• 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Implications of RTE act
The UPA passed RTE right to education act

This will destroy education in India

Private schools have to meet standards within 3 years

Public schools have waiver

Private schools have to pay public school wages,

Private schools have to admit 25% from weaker section - this is not well defined

Private schools cant have admission tests

RTE: Five reasons to scrap this right

Manish Sabharwal, Jan 12, 2011, 05.09am IST


RTE|Education system

It is said that one of most damaging virtues of George W Bush was his steadiness; he believed the same thing on Wednesday that he believed on Monday - no matter what happened on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the well-meaning or self-interested people - these are the only two kinds pushing for swifter implementation of the Right to Education Act (RTE) - seem to share this dangerous steadiness despite new information.

As state governments start codifying the details or plumbing of RTE, I'd like to make the case that the RTE must be scrapped or substantially modified before it causes permanent damage because of five reasons; capacity, cost, competition, corruption and confusion.

Ads by Google

Teaching Certificates

New Arcadia King of Prussia Campus. Graduate Degrees for Educators.


University of Phoenix®

Official Site. College Degrees for the Real World. Learn More Today.


As a company at the exit gate of the education system - we have hired somebody every five minutes for five years but only 5% of the kids who came to us for a job - we see and suffer the tragic consequences of India's education emergency. True impact in public policy - unlike election campaigns - does not lie in poetry but in plumbing. So let's look at the plumbing of RTE through its consequences:

Lower capacity: RTE timetables the extinction of 25% of India's 15 lakh schools that are 'unrecognised'. These mostly low-cost schools have been an entrepreneurial response to parental choice - the antibiotic reaction to dysfunctional government schools chronicled in The Beautiful Tree by James Tooley.

Our demographic dividend - 10 lakh people will join the labour force every month for the next 20 years - would have been a bigger nightmare if these private schools had not substituted for the missing state in the last 20 years. And while it is a lie that all these schools deliver quality, it is true that a bad school is better than no school. To paraphrase a beheaded French queen, this provision of RTE effectively says "if you can't have cake, don't eat bread".

Higher cost: RTE essentially mandates a huge rise in school fees. It micro-specifies salaries, qualifications and infrastructure. Delhi schools that don't pay a minimum of 23,000 per month to teachers will not receive recognition and specifies that primary teachers must have a two-year education diploma; this means that 33% of teachers have to be fired. RTE specifies that every school must have a playground; Delhi specifies 900 sq yards but I know a state that is considering 1,500 sq yards.

The 25% children from disadvantaged groups will require massive cross-subsidisation because state governments propose to reimburse way below cost, e.g. Karnataka caps it at 7,000 per student per year. All this micromanaging of schools - to the delight of teachers and the real estate mafia - hits middle class parents with higher prices for essentially the same quality product.

Lower competition: A big driver of higher quality and lower costs in higher education has been competition. The 50% vacant seats of 1 lakh capacity UP Technical University are forcing engineering colleges to offer free hostels, English training, only MTech faculty, and much else. About 15,000 of the 45,000 Karnataka MBA seats are vacant; these colleges are reducing fees, guaranteeing internships and embedding soft skills in their curriculum.

RTE makes it impossible for education entrepreneurs to compete on price since many states propose to regulate fees and uncertainty has paused the Cambrian explosion of energy in school entrepreneurship. This means lower capacity and lower competition. And that means schools don't have clients, but hostages.

Ads by Google

DeVry University

Earn A Relevant & Marketable Degree At DeVry University. Apply Today!


Higher corruption: RTE mandates schools to take 25% students from 'poor' backgrounds. Some states are going overboard - Karnataka requires schools to conduct household surveys to create and maintain records of all children in a 1-3 km area from birth till 14 years of age to identify the poor. But who is poor? If the Indian government can't decide whether 24% or 42% of India is poor, how will a BEO (block education officer)?

In reality, he or she won't; they will auction their certification of poor to the highest bidder. What constitutes appropriate efforts to bring back dropouts? How will teacher student-ratios be calculated? The BEO, long a thorn in the flesh, now has powers to be a dagger in the heart. RTE provides the BEO's the ability to convert every school into a personal ATM. Not all, but most will.

More confusion: Does changed evaluation mean no exams? What does immunity for government bureaucrats mean? Is incompetence good faith? How will mid-day meals be handled for the 25% in private schools? Where will these 25% go after Grade VIII? Will the 75% parent-populated government school management committees have the power to hire and fire teachers?

