DHNS:

In a major initiative, the Centre has proposed setting up of a well defined grievance redressal mechanism in each state under the Right to Education (RTE) Act which will be able to probe violations of child rights.

The Union ministry of human resource development made this proposal before the state education secretaries at a meeting here on Monday, according to sources.

Ministry’s proposal for a well defined institutional mechanism for grievance redressal involves a system of registering complaint, their investigation and a response within a well-appointed time frame.

This is significant since currently there are no redressal mechanisms to address child rights violations under the RTE Act.

The Act makes local authorities the grievance redressal agencies and the state commission for protection of child rights the appellate bodies at the state level, but there is no clear cut modality through which violations of child rights can be protected.

In its proposal, the ministry suggested that there should be listing of the set of legal entitlements guaranteed under the RTE Act and this should be widely made available and publicly displayed.

Officers, typically from the department of education, should be designated by the state government to hear cases under the RTE Act and be placed at district, block and gram panchayat levels.

Parents protest against denial of school admission under RTE

Parents protest against denial of school admission under RTE

While on the one hand the Right to Education (RTE) Act is meant to ensure that nobody is denied education, around 50 children and their parents from colony number 4 staged a protest at the Government Model School, Sector 29, against the school authorities when they were denied admission. The reason cited by school principal Kusum Lata was that she was following the directions from the UT Education Department that instructs schools to first accommodate children from the neighbourhood areas of the school and only after from other areas.

The residents and children of Colony number 4, Sanjay Labour Colony and Kabari Market Labour Colony, along with the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee Colony Cell members, got together to hold a dharna outside Government Model School, Sector 29, seeking implementation of the Right to Education Act.

The parents of the affected children gathered to express their outrage and protest against the non-availability of seats for admission to students of various neighbouring colonies. They were protesting against the indifferent and casual attitude of the Principal in responding to their queries regarding the same. Later the Principal, while addressing the issue, assured the parents that admission would be given to all these out-of-school children.

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“It has been so many days that we are running from one school to another to get our children admitted in the government schools. We are not educated and do not have much knowledge so the school authorities make us come again and again for one reason or the other. We have heard that now nobody can deny a child admission in a school but it is not true here,” said Ram Kumar, a labourer and resident of colony number four.

Addressing the public, CTCC Colony Cell Chairman S S Tiwari expressed his concern. “Education is a fundamental right for all the children but the adamant nature of the principal had led to this situation that common people had to fight for the same. Also he commented that the education department is biased towards the colony children and assured that if the problem persists, the stir would continue.”

Later, the parents also had a meeting with the Director Public Instructions (schools) Sandeep Hans on the issue. He assured them that the matter would be looked into and their problems addressed.

No-fail policy for classes I-VIII in offing

No-fail policy for classes I-VIII in offing
TNN | Apr 27, 2011, 12.09am IST

PANAJI: Starting from the academic year 2010-11, no child in Goa will fail from classes I to VIII, if the state cabinet gives its nod to a proposal prepared by the directorate of education (DoE) which has been framed in keeping with the provisions of the Right of Child to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

Under the proposal, no child from classes I to VIII in Goa will fail irrespective of how poorly he or she fares in exams-as under the RTE Act, it has become mandatory to pass all students up to the upper primary level. The education minister, Atanasio 'Babush' Monserrate, now wants the proposal to be put forward to the state government for approval so that directives implementing this provision of the RTE can be issued to schools.

Officials in the DoE confirmed that such a proposal was in the offing, adding that it has been proposed that if the scheme is approved then the benefit should be provided to students from the academic year 2010-11 itself. This, even as most schools will have already declared their results by the time the policy is likely to be put in place.

"We have prepared the proposal along the lines of the provisions in the RTE Act. We have also asked that, if approved, the policy should be implemented from the current academic year itself. But it all depends on which of the provisions the cabinet approves," a DoE official said.

According to schedule 16 of the RTE Act, every student has the right to basic primary education, and the state government is preparing to enforce this in schools.

