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Education

Backgrounders

Challenges in implementing the RTE Act

By Ramakant Rai

Right to education actThe budget for implementation of the RTE Act throughout the country is just half of the amount spent on the 2010 Commonwealth Games, so funds are scarcely the problem. Why is there a resistance to complete implementation of the Act from states, centre and civil society?

Related Articles

»After the RTE Act, the focus is on quality of education By Mini Srinivasan
Read More

»Why are children not in school? By Mini Srinivasan
Read More

 

Analysis

The bogey of the impressionable mind

By Havovi Wadia and Arun Kumar

Ambedkar cartoon controversy

In the wake of the controversy over the Nehru/Ambedkar cartoon in NCERT textbooks, Havovi Wadia and Arun Kumar point out the folly of seeing children as empty vessels and passive absorbers of information, incapable of engaging actively with the learning process

The row in parliament on May 13, 2012 over a cartoon in the NCERT textbook on political science (Class XI) has brought to the surface assumptions, prejudices and fears that have always brewed in public discourse in India.

Related Articles

»RTE as a social experiment towards equality By Rakesh Shukla
Read More

»A dismal report card By Chitta Behera
Read More

»Numbers, at the cost of quality? By Anu Kumar
Read More

Features

A school with a view

By Sunandita Mehrotra

alternative educationSwajan Siksha Samiti, an alternative education school perched on a hill in Ghati village in Uttarakhand, revives local culture and encourages creative learning. It has a zero dropout rate

Swajan Siksha Samiti is perched atop a hill in Ghati village, off the tourist track in Uttarakhand. This unusual alternative school was set up by Sanjay Rawat (30) and Vikram Singh (32) in 2002.

Read More

Related Articles

»Tomorrow’s children By Moushumi Basu
Read More

»One room, two teachers, six classes By Burhan Majid
Read More

»Report card on RTE two years after By Rashmi Gupta
Read More

Books & Reports

A School for everyone

By Anuradha Kumar

The Beautiful TreeA new take on private schools in developing countries, which sees them not as money-making machines exploiting the poor, but as a much needed asset that can help fulfil the goal of a decent education for all

In his autobiography, My Experiments with Truth, Mahatma Gandhi writes of the visit of a school inspector. The teacher was anxious that every pupil he tutored got his spellings right and so when the young Mohandas misspelled the word ‘kettle’, the teacher did his best to prompt him or hint that he cheat from a classmate who had the correct spelling.

Read More

Related Articles

»Elementary education: Kerala tops, Bihar lags, Muslim enrolment poor
Read More

»Bihar fails India's elementary education test, but its kids are bright
Read More

»Meeting the MDG of gender parity in basic education
Read More

Stories of Change

Paying girls to stay in school

By Yamini Deenadayalan

Sam  Virendra Singh

The problem of the girl-child in India is an economic one, former corporate chief Virendra Singh realised. His Pardada Pardadi school in Anoopshahr, UP, keeps girls in school by offering them three meals a day, ten rupees for every day they attend school, a bicycle after two years and a toilet at home after three years.

Sam (Virendra Singh) retired as one of the top bosses at DuPont. But instead of settling down in a shiny happy American suburb, he returned to Anoopshahr, a small village in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district, to start a girl’s school that pays girls to stay in school. 

Read More

Related Articles

»'All out-of-school children must be considered child labour': Shamshad Khan By Rashme Sehgal
Read More

»Rehmat Fazalbhoy: A wider vision By Bulbul Pal
Read More

»Marie Christine de Rochemonteix:A school with heart By Sarika Jain Antony
Read More

Stories of Change

Village girls in Rajasthan get a leg-up

By Deepti Priya Mehrotra

Rajasthan’s Barmer district, girls’ education

Residential balika shikshan shivirs (girls’ education camps), set up by the Society to Uplift Rural Economy in Rajasthan’s Barmer district, encourage girls to get away from everyday chores in the home and pursue their education

In Rajasthan’s Barmer district, girls’ education is a low priority for most local families. Although they are integral to the family economy -- they help manage households, take care of younger siblings, and work in agriculture and animal husbandry -- girls have traditionally never been allowed to study. 

