Thursday, January 23, 2014

Govt mulling 'national standards' for schools' performance

Govt mulling 'national standards' for schools' performance

PTI Jan 14, 2014, 08.18PM IST
NEW DELHI: With much of the success of Right to Education (RTE) Act hinging on the learning outcome, the government is contemplating to formulate 'national standards for schools' performance to keep students and parents well informed.
"The initiative will bring out schools which are performing well and which are not doing that good so that parents are well informed," senior HRD Ministry official Brinda Swarup told a convention here.
The move assumes significance in light of reports which suggest that learning outcome is still far from satisfactory in both primary and upper primary classes.
The convention was organised by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and UNICEF to evaluate the progress of RTE after three years and the performance of the states especially after the three-year deadline to implement the infrastructure requirement came to an end on March 31, 2013.
Inaugurating the meet, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath she said NCPCR and State Commission for Protection of Child Rights should also monitor out-of- school children to facilitate their access and participation in the schooling system.
Swarup noted that though a lot has been achieved in meeting the RTE parameters, much more grounds need to be covered. She said that as against the target of 19.82 lakh teachers, 14.80 lakh have been recruited as of September 30, 2013.
She said 90 per cent of the schools across the country have toilet facilities while 95 per cent have drinking water supply. Additional classrooms have been also been added.
She in particular highlighted the role of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh in implementing the 25 per cent reservation for students from the fringes of society in neighbourhood schools.
During 2013-14, 2,08,731 primary schools and 1,59,731 upper primary schools were sanctioned, she said.
On the key issue of redressal system for better implementation of the RTE mandate, she said 19 states have set up decentralised grievances redressal systems while 34 states have set up school management committees, notifying their roles and responsibilities.
Secretary (School Education and Literacy) R Bhattacharya said 98 per cent of the habitation in the country have elementary schools as of today within 1 km and 92 per cent have upper primary schools within 3 km of their locations.
Nursery admissions: AAP’s first big test on education reform by Pallavi Polanki Jan 15, 2014 #Aam Aadmi Party #AAP #Delhi #HowThisWorks #India #Manish Sisodia #Nursery Admissions #Right to Education #RTE inShare 35 CommentsEmailPrint New Delhi: The radical shift in nursery admission guidelines announced by Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung last month is the second time the government has taken on the powerful and influential lobby of private schools. The first time they did this was when they announced a 25 percent reservation at entry level for students from economically weaker sections (EWS) in private schools under the Right to Education Act. By scrapping the controversial management quotas in private schools and giving maximum weightage to the neighbourhood criterion in the admission process, the new nursery guidelines essentially strip private schools of their discretionary powers on matters of admission to a minimum. Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia has described the guidelines as progressive and welcomed last week’s High Court order denying interim relief to unaided private schools that have challenged the guidelines. (The schools, however, moved a fresh petition on Monday in the High Court against the denial of interim relief. The case will be heard on 16 January, which is also when the admission process will begin). Reuters Reuters Keen to make an impact with its stand on education, an issue that has been high on the Aam Admi Party (AAP) agenda, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal himself launched the nursery admission helpline for parents, on Monday. Speaking to reporters after, Kejriwal said, “Schools are charitable societies and their motive should not be to earn profit. Why are Delhi schools resistant to being transparent? They should not have approached the High court.” The message to private schools is loud and clear. With the end of management quotas and AAP’s strong stand on the issue, made clear from Kejriwal’s statement and the party’s manifesto that promises control against ‘profiteering’ by private schools and ‘regulation of fees and clamp down on donations by private education institutions, power equations between the Delhi government and private schools have dramatically changed. This is a a reversal of fortunes for private schools that had the government on their side in last big legal battle on nursery admissions that ended with the court ruling in their favour last year. Because in the latest legal battle the government has switched sides. Child rights lawyer Ashok Agarwal, who led the legal battle in the High Court against private schools and the government on the applicability of the Right to Education Act last year said, “Earlier the governments were anti-child and siding with the private schools. For the first time we have got a government that is openly defending parents and children against these khaas people.” Agarwal has since joined AAP and is a national executive member of the party. “The government has every right to interfere when schools resort to commercialisation. The Supreme Court in a number of judgments has said that not only does the government have the power but it is also its duty to interfere and regulate the schools,” says Agarwal. Activists in the education sector see the new guidelines as an indication of things to come and are hopeful that there will be a complete overhaul of the government school system. “The scenario is changing. There is a growing realisation and demand for equitable education…My hope from the AAP government is that this inequality between government schools and private schools is narrowed down. AAP promised that they would implement RTE on a war footing. While we welcome their move to open more schools, they should first improve existing schools,” says Ambrish Rai, national convenor, RTE forum, a network of NGOs. While grass-root activists agree that there is a perceptible shift in how the new government is dealing with nursery admissions, they say it will be the implementation of the guidelines that will ultimately matter. Thomas Anthony, member of Joint Action for Social Help (JOSH), a voluntary group that runs an RTE project in resettlement colonies and slum clusters in East Delhi said, “I do feel that the new government has been more proactive this time about disseminating information of nursery admissions. It is definitely a welcome change. Parents are hoping that it won’t be business as usual this year. People’s confidence has definitely increased because of these pro-people initiatives such as starting helplines by the government.” Thomas, who has been assisting parents in applying for admissions for their children under the EWS category in East Delhi’s private schools and is all too familiar with ground realities, remains sceptical as to how far the government’s good intentions will translate to real action. “Only after the admission process begins will we know how well admission guidelines will be implemented and how fast and responsive the helpline will be.” The lack of transparency in the admission process, he says, is the biggest cause of grievance for parents and is an issue the government must address. “The government through its redressal mechanism must ensure that parents applying for admission in the EWS category are given better access to the private schools. Secondly, there should be system of transparency and schools should declare the number of seats they have and applications they receive. And thirdly, redressal should be time bound. If Action Taken Reports arrive a year later, as we experienced with the previous government, it will be pointless.” ALSO SEE Delhi nursery admissions: New rules leave private schools fuming Delhi nursery admissions: New rules leave private schools fuming Delhi Nursery admissions: Private schools move court against new rules Delhi Nursery admissions: Private schools move court against new rules Govt mulling ‘national standards’ for schools’ performance Govt mulling ‘national standards’ for schools’ performance RELATED VIDEOS Somnath Bharti went to AIIMS with mob, CCTV footage shows him talking to doctors AAP can't depend on 40s' economics: Narayana Murthy Delhi police file FIR against AAP agitation, Kejriwal not named

Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/india/nursery-admissions-aaps-first-big-test-on-education-reform-1340655.html?utm_source=ref_article
Nursery admissions: AAP’s first big test on education reform by Pallavi Polanki Jan 15, 2014 #Aam Aadmi Party #AAP #Delhi #HowThisWorks #India #Manish Sisodia #Nursery Admissions #Right to Education #RTE inShare 35 CommentsEmailPrint New Delhi: The radical shift in nursery admission guidelines announced by Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung last month is the second time the government has taken on the powerful and influential lobby of private schools. The first time they did this was when they announced a 25 percent reservation at entry level for students from economically weaker sections (EWS) in private schools under the Right to Education Act. By scrapping the controversial management quotas in private schools and giving maximum weightage to the neighbourhood criterion in the admission process, the new nursery guidelines essentially strip private schools of their discretionary powers on matters of admission to a minimum. Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia has described the guidelines as progressive and welcomed last week’s High Court order denying interim relief to unaided private schools that have challenged the guidelines. (The schools, however, moved a fresh petition on Monday in the High Court against the denial of interim relief. The case will be heard on 16 January, which is also when the admission process will begin). Reuters Reuters Keen to make an impact with its stand on education, an issue that has been high on the Aam Admi Party (AAP) agenda, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal himself launched the nursery admission helpline for parents, on Monday. Speaking to reporters after, Kejriwal said, “Schools are charitable societies and their motive should not be to earn profit. Why are Delhi schools resistant to being transparent? They should not have approached the High court.” The message to private schools is loud and clear. With the end of management quotas and AAP’s strong stand on the issue, made clear from Kejriwal’s statement and the party’s manifesto that promises control against ‘profiteering’ by private schools and ‘regulation of fees and clamp down on donations by private education institutions, power equations between the Delhi government and private schools have dramatically changed. This is a a reversal of fortunes for private schools that had the government on their side in last big legal battle on nursery admissions that ended with the court ruling in their favour last year. Because in the latest legal battle the government has switched sides. Child rights lawyer Ashok Agarwal, who led the legal battle in the High Court against private schools and the government on the applicability of the Right to Education Act last year said, “Earlier the governments were anti-child and siding with the private schools. For the first time we have got a government that is openly defending parents and children against these khaas people.” Agarwal has since joined AAP and is a national executive member of the party. “The government has every right to interfere when schools resort to commercialisation. The Supreme Court in a number of judgments has said that not only does the government have the power but it is also its duty to interfere and regulate the schools,” says Agarwal. Activists in the education sector see the new guidelines as an indication of things to come and are hopeful that there will be a complete overhaul of the government school system. “The scenario is changing. There is a growing realisation and demand for equitable education…My hope from the AAP government is that this inequality between government schools and private schools is narrowed down. AAP promised that they would implement RTE on a war footing. While we welcome their move to open more schools, they should first improve existing schools,” says Ambrish Rai, national convenor, RTE forum, a network of NGOs. While grass-root activists agree that there is a perceptible shift in how the new government is dealing with nursery admissions, they say it will be the implementation of the guidelines that will ultimately matter. Thomas Anthony, member of Joint Action for Social Help (JOSH), a voluntary group that runs an RTE project in resettlement colonies and slum clusters in East Delhi said, “I do feel that the new government has been more proactive this time about disseminating information of nursery admissions. It is definitely a welcome change. Parents are hoping that it won’t be business as usual this year. People’s confidence has definitely increased because of these pro-people initiatives such as starting helplines by the government.” Thomas, who has been assisting parents in applying for admissions for their children under the EWS category in East Delhi’s private schools and is all too familiar with ground realities, remains sceptical as to how far the government’s good intentions will translate to real action. “Only after the admission process begins will we know how well admission guidelines will be implemented and how fast and responsive the helpline will be.” The lack of transparency in the admission process, he says, is the biggest cause of grievance for parents and is an issue the government must address. “The government through its redressal mechanism must ensure that parents applying for admission in the EWS category are given better access to the private schools. Secondly, there should be system of transparency and schools should declare the number of seats they have and applications they receive. And thirdly, redressal should be time bound. If Action Taken Reports arrive a year later, as we experienced with the previous government, it will be pointless.”

Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/india/nursery-admissions-aaps-first-big-test-on-education-reform-1340655.html?utm_source=ref_article

Govt mulling 'national standards' for schools' performance

PTI Jan 14, 2014, 08.18PM IST
NEW DELHI: With much of the success of Right to Education (RTE) Act hinging on the learning outcome, the government is contemplating to formulate 'national standards for schools' performance to keep students and parents well informed.
"The initiative will bring out schools which are performing well and which are not doing that good so that parents are well informed," senior HRD Ministry official Brinda Swarup told a convention here.
The move assumes significance in light of reports which suggest that learning outcome is still far from satisfactory in both primary and upper primary classes.
The convention was organised by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and UNICEF to evaluate the progress of RTE after three years and the performance of the states especially after the three-year deadline to implement the infrastructure requirement came to an end on March 31, 2013.
Inaugurating the meet, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath she said NCPCR and State Commission for Protection of Child Rights should also monitor out-of- school children to facilitate their access and participation in the schooling system.
Swarup noted that though a lot has been achieved in meeting the RTE parameters, much more grounds need to be covered. She said that as against the target of 19.82 lakh teachers, 14.80 lakh have been recruited as of September 30, 2013.
She said 90 per cent of the schools across the country have toilet facilities while 95 per cent have drinking water supply. Additional classrooms have been also been added.
She in particular highlighted the role of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh in implementing the 25 per cent reservation for students from the fringes of society in neighbourhood schools.
During 2013-14, 2,08,731 primary schools and 1,59,731 upper primary schools were sanctioned, she said.
On the key issue of redressal system for better implementation of the RTE mandate, she said 19 states have set up decentralised grievances redressal systems while 34 states have set up school management committees, notifying their roles and responsibilities.
Secretary (School Education and Literacy) R Bhattacharya said 98 per cent of the habitation in the country have elementary schools as of today within 1 km and 92 per cent have upper primary schools within 3 km of their locations.

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