This provision had been introduced in the RTE Act, and has already been brought into force in states like Punjab, as it is believed that this will not only improve the literacy rates, but also get students enthused about learning rather than simply excelling in exams.

But this policy has come under severe criticism in several states, including a forum of members of the Parliament in Karnataka as it is feared that this will lower the standard of education, especially in government schools.

If the no-fail policy is implemented in Goa, this will mean that the standard of education will have to be closely monitored by education officials, as had been ordered in Punjab, so that the quality of education does not suffer. Under the policy, monthly and quarterly exams will be held to identify students who are under-performing, and special attention will have to be provided to them.

RIE mired by irregularities in tender sanctions

RIE mired by irregularities in tender sanctions
TNN | Apr 27, 2011, 12.23am IST

AJMER: Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal's promise to provide quality higher education down to the rural areas was a contrast to the number of anomalies recently unearthed in the Regional Institute of Education, Ajmer also run by the Union ministry.

The police has seized documents related to purchase and contract agreements, and has started a probe into the alleged irregularities as per the direction of the Central Vigilance Department.

"The purchase of furniture and other items were done illegally as proved by the documents sought under the RTI," said Saurabh Bajad, Congress spokesperson in Ajmer.

Bajad took the matter to the chief vigilance commissioner (CVC) and submitted the documents demanding a probe into it. "There were anomalies even in the contract of recruiting bus services in the institute. The institute had floated a tender for 52-seather buses, but the contract was given to 24-seaters on the same rates," added Bajad.

The CVC directed the DGP to investigate the allegations. Deputy SP Yogita Meena has seized the concerned documents of the institute and asked its purchase in-charge Bhanwar Singh to report to the police. "According to the preliminary investigation, Bhanwar Singh is responsible for irregularities in sanctioning tenders," an official source said.

The irregularities were revealed when NCERT director Ragvindra visited the campus sometime ago. The staff demanded to know why the budget for repairing the building and purchasing furniture was not sanctioned. "As per initial probe, the irregularities are worth Rs 50 lakh," Bajad added.

The institute was opened in 1962 by HRD ministry as a cell of NCERT to produce quality teachers. It also runs courses like BSc, BEd for KVS and CBSE schools. K B Rath, principal of RIE however, chose not to comment on the issue.

3 drunkard teachers, woman principal face suspension

3 drunkard teachers, woman principal face suspension
TNN | Apr 27, 2011, 05.05am IST

Tags:Shantha Sinha|National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
NAGPUR: Chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Shantha Sinha has issued directives to the state education department to suspend three teachers working in a zilla parishad middle school at Yewati village in Amravati district for entering the premises in an inebriated condition on a regular basis. Directions were also issued by the chairperson to initiate action against the woman principal of Little Star Convent School in Mozari in the same district for brutally thrashing a class second girl student for not paying school fees in time.

A panel of NCPCR comprising Sinha, members Yogesh Dube, Lov Verma, Kiran Bhatty and retired judge H Suresh conducted a public hearing of Vidarbha region on violations of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 at the collectorate on Tuesday. As many as 25 complaints on the issues relating to corporal punishment, alcoholism among teachers and their inadequate strength in schools, denial of admission, lack of transport facilities, non-adherence to timing by teachers and absence of residential facilities for children of migrant families were highlighted. Over 300 people, including petitioners and those representing various sections of the society, attended the hearing.

District education officials from Amravati, Chandrapur, Nagpur, Washim and Gadchiroli, regional transport officers from Amravati and additional tribal commissioner, Amravati and Nagpur summoned by the commission for the hearing, were present.

The public hearing highlighted gross violations of the RTE Act. Issues of corporal punishment and infrastructure in schools emerged as the most problematic areas in relation to RTE in Vidarbha. It heard as many as four cases related to corporal punishment, six complaints of inadequate teachers' strength in government schools, one denial of admission, three lack of transport facilities and two complaints of non-adherence to school timings by teachers.