Read More

Related Articles

»The 3.30 revolution By Vaidehi Iyer
Read More

»MP's education entrepreneurs
By Deepti Priya Mehrotra
Read More

»Full marks for changing lives By Tarannum
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News

8% of primary school teachers in Bihar fail Class V test

Around 8,000 teachers were unable to answer simple questions on science, math, English and Hindi and will lose their jobs if they fail a second time

After a major report on the state of education showed up the poor quality of education in the country despite higher enrolment figures (see High-enrolment-but-poor-quality-education-says-annual-education-report), the focus should naturally shift to quality of teaching.

This is what the Bihar government is doing after discovering that the level of knowledge of its teachers is poor. Eight per cent of teachers could not pass a paper set for Class V students.  

Read More

Related Articles

»Bihar becomes first state to put school information online
Read More

»High enrolment but poor quality education, says annual education report
Read More

»Premji's massive donation highlights importance of education
Read More

Statistics

Changes in education expenditure over the years

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Expenditure on Education in India

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Gross Drop-out Rate in Primary, Middle and Secondary Schools in India

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Number of Teachers, by Type of Schools, from 1950-51 to 2000-01

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Education or Indoctrination

True inclusion

By Deepti Priya Mehrotra

disability in school textbooksThe move to include characters with disabilities in school textbooks is welcome, but do we not need a more nuanced portrayal?

An attempt has been made to weave stories of children with special needs into NCERT textbooks as well as Rajasthan Board primary school textbooks (Hindi Language). A close look at these stories provides some useful insights, including suggestions made by teacher trainees in Delhi and Rajasthan, during workshops held with them (1)

Related Articles

»Good girls are submissive and subsidiary By Deepti Priya Mehrotra
Read More

»Chaste women and learned brahmins By Deepti Priya Mehrotra
Read More

»Top-down or participatory learning? By Deepti Priya Mehrotra
Read More

Challenges in implementing the RTE Act

By Ramakant Rai

The budget for implementation of the RTE Act throughout the country is just half of the amount spent on the 2010 Commonwealth Games, so funds are scarcely the problem. Why is there a resistance to complete implementation of the Act from states, centre and civil society?

Right to education act

Read more...

After the RTE Act, the focus is on quality of education

By Mini Shrinivasan

The government’s film, School Chale Hum, shows children all over the country eagerly running to school. Indeed, 98% of habitations now have a school within 1 km. But with unintended irony, the scenes shot inside the schools are all about rote learning or copying from the blackboard. Will the historic Right to Education Act 2009 bring in schools that do something more for our children? 

Read more...

Why are children not in school?

By Mini Shrinivasan

According to the 2001 Census, 65 per cent of Indians are literate. And almost every child now has access to a school, with around 95 per cent of our rural population having a primary school within one kilometre of their habitation. This is a significant achievement. But the big questions are: does the socio-economic condition of children allow them to go to those schools? How many dro p out within a year or two? And what is the quality of education available at these schools?

Read more...

The bogey of the impressionable mind

In the wake of the controversy over the Nehru/Ambedkar cartoon in NCERT textbooks, Havovi Wadia and Arun Kumar point out the folly of seeing children as empty vessels and passive absorbers of information, incapable of engaging actively with the learning process

Ambedkar cartoon controversy

Read more...

RTE as a social experiment towards equality

Rakesh Shukla examines the recent Supreme Court judgment on the Right to Education, which clarified that the obligation on un-aided non-minority schools to admit 25% children from disadvantaged groups is a reasonable restriction on the fundamental right to carry on a business or occupation

Right to Education Act

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A dismal report card

By Chitta Behera

Around 17,282 habitations in India do not have a primary school within 1 km, 148,696 government schools still do not have a building, 165,742 have no drinking water, 455,561 schools have no toilets, and around 114,531 primary schools are single-teacher schools. Where does that leave the Right to Education, which has been notified by only 9 states 15 months on?