RTE: Five reasons to scrap this right

Manish Sabharwal, Jan 12, 2011, 05.09am IST


RTE|Education system

RTE prohibits schools from admission procedures and forces them to select students on a random basis within a policy that "includes criteria for the categorisation of applicants in terms of the objectives of the school on a rational, reasonable and just basis". By definition, don't random, rational, reasonable and just mean different things to different people? Why take away the right to detain or expel till Class VIII? Can we be equal and excellent?

RTE does not pass the Hippocratic Oath of every doctor , 'above all, cause no harm', and has three birth defects. First the doctors in this case - civil servants - are unwilling to take the medicine they prescribe as they shamelessly and explicitly exempt the government schools they run (70% of all schools) and the walled gardens where their children study (Kendriya Vidyalas and the elite Sanskriti that is now going national) from RTE.

Ads by Google

AARP 50+ Life Insurance

From New York Life. No Exam, just Health info. See Affordable Rates!


MetLife® Life Insurance

Less Than *$1/Day for $250,000 of Coverage. Get a Quick Quote Now!


Second RTE values hardware over software but what can easily be measured may not matter. Third as enrolment ratios cross 100% it fights yesterday's war of quantity and fails to focus on quality and learning outcomes. We don't need more cooks in the kitchen but a different recipe. RTE not only fails this test but poisons the ecosystem by sabotaging other ways to get India educated.

(The author is chairman, Teamlease Services)

DNA Principals’ Talk: The crisis confronting school education

Published: Monday, Oct 10, 2011, 10:00 IST

By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Principals’ Talk is an annual event with DNA, where principals of some of the best schools in Mumbai gather to discuss the most important policy issues confronting the future of education and the management of educational institutions. As always, the response of the principals was overwhelming. At a Conversation Forum moderated by DNA’s RN Bhaskar, these principals and the principal secretary, education, government of Maharashtra, Sumit Mullick, discussed some of the issues bothering them.

This year the topic was ‘How to cope with new regulations relating to education’. Theissue that most principals found extremely vexing was the manner in which the Right to Education (RTE) Act would be implemented in schools, and the long-term consequences of following this act.

Most principals were extremely worried about three provisions of the act.

Automatic and compulsory promotion of all students up to Std VIII: This, many principals believe, would allow the undeserving to get promoted, thereby becoming a stumbling block to the learning process for both the brighter students in the next class and to the teacher trying to teach the class. Some education administrators openly stated that they had advised their teachers not to detain any students in Std VIII and Std IX as well, because no school would have the courage to detain some 30-50% of the students at the Std VIII examination.

“Why should we, when we could have weeded out such students more gently in stages from Std I to Std V?” said one principal. Another quipped, “It is time the RTE Act was amended to allow for all students to be promoted automatically to Std X.” In fact, no state government would have the political will to detain more than 50% of the students at the SSC examinations either. The result: more sub-standard students clearing the SSC examination.

Compulsory admission of any student to a class appropriate to his age and not to his academic capabilities: Thus a student, 10 years old, would have to be admitted in Std V, though he may not have studied in any school till then. The act provides for intensive skill upgradation for nine months to help bring the student up to that level. “If nine months can teach all that was taught in five years, why have any schools with Std I to V?” was one pointed query.

“And what does one do if a student is not interested in studies, and creates trouble in a class, not allowing other students to study?” was another query. The RTE Act does not allow punishment, expulsion, or detention. “What about the right of any good student to study in peace and an atmosphere suitable for academic pursuit?” was a third query.

Reservation of 25% seats for poor children: All principals were unanimous in lauding the intention but faulting the process. “It will be better if good schools are allowed to run municipal schools than to let students who cannot cope with social norms facing both a social and a psychological challenge at a young age,” was a moot suggestion.

“The state has failed in managing education in municipal schools and government-aided schools. This is evident from the way enrolment in municipal schools has fallen from 6 lakh a few years ago to just around 3.5 lakh today. The RTE’s reservation policy will cause this number to fall further because nobody wants to go to a municipal school if the student can get the choice to go to a private school without paying the fees,” one anguished complaint said. The state will destroy even good educational institutions this way. “Many parents will pay bribes to education inspectors to get their children into private schools,” was another observation.

Mullick promised to put all these issues up before the government. He also stated that many of these issues were already part of petitions that were being heard by the courts. The final shape of the RTE could still change.

But he reiterated the state government’s commitment to education. “The state spends around `13,000 per child on an average each year on education. In Mumbai, the municipal corporation spends around `25,000 per child per annum.

“As far as filling in the 25% of reserved seats in private schools [even in private and minority educational institutions], it would be the state which would direct specific students to each school. The manner in which the state would pay the fees of such students to the school has yet to be decided.”

Some other observations made by Mullick were:

The total annual spending of the government on education for Class I to XII is Rs28,000 crore.Around five years ago it was Rs19,000 crore.