The case of a child in Little Star Convent School, Mozari, was particularly shocking. The child was unable to pay her school fees on time. She was therefore brutally beaten up by her school principal and was bedridden for several days thereafter.

Another disturbing case was that of alcoholism among teachers in ZP middle school, Yewati in Nandgaon Khandeshwar block of Amravati district. Three teachers were found to be coming drunk to the school regularly. The panel also received complaints against teachers for sending children for purchasing alcohol and gutkha for them. Furthermore, they used foul language in schools. The commission directed that the three teachers be suspended with immediate effect, handed over to the police and charges pressed against them.

To address the issue of school dropouts, the commission members recommended to conduct a child tracking survey to enumerate such students in the coming academic session. Sinha also instructed the state government to take greater responsibility in ensuring that the RTE Act was implemented effectively.

School in city urges parents to protest against RTE

School in city urges parents to protest against RTE
Pushpa Narayan & Revathi Ramanan | TNN

Chennai: Admitting poor students may bring down discipline and the quality of education and also demoralize teachers, says Sri Sankara Senior Secondary School. In a circular issued to students by the Adyar-based school, principal Subala Ananthanarayanan has linked a student’s performance to his/her economic status and asked parents to protest against the Right To Education Act.
The circular said that under the Act, the school would have no choice but to admit students from poor families, which would pull down its standards. Ananthanarayanan urged parents to “protest and fight” against the Act. Suggesting that the state’s decision to implement it from the coming year could force the school to increase fees, she asked parents to appeal to the state and the Centre not to implement the Act in its present form.
The law makes it obligatory on the state governments and local bodies to ensure that every child gets education in a neighbourhood school. The district education officer can admit 25% of poor children living nearby to any private school as per the Act. According to it, if a child around nine years old has never been to school, he/she must be admitted to the fourth standard after some training. The schools cannot refuse admission, and must provide education free of cost. School says RTE Act denies it powers to discipline child
Chennai: “These rules will be damaging to the class and the entire school, and therefore to your child’s education,” the circular said.
The circular says that the act should not be implemented as it denies the school the powers to discipline or detain a child and choose the medium of education. The school states that it would be under constant legal threat and harassment from government. “All this will make all schools perform exactly like government schools in quality and discipline. Is this why we have admitted our children in this or any good school?” the circular asks.
It tells parents that their quality of education will suffer as teachers will have a difficult time managing and educating a few children, who are not qualified for the particular class, or who are very difficult to manage.
“Most of the teachers’ attention, time and energy will go toward educating and managing these children, as the school and teacher are held responsible, under the act.” TNN

Anti-RTE circular: Govt asks school for explanation

Anti-RTE circular: Govt asks school for explanation
TNN | Apr 27, 2011, 04.05am IST

CHENNAI: The department of school education has sought explanation from Sri Sankara Senior Secondary School for the circular it had sent parents urging them to protest against the Right to Education Act. The government has also sent a letter to the CBSE recommending action against the school.

On Monday, the school issued a circular signed by the principal Subala Ananthanarayanan, urging parents to protest against the Act. It said that the school had no choice but to admit students from poor families, which would bring down quality of education and demoralise teachers. As per the RTE Act, the state governments have to ensure that every child gets education in a neighbourhood school. Every school should offer at least 25% of seats to children from weaker sections free of cost. Suggesting that the state's decision could force the school to increase fees, Ananthanarayanan had asked parents to appeal to the governments not to implement the Act.

The principal has refused to comment on the circular.

A similar circular was also circulated to the parents of students in Lady Andal Venkatasubba Rao Matriculation School from the email id (lady_andal@yahoo.co.in) signed by its correspondent C Prema Kumar. The mail also had an attached copy of the appeal that parents could sign. The 12-point letter is addressed to the President, the prime minister, the HRD minister, the chief minister and MP. "Thousands of government and municipal and panchayat schools in our state and other states are running half empty and children can be comfortably accommodated there," the appeal stated. It said the state should provide free education to all children and should not "unilaterally transfer this duty and burden to private schools and private citizens," the letter said.