Read more...

Numbers, at the cost of quality?

By Anu Kumar

After the passage of the Right to Education Bill, elementary school education is now compulsory, and free. But several questions remain, including how children outside the 6-14 age-group will be covered, and how the neighbourhood schooling system will be implemented

Read more...

Ragging as human rights abuse?

“Ragging” is not a rite of passage or a bit of fun and games. It is a serious crime and should be regarded and dealt with as such by students, teachers, parents and law enforcement agencies, says Kalpana Kannabiran

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The first and last learners

By Rahul Goswami

If anybody knows about education for a sustainable future it's young Kelechütsü  and Megozokho in Khonoma, Nagaland. They are free to learn as and what they will, without fear of examinations and admissions, with the freedom to experiment with a curriculum that reshapes itself every day

Read more...

A school with a view

Sunandita Mehrotra

Swajan Siksha Samiti, an alternative education school perched on a hill in Ghati village in Uttarakhand, revives local culture and encourages creative learning. It has a zero dropout rate

alternative education

Read more...

Tomorrow’s children

By Moushumi Basu

Adivasi children orphaned and traumatised by extremist violence in Chhattisgarh find education, sport, theatre and emotional support at residential schools like Uttaran

displaced adivasis

Read more...

One room, two teachers, six classes

By Burhan Majid

The state of elementary education in Kashmir is pathetic, says this reporter. Many believe that the funds for midday meals could be better utilised to improve infrastructure and the quality of education in the state

Elementary education in Kashmir

Read more...

Report card on RTE two years after

By Rashmi Gupta

Two years after the Right to Education, 36% of sanctioned teacher posts lie vacant, several states do not meet the required pupil:teacher ratio, funds lie unspent, and monitoring bodies are somnolent

National Right to Education Forum report on RTE

Read more...

No meal, no school for Bodo children

By Sumir Karmakar

There are 793 primary schools in Bodoland which, in the absence of government recognition, have no concrete buildings, free textbooks, water, sanitation and, most of all, midday meals. As a result, school attendance is low, an unfortunate situation in a region that has 33% literacy compared to 64.28% for Assam as a whole

Read more...

Schools for all

By Deepti Priya Mehrotra

Elementary school enrolment rose from approximately 156 million in 1999-2000 to about 194 million in 2006-07. The Annual Status of Education Report-Rural by the Pratham Resource Centre finds that school enrolment for rural areas, for children aged 6-14, was 93.4% in 2006. It increased to 95.8% in 2007. This is no mean achievement. Concerted efforts, committed policies and programmes have borne some fruit

Read more...

Interactive approaches for special children

By Rupa Chinai

Sangath Society, a Goa-based CSO working with mental health issues, has come up with the concept of 'resource rooms' for children with learning disabilities, within their normal schools, where they can be given special attention. The concept is currently being pilot-tested in three schools in the state

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Open school for Bhopal's slum children

By Aparna Pallavi

Arambh has taken up the challenge of getting Bhopal's slum children to return to school. Scores of children attend its centres to study and re-enter the education system, at timings that best suit them, especially if they are working

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Environmental education finally finds a place in India's school textbooks

By Shilpa Shet

Thanks to a two-year study that identified the gaps and anomalies in environmental education in India, 800 schools now have a new and improved syllabus that promotes an understanding of environmental issues

Read more...

Have cycle, will study

By V Radhika

Sometimes solutions to problems as grave as female illiteracy can be so simple. Providing a humble bicycle to girls in Maharashtra's villages has allowed students who would normally drop out after Class VIII to go on to finish high school. The project has been initiated by Ashta No Kai (ANK), Pune

Read more...

Kerala's neo-literates lapse into the darkness of illiteracy

By M P Basheer

Eleven years ago Chelakkodan Ayesha announced Kerala's total literacy status by reading a verse from the Quran before a thundering crowd. Today she is fumbling over the letters in 'Kerala' and cannot write her own name. What has gone wrong? Why have Kerala's literacy levels plummeted from 95 to 80 per cent?