Currently, the state has 1.2 lakh schools, which have 82,53,837 primary students and 39,73,878 upper primary students on their rolls.But these numbers could be an exaggeration, because, as a recent survey in Nanded found, 20-25% of the students were found to be bogus entries.

The state will have to open many more schools before 2013 because each student from Std I to V will have to go to a school within a 1km radius. Each student from Std VI-VII would have to go to a school within a 3km radius. If there are no schools within this radius, new schools would have to be opened.

Moreover, for 15 students in a tribal region, there must be a school. For 20 children in a rural area, a school is required. In urban areas the minimum requirement for starting a school is 25 students. For children who are backward, a nine-month rigorous training programme is envisaged, which, the lawmakers believe, would help the student to come up to the level of other students. Most principals laughed at this idea, because if it were possible to teach five years of a syllabus to an illiterate 11-year-old in Std VI, why have the first five years of schooling at all?

Because of the new student-teacher ratio, many more teachers will have to be employed.

Accountability will have to be brought in through formative, summative, round-the-clock testing in such a manner that the results are visible to the teacher, to the district, and to the state headquarters. All results will have to be computerised. The manner in which this is to be done is being studied at various government levels.

“DEd courses have become sub-standard. Against an annual requirement of 12,000 new teachers, DEd institutes churn out 100,000. Most teachers who get these certificates are sub-standard. That is why the government has introduced a CET for appointment of teachers to zilla parishad schools, but not for private government-aided schools where much of the corruption of teachers takes place.”

India's Mangled School Reforms

The country’s new voucher provisions won’t increase choice.

Shikha Dalmia | September 14, 2011

When India included a voucher program in last year’s Right to Education Act, which mandates free, compulsory education for all Indian children between the ages of six and 14, school choice advocates everywhere applauded. After all, about 30 million poor kids would eventually get government vouchers that they could spend on private school tuition. A Wall Street Journal column hailed the voucher component as “nothing short of a revolution in school choice.” The Indian magazine Education World declared that the government had “launched one of the boldest education schemes in the world.” And a Cato Institute blog declared that the scheme could become “the biggest school choice program in the world.” Sadly, such jubilation is unwarranted because the voucher program, promising though it appears, comes with regulations that would actually cripple the private school market.

The worst of these regulations requires private schools to set aside 25 percent of seats in entering classes for “economically backward” kids with vouchers. A consortium of elite private schools is challenging that provision in court, arguing that because the vouchers will cover only a fraction of students’ costs, the rule would wreak havoc on school budgets. Further, within three years, all private schools must create minimum playground space, maintain prescribed teacher-student ratios, hire credentialed teachers, and pay salaries equivalent to those of unionized teachers. Private schools will be barred from holding back low-performing middle-school students. And because they now will also be required to use a government-prescribed curriculum and government-approved texts, many of which are written by government bureaucrats and are of shoddy quality, the private schools will no longer be able to offer pedagogical variety. Many of these regulations won’t apply to government schools, giving them an unfair advantage. The Center for Civil Society, a New Delhi–based libertarian outfit that campaigned for the vouchers, is challenging this double standard in court.

If India’s supreme court allows the provisions to stand, the new law will do severe damage to the private school market, which is a much bigger part of the K–12 mix in India than in America. About 55 percent of the nation’s urban children attend private schools, fleeing India’s abysmal public schools, where teachers routinely don’t show up and, when they do, often don’t teach or are abusive. The government’s own Public Report on Basic Education in India found in 1997 that only 53 percent of government schools had anything like teaching activity taking place. In some instances, teachers simply shut schools down for months without explanation and made schoolchildren perform domestic chores. Such neglect affected even schools with relatively good facilities and adequate student-teacher ratios. Press reports have also found government schools that demand bribes from kids who can’t produce birth certificates—which most poor people don’t have—before admitting them. No surprise, then, that 80 percent of government school teachers choose to send their children to private schools.

In the face of this government failure, India has made decent progress in raising its primary-school attendance rates, which now stand at 80 percent. For this, it has its private schools to thank. The private school market caters not just to wealthy families but also, as University of Newcastle education policy professor James Tooley has demonstrated, to every socioeconomic group, including the poorest of the poor. Private schools run by nonprofits, for-profits, religious organizations—you name it—have mushroomed everywhere, from urban slums to backwater villages. Though India has its share of superelite private academies, more often private schools are ramshackle, mom-and-pop operations run from someone’s backyard. But they’re usually better than the free government alternative.