"We have sent a notice to the school (from Sri Sankara school ) asking why it issued such a circular when the education department is yet to frame rules for the Act. The school seems to have made many assumptions. What made the school think that poor children will be unruly?" said school education secretary D Sabitha. The department has forwarded the circular, along with a letter to the CBSE chairman. Sabitha said the state may not implement the Act this year and there would be no pressure on schools to admit any particular student although the government would insist that one-fourth of the students should be from weaker sections.

Gujarat scores low on education index

Gujarat scores low on education index
Himanshu Kaushik, TNN | Apr 27, 2011, 01.42am IST

AHMEDABAD: When it comes to education Gujarat has much to answer for. As if being plagued by a high dropout rate was not enough, even in the national education development index, Gujarat is ranked 15th in the country. The Education Development Index (EDI) of Gujarat is 0.657 on a scale of 1. What's more, Gujarat's EDI is lower than that of Kerala, Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. The central government recently told Lok Sabha that the objective of computing EDI is to ascertain the position of a state in terms of achieving the goals of universal elementary education.

The EDI was calculated on the basis of various parameters including availability of schools per 1000 school-going children. The other parameters include drinking water facilities, common toilet and separate toilet for girls, teacher-student ratio, enrolment ratio, drop-out rate and also the pass percentage of students. A senior official of the state education department of Gujarat said that EDI is a useful and valuable tool for need-based planning, and helps the states identify areas that need greater focus and support.

The official said the government has now begun taking up initiatives to improve infrastructure in the rural areas. He said that there are several schools which have now after 50 years of Gujarat's formation got separate toilets for girls. However, there are several schools in the state which do not have drinking water facilities. The official added that schools in rural areas are plagued by lack of teachers.

"Even after being appointed these teachers hardly ever report for duty." Education minister Ramanlal Vora said that state has launched a programme titled Gunotsav to find out the needs of the schools in the rural areas. "Under this programme we go to various schools in the rural areas to find out what they lack in terms of education quality and infrastructure." "Of late, the government has taken several initiatives and not a single school in rural areas lack drinking water or sanitation facilities. All the schools have separate toilet for girls," Vora claimed. The government is also taking steps to cut drop out rate. It has started 250 schools in rural areas so that more and more students at least complete their secondary education.
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'500 mn skilled workers, innovative knowledge economy by 2022'

'500 mn skilled workers, innovative knowledge economy by 2022'

The government intends to raise as many as 500 million skilled workers by 2022 to equip a rapidly growing country with the required diversified human resource, Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal today said.

Sibal, who laid the foundation of Rajasthan's first Central University here in Ajmer district, also gave a broad outline of his ministry's vision for creating an innovative knowledge economy in India over the coming years.

Rueing the fact that very less emphasis was laid on creating intellectual property, he said to bridge the development gap with advanced countries, India has to focus on sending a large number of students to universities.

However, the country also needs to create skilled workers to meet the growing and diverse demands of an ever-expanding market.

"We have pledged to achieve a gross enrolment ratio of 30 per cent in universities, up from the current 14 per cent (of students from 18 to 24 years) by 2020. But even if we succeed in achieving this, there will be over a crore who do not go to universities.

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"For such students we are bringing by next month a national vocational education framework, whereby we will provide skill training to school students who can then go to polytechnics and fill the need for skilled workers," he said.

Sibal said the country is expecting up to a USD one trillion investment over the next five years and a large number of vocational experts will be needed as infrastructure is built and industries like construction, hospitality and tourism grow.

"We are therefore aiming to train 500 million skilled workers by 2022 besides raising 200 million graduates. The school degrees in vocations will help (fill this need)," he said.

Sibal said to achieve the aim of 30 per cent gross enrolment ratio at university level by 2020, there is a need to completely eliminate drop outs till the secondary level.