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Computer education for rural kids riddled with obstacles

By Frederick Noronha

There are plans afoot to computerise thousands of rural schools across India, attended mainly by poor children. But where is the software that is suitable for use in these schools?

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Bringing schools and children together

By Vimala Ramachandran

Thirty per cent of India's population lives in urban slums. Getting children in these slums to school is a difficult task. Keeping them in school is even more difficult. But several organisations, including Pratham in Mumbai, Cini Asha in Kolkata and Baljyothi in Hyderabad, are succeeding in bringing education to these first-generation learners

Read more...

A school for everyone

By Anuradha Kumar

A new take on private schools in developing countries, which sees them not as money-making machines exploiting the poor, but as a much needed asset that can help fulfil the goal of a decent education for all

Read more...

Elementary education: Kerala tops, Bihar lags, Muslim enrolment poor

One of the significant findings of a new report commissioned by the Ministry of Human Resource Development is that Muslim enrolment both at the primary and upper primary levels of education, recorded for the first time ever, is poor. This is so even in states that have performed well in school education

Read more...

Bihar fails India's elementary education test, but its kids are bright

According to the latest 'Annual Status of Education Report', while elementary school enrolment levels in India's villages are high across the country, there is a lot of scope for improvement in school facilities. Most urgent is that attention needs to be paid to the learning component at government schools

Read more...

Meeting the MDG of gender parity in basic education

The United Nations acknowledges that without success in achieving education goals there is little prospect of achieving the other perhaps most important Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015. A Global Campaign for Education report has some answers

Read more...

65 million girl-children worldwide are out of school: Unicef report

Investing in girls' education will help ensure the right of all children to a quality education, and the attainment of development goals. 'The State of the World's Children 2004: Girls, Education and Development' commends India for its Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education For All) campaign

Read more...

Girl, Illiterate

By Nitin Jugran Bahuguna

Unesco's Education For All Global Monitoring Report 2003 states that gender parity in education remains a distant prospect in 54 countries, including Pakistan and India. India scores a low 0.83 in the Gender Parity Index at the primary level

Read more...

Mid-day meals responsible for leap in female enrolments in primary schools

A new study by the Centre for Equity Studies in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Karnataka underlines the positive impact of the mid-day meal scheme

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Cooked midday meals in only 12% of Maharashtra's surveyed villages

Even where cooked meals are provided, they do not meet the nutritional requirements stipulated by the Supreme Court, according to a survey of food security schemes in Maharashtra conducted by the Anna Adhikar Abhiyan Maharashtra

Read more...

Food and education: Background considerations for policy and programming

Food helps children concentrate and improves their attendance and overall performance in schools. This report looks at the use of Food and Education (FAE) initiatives -- designed to take place before, during and/or after the period of food assistance -- that offer direct benefits towards bringing about both short and long-term changes in school students.

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The 3.30 revolution

By Vaidehi Iyer

Ninety-six government primary schools in Andhra Pradesh’s Nalgonda district are transformed into hubs of activity after 3.30 pm, thanks to a quality learning programme initiated by MV Foundation

Read more...

Village girls in Rajasthan get a leg-up

By Deepti Priya Mehrotra

Residential balika shikshan shivirs (girls’ education camps), set up by the Society to Uplift Rural Economy in Rajasthan’s Barmer district, encourage girls to get away from everyday chores in the home and pursue their education

Read more...

MP's education entrepreneurs

By Deepti Priya Mehrotra

In rural Madhya Pradesh, experiments are afoot to draw girls into the ambit of education. These are spearheaded by gutsy determined local women who have a burning desire to open up new avenues and opportunities for young women

Read more...

Full marks for changing lives

By Tarannum

Over 1,700 balika vidyalayas or residential schools for girls have been set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in educationally backward districts across 24 states. They teach not just the three Rs, but holistic health management, computer science and even disaster management

Read more...