Indeed, Tooley found that in the slums of Hyderabad, a predominantly Muslim city in south India, private schools suffered far less teacher absenteeism than public schools did, even though the teachers’ salaries were much smaller. Further, while private schools had fewer resources—their main revenue source being the paltry monthly fees they charged students—they surpassed public schools in nearly every respect, not just in the quality of their facilities but in academic performance as well. Private middle-school students scored 22 percentage points higher, on average, than public school students on math tests; the gap was even more pronounced on English exams. (Other researchers, including Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, another Britain-based scholar, have found that controlling for socioeconomic background, ability, and parental involvement closes the private-public academic gap somewhat but does not eliminate it.)

Putting more demands on schools already doing so much with so little will have catastrophic consequences, argues V. K. Madhavan, founder of a nonprofit that runs a primary school in the newly minted Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. Madhavan, whose organization aims to improve rural families’ quality of life, has seen his school’s enrollment grow from ten students to 77 in four years because he has managed to keep fees low. But if the government enforces its new regulations, Madhavan’s school will struggle to survive financially.

Madhavan hopes that alternative schools like his will get an exemption from the rules. Another possibility is that the government simply won’t be able to enforce its regulations on the extensive network of Hindu and Muslim schools without triggering religious riots; it will therefore have to exempt them all, offering a way for schools like Madhavan’s to escape the law’s tentacles by reconstituting themselves—at least on paper—as religious institutions. But even if loopholes and lax enforcement prevent total annihilation of the private school industry, many schools will surely shut down, notes Barun Mitra, director of the Liberty Institute in New Delhi. That will mean fewer options for the poor.

Such an outcome is the opposite of what libertarian voucher proponents in India intended. But it’s exactly what educators like Vinod Raina, who helped draft the Right to Education Act, wanted. Raina and other quasi-socialists have long despised India’s private schools because, in their view, they reproduce social and class divisions. Instead, schools should foster social integration, “bringing kids from diverse backgrounds into the same classroom,” as Raina puts it. The best way to accomplish that, Raina and his allies believe, would be to abolish private schools altogether; since that’s not politically possible, handing poor kids a modest voucher and forcing private schools to restructure themselves on the public school model is the next best thing.

Combining vouchers with restrictions on private schools appealed both to India’s egalitarian intelligentsia and to politicians eager to buy the votes of poor people, making for a politically potent alliance. Libertarian voucher proponents and their own allies—private schools that will have to raise fees on middle-class parents to offset the meager vouchers—weren’t powerful enough to resist. Raina and his cohorts also had the support of a powerful lobby: teachers’ unions. Though India lacks an all-powerful national teachers’ union like the National Education Association, the country’s smaller, state-based unions are collectively quite strong because teachers serve as election officers and run polling booths during elections. No surprise, then, that the bulk of the roughly $9.5 billion in extra educational spending in the new law will be devoted to financing government teachers’ salaries—which already average seven times India’s per-capita income, according to Gurcharan Das, author of India Unbound.

India’s experience testifies to the challenge of reforming the government school system from within, as the school choice movement has long sought to do in the United States. Entrenched interests can twist and contort the reforms, burdening them with rules that render them unworkable or counterproductive. In India, teachers’ unions are using vouchers to cripple a flourishing private school market; in America, by contrast, they have frozen the voucher program so that decades into the school choice movement, only about 100,000 of 50 million American kids get a voucher or tax credit. Charter schools, serving about 5 million students, have made more inroads. But the competition they have generated is less against public schools and more against Catholic and parochial ones, many of which have shut down, unable to compete against free charters. On balance, it’s unclear whether charters thus far have increased or diminished choice.

The cleaner but more arduous approach to reform might be to marginalize the public school monopoly from the outside. Instead of fighting to redirect public school funds toward poor parents, the school choice movement could intensify its efforts to pursue private philanthropy to fund voucher programs. It could also look for ways to strengthen America’s home-schooling movement, especially now that online learning is putting good, cheap educational opportunities directly in the hands of parents and children.

India’s reforms offer a warning about the perils of government meddling dressed up as choice. School choice advocates should stop cheering India’s new education law. Just because it contains something resembling vouchers doesn’t mean that it has anything to do with empowering parents or expanding educational options.

Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia is a columnist at The Daily. This column originally appeared in City Journal.

There is an un-written Law/rule written in stone. Top CBSE Schools in Chennai like Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, DAV-Gopalapuram, National Public School Gopalapuram, Vidya Mandir Royapetta High Road Mylapore, Bala Vidya Mandir Adyar, SBOA., etc. as a RULE (unwritten) do not admit Muslim wards into their school. The writ of the Govt. of India., Right to Education., are all flouted openly. Poor Muslim parents buy application but never get admissions. The Watchman at these schools won't let parents in. Would-