Besides, 1,000 additional universities and 40,000 more colleges were needed, he said.

"Once our target of 100 per cent retention at the secondary level by 2020 is achieved, more students will automatically go to universities.

"Today we have 31,000 colleges and 600 universities.

(By 2020) we will need almost 1,000 more universities and 40,000 more colleges once the number of students going to universities goes up," he said.

Sibal said since the government does not have such a huge amount of resources, private partnerships in education will be needed to achieve this.

Sibal spoke after laying the foundation stone of Rajasthan's first Central University at Bandar Sindri, about 80 kms from Jaipur.

The University, that was started in 2009, is currently operating from a temporary campus in Kishangarh.

Sibal said it was unfortunate that Indians had so far failed to understand the true meaning of making knowledge and wealth.

"Sadly, the grooming of students is such that they only consider education as a means to earn money," he said.

"There is very little emphasis on creating wealth for the country which comes through intellectual property, patents and innovation. Universities have to be centres of creating intellectual property which through patents is sold to industrialists who in turn convert it to goods and services," he said.

The minister said steps were also being taken to reduce the load of books on children and increase their thinking potential.

He said major policies were being implemented to bring about developmental change in the country through education and technology but they are often not highlighted.

"Under the Right to Education for the next five years, we have been given Rs 2,31,000 crore but sadly these things are not highlighted on TV, only negative things are," he said.

Sibal also said that over the next two years, the National Knowledge Network is set to connect 31,000 colleges and 600 Universities, a step that would bring a great transformation in information and resource sharing.

In the next three to four years fibre optics connectivity will be provided to every village, and IT will provide vital information of assistance to farmers and fishermen, said Sibal, who is also Union Minister for Communications and I-T.

Rapid development and use of technology to benefit people was the need of the hour, he said, adding that the Rs 1500 computer is also on its way soon.

"By 2030 the average age of Indians would be 29, they will demand better facilities, if we don't give them they will take to the streets, they will to Jantar Mantar," he said.

Hope for dropouts, children who never went to school

Hope for dropouts, children who never went to school

The implementation of Right to Education Act for all can prove to be a boon for many, especially for the ones who are either school dropouts or have never been to school. The government is set to provide them with a platform — Special Learning Centre (SLC) — where they will be trained according to their mental ability and brought into the mainstream from the same academic session, starting 2011-12. These students aged seven to 14 years will be made part of the mainstream from Class III to VIII through three ‘bridge courses’.

Anil Matharoo, district coordinator of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, said: “According to the instructions issued recently by the director general of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, Punjab, any school dropout or any child who never went to school till the age of 14 years will be admitted to the SLC, being opened in the government schools. The purpose is to train the children after assessing their mental ability. Later, they will be brought to the mainstream in the same session. A child aged 6 to 7 years will be admitted to Class I through Bridge Course-I , from 7 to 8 years in Class III through Bridge Course-II and from 8 to 14 years in Class VIII through Bridge Course-III, depending upon their mental ability.”

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Each of these students will be trained through specially recruited volunteer teachers. When asked as to how many SLCs will be opened, Matharoo said: “We are yet to get the target of children as per different classes, which we will get soon and then open the centres.”

The SSA had earlier started alternative inclusive education centres for such children, but students used to be added in the mainstream only in the next session.

From the SLCs, however, the students will be brought to the mainstream in the same session, saving them one year.

Software to monitor deployment of teachers

Software to monitor deployment of teachers
IANS | Apr 26, 2011, 05.56pm IST

New software has been developed to monitor teacher deployment.
NEW DELHI: New software has been developed to monitor teacher deployment as the Right To Education Act is implemented across the country, a human resource development ministry official.

The software, which will use data from district information system for education and generate lists on teacher requirements developed by the ministry, was discussed in a meeting on the RTE Act chaired by Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal.