Private school with a public cause

Jaswant Modern School in Dehra Dun provides scholarships to poorer children, offering them the opportunity to finish their school education. The school offers a model of inclusive education for other private schools

Read more...

Shaping lives, building dreams at the Don Bosco Barefoot College

The Don Bosco Youth Mission and Educational Services (DBYES), in Assam, has initiated several programmes offering deprived children in the northeast opportunities to better their employment prospects

Read more...

Project Why educates Delhi's disadvantaged children

An educational support centre, started in the Giri Nagar slums, helps not only differently-abled children but also allows regular school-going children from poor families to find a foothold in society

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Poorest of poor dalit children get a world-class education

The Shanti Bhavan (Haven of Peace) school near Bangalore sets out to prove that children from extremely poor backgrounds, if given the right education and technology, succeed in a globalised world as well as their better-off counterparts

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Women teachers become agents of change

For activist Nirmala Purandare, training barefoot teachers in Maharashtra does not stop at education. It's an attempt to usher in a social revolution

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RLEK's innovative approach to education for nomadic tribes

The Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra's unique approach to literacy and its sustained efforts among the Van Gujjars of Uttaranchal, have helped foster a desire to learn and an understanding of the importance of education, even in a pastoral community

Read more...

Manzil: Where children learn and grow, naturally

At this open learning centre in Delhi, 12 student-teachers coach 90 other children from underprivileged families

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Primary education: What is Himachal Pradesh doing right?

Positive parental attitudes and community participation in running village schools are only two of the factors that have seen such rapid strides in literacy in this remote mountain state

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Desert schools

The marushalas are often the only schools in the Rajasthan desert. But they could rival some of the best practices in urban schools.

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Joyful learning

The state government and UNICEF have collaborated to create a virtual revolution in education in Mysore district.

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Working by day, learning by night

Fifty-three extension schools in Karnataka have brought education to 5,000 working children.

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Toys that teach

Sutradhar is a resource centre for the dissemination of innovative and culturally relevant educational material.

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Rescuing children from the carpet baggers

Child labourers employed in the carpet industry of Mirzapur-Bhadoi finally have a chance to go to school.

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The illiterate educationist

Illiteracy hasn't stopped Tulsi Munda from setting up a school for tribal children in a remote village in Orissa.

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From me to you: Child-to-child

In Pachod village in Maharashtra, 12-year-old teachers are helping out-of-school kids attain basic literacy.

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How Ernakulam became the first fully-literate district in India

Kerala's amazing success in literacy is in large part due to the KSSP's mass movement for education.

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Where the poor can prove themselves

There are 1.17 million slum children in Delhi. Deepalaya's schools are making sure that at least some of them have a bright future.

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From farms and factories to schools

M V Foundation has helped 100,000 child labourers go to school in Andhra Pradesh

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TV turns teacher

Thanks to same-language subtitling, people can improve their reading skills even as they watch their favourite programmes on television

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Paying girls to stay in school

By Yamini Deenadayalan

The problem of the girl-child in India is an economic one, former corporate chief Virendra Singh realised. His Pardada Pardadi school in Anoopshahr, UP, keeps girls in school by offering them three meals a day, ten rupees for every day they attend school, a bicycle after two years and a toilet at home after three years

Read more...

'All out-of-school children must be considered child labour': Shamshad Khan

By Rashme Sehgal

Winner of Outlook magazine's Best Social Worker of the Year award, Shamshad Khan, director of the Centre for Rural Education and Development Action, is on a mission: to rescue and rehabilitate young children working in the Mirzapur-Bhadohi carpet belt in Uttar Pradesh

Read more...

Rehmat Fazalbhoy: A wider vision

By Bulbul Pal

Jamnalal Bajaj awardwinner Rehmat Fazalbhoy, visually impaired herself, was the first trained teacher for the blind in India and the first to promote the idea of integrated education for the disabled.

Read more...

Marie Christine de Rochemonteix:A school with heart

By Sarika Jain Antony

Marie Christine de Rochemonteix, a French national living in Hyderabad, is determined to play an active part in India's literacy movement. Her schools, which take in disabled children as well, offer students a healthy mix of practical, innovative, all-round education

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8% of primary school teachers in Bihar fail Class V test

Around 8,000 teachers were unable to answer simple questions on science, math, English and Hindi and will lose their jobs if they fail a second time

Read more...

Bihar becomes first state to put school information online

Bihar is the first state in India to put information about students, teachers and educational status online as part of an effort to improve education

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High enrolment but poor quality education, says annual education report

Good school enrolment figures, poor reading and mathematical skills, and adherence to the requirements of the Right to Education Act says the annual status of education report card for 2010

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Premji's massive donation highlights importance of education

Azim Premji’s Rs 8,846 crore donation towards education could set off a trend in philanthropy in a country where family wealth, with a few exceptions, is generally kept in the family or donated to religious houses

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Centre, states to share right to education burden

Under pressure from various states, the central government has agreed to bear a greater burden of the cost of implementing the Right to Education Act

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Education becomes a fundamental right in India

With a new law making education a fundamental right coming into effect on April 1, 2010, India joins a small group of countries with such a provision. All children in the 6-14 age-group can now exercise the right under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009

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Education Act finally to be notified on April 1

Come April 1, children in the 6-14 age-group will finally get their right to education. Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal has decided to notify the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009

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Model colleges in educationally backward areas

The Centre has cleared a proposal to set up model colleges in 374 educationally backward districts in the country. The scheme has been cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). Initially, around 90 colleges will be set up in minority-concentrated districts

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When will the Right to Education Act be notified?

Four months after it was passed in Parliament, no date has been fixed for implementation of the Act making education free and compulsory for children aged 6-14

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Right to Education to cover all categories of disability

A month after being passed by Parliament, the Right to Education Act is set to be amended to include all categories of differently-abled children in its ambit. The move comes after intervention by the prime minister’s office following protests from disabled rights groups

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SSA making steady progress in Himachal

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), launched in 2001 in Himachal Pradesh, is making steady progress with the strengthening and expansion of basic infrastructure in elementary schools

http://dailypioneer.com/199199/, September 2009 

Indian Parliament passes landmark Right to Education Bill

It has taken six-and-half years, two governments, and half-a-dozen drafts to put in place enabling legislation making the right to education a fundamental right in India

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Educationists express concern over Right to Education Bill

The Right to Education Bill, passed this week by the Rajya Sabha, stops short of providing a common schooling system and discriminates between students in government schools and private unaided schools, say educationists

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76% of schools use low-quality grain for midday meal in UP: CAG report

According to a recently released annual report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, around 76% of schools in Uttar Pradesh use low-quality foodgrain for midday meals. The report also highlights several irregularities in the scheme’s implementation

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Central anti-ragging agency soon

A central helpline to help victims of ragging at educational institutions will be set up in a week the government tells the Supreme Court after placing a probe report that cites alcoholism on campus as one of the main reasons behind the menace

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True inclusion

By Deepti Priya Mehrotra

The move to include characters with disabilities in school textbooks is welcome, but do we not need a more nuanced portrayal?

disability in school textbooks

Read more...

Good girls are submissive and subsidiary

By Deepti Priya Mehrotra

School textbooks continue to portray a predominantly male and patriarchal world. Women are depicted as demure, stay-at-home accessories for the male. They seem to exist only to preserve the status quo

Sukh ka Dwar, Rajasthan Class 5

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Chaste women and learned brahmins

By Deepti Priya Mehrotra

How should school textbooks deal with realities such as caste, class and religious discrimination? Should they pretend they don’t exist, or confront them? Part 2 in our series analysing the values and biases in textbooks

education in India

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Top-down or participatory learning?

Who is the ideal child/student? One who dialogues with the teacher, or one who obeys, follows, copies? This is the first in a series of articles by Deepti Priya Mehrotra that will examine the values, biases and prejudices perpetuated by school textbooks

education in India

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