"The software will have potential to generate a list of under-served and over-served schools, create a vacancy database, generate a list of vacancies subject-wise and correct existing imbalances in teacher deployment," the official said after the meeting.
The RTE Act fixes the teacher-student ratio at a maximum of 1:30, and also has special criteria for teachers regarding their qualification.

"It will also be sensitive to the needs of physically handicapped teachers, women teachers and other categories as prioritised by the state," the official said.

The meeting, which focused on the monitoring of RTE implementation, also discussed making local authorities the grievance redressal agencies and the state commissions for protection of child rights the appellate bodies at the state level.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

स्कूल प्रिंसिपल के खिलाफ मामला दर्ज

स्कूल प्रिंसिपल के खिलाफ मामला दर्ज
Apr 23, 01:28 am
बताएं

नई दिल्ली, जागरण संवाददाता : सातवीं कक्षा की छात्रा द्वारा प्रिसिंपल पर लगाए गए मारपीट के आरोपों को पुलिस ने बेहद गंभीरता से लिया है। इस घटना की बाबत पुलिस ने प्रिसिंपल के खिलाफ मामला दर्ज कर लिया है। हालांकि अभी इस मामले में किसी की गिरफ्तारी नहीं हो सकी है। इस बीच सरकारी अवकाश होने के बावजूद मामले की जांच के लिए शिक्षा विभाग द्वारा एक टीम पीड़ित छात्रा का बयान लेने के लिए उसके घर गई। छात्रा की तबीयत पहले से बेहतर है।

बता दें कि गत बृहस्पतिवार अपरान्ह सर्वोदय कन्या विद्यालय नूर नगर में सातवीं कक्षा की छात्रा अनल जमाल (12) छुट्टी के बाद घर जा रही थी। इस दौरान उसने स्कूल की सीढि़यों पर थूक दिया। प्रिंसिपल ने उसे ऐसा करते देख लिया। छात्रा का आरोप हैं कि प्रिंसिपल रजिया बेगम ने उसकी इस गलती पर उसे अपने कक्ष में बुलवाया और एक थप्पड़ मारा। इस घटना के बाद उसकी स्कूल में ही तबीयत बिगड़ने लगी। उसने अपने साथी दोस्त के फोन से मां को स्कूल में बुलवा लिया। इसके बाद वह अपने घर चली गई। जब वह घर पहुंची, तो उसे उल्टियां होने लगी। ऐसे में उसे एम्स ट्रॉमा सेंटर ले जाया गया, जहां प्राथमिक उपचार के बाद उसे छुट्टी दे दी गई। उसके परिजनों ने एक लिखित शिकायत जामिया नगर थाने को दी। शुक्रवार को पुलिस ने मामले की गंभीरता को देखते हुए प्रिसिंपल के खिलाफ 23 ज्यूवनाइल जस्टिस एक्ट व आईपीसी की धारा 323 के तहत मामला दर्ज कर लिया है। पुलिस घटना से संबंधित साक्ष्य जुटा रही है। बताया जा रहा है कि उसके बाद ही आरोपी को गिरफ्तार किया जाएगा। इस संबंध में पीड़ित छात्रा के पिता यूसुफ जमाल ने बताया कि शुक्रवार दोपहर शिक्षा विभाग के चार अधिकारी घर पहुंचे और उन्होंने अनल से घटना की बावत पूछताछ कर बयान दर्ज किए। वहीं स्कूल प्रिसिंपल ने अपने ऊपर लगे सभी आरोपों का खंडन किया है।

Andhra Pradesh CM approves proposal for rationalization of School: Student : Teacher ratio

Andhra Pradesh CM approves proposal for rationalization of School: Student : Teacher ratio
Thursday, April 21, 2011


Report by Arvind Sharma; Dharamsala: 618 senior secondary schools in Himachal Pradesh shall be brought under the technology of information, communication technology this year, said IPH Minister Ravinder Ravi on Friday at Dharamsala.
RESURGENCE 2011 Concludes at SMVDU
Friday, April 22, 2011

Jammu: RESURGENCE 2011—the Annual Cultural and Sports Festival of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU), Katra concluded with an enthralling performance by the folk dance team of Jammu University.
University of Jammu to celebrate the International year of Chemistry – 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011

Jammu: The Department of Chemistry, University of Jammu, under the aegis of Chemical Society, has taken an initiative to celebrate the International year of Chemistry – 2011 and organized a series of academic events in 2011 related to the recent developments in Chemistry.
LBIIHM launches 6 months Diploma in 'Odia Cuisine'
Friday, April 22, 2011

New Delhi: LBIIHM, Delhi has launched a 6 months Diploma in "Odia Cuisine".
Indian Navy Recruitment On 29th April At 16 Assam Rifles Ground Kohima
Friday, April 22, 2011
Kohima: Indian Navy will conduct recruitment rally for eligible candidates from Nagaland from 6:00 A.
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Hyderabad: The Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy today approved a proposal for rationalization of School: Student : Teacher ratio throughout the State followed by teachers transfers and Teacher Eligibility Test (TET).

The Chief Minister reviewed in detail the activities of Primary, Secondary School Education and Intermediate Education with the Ministers and Officials here today at Secretariat. Minister for Secondary and Intermediate Education, K.Pardhasaradhi, Minister for Elementary and Primary Education, Dr.S.Sailajanath, Principal Secretary, Primary Education, Smt. Chandana Khan, Principal Secretary, Secondary Education, D.Sambasiva Rao, Special Chief Secretary (Finance), G Sudhir, Secretary, Intermediate Education, Luv Agarwal, Special Secretary to CM, S S Rawat and other senior officials attended the meeting.

It is decided at the meeting that the rationalization and Teachers Transfers to be completed before June 10th and the TET is likely to be held in July 2011. The Chief Minister has also agreed for taking up limited recruitment of the vacant Urdu Teacher posts in all categories which could not be filled up due to lack of S.C., S.T., B.C., Women candidates. The limited recruitment would be held after TET results are declared. After this limited recruitment are completed, the posts still vacant and which could not be filled, shall be de-reserved for open categories. The Chief Minister said that the Mid day meals programme will be put on a green channel and funds will be released for the programme on a regular basis without any hindrance. He also positively responded to the proposal to link the payment to SHG group members who run the programme through bank linkage to avoid delays and ensure prompt payment. He has directed the Finance Department to provide the funds for Mid-day meals scheme on regular basis and on priority. The Chief Minister directed to send proposals for taking up construction of kitchen sheds for the Mid-day meals scheme by linking it up with MGNREGS along with the funds allotted by the Government of India.

The Chief Minister has also agreed for linking up rural infrastructure development fund (RIDF) with Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyaan (RMSA) for taking up construction of High School Buildings in the State. The Chief Minister directed the officials to take up 1,000 school complexes under RMSA and should be completed by August 15th and arrangements have to be made for inauguration of these complexes on a single day simultaneously by Ministers, MPs, MLAs, MLCs and other peoples representatives all over the State. The Chief Minister is likely to inaugurate a complex at a central place. The Chief Minister directed to extend Information Communication Technology (ICT) to all the High Schools in the State during 2011-12. The Chief Minister directed the officials to send proposals for filling up of vacant posts of Junior Lecturers in the Government Junior College in the State. He has also directed to prepare and send comprehensive proposals for providing infrastructure in all the Junior Colleges in a phased manner.

Primary Education: The Chief Minister asked the officials to give focus on girl child education, special strategy for enrolment and retention of girl children in women trafficking-prone mandals. He also asked the officials for time bound completion of all civil works including additional class rooms, toilet blacks, drinking water facilities etc. in the schools with quality. The Chief Minister directed the officials to appoint the sanctioned 23,401 contract staff of school education by June end without fail. He also asked the School Education Department to see that all the text books should be printed and be ready latest by 31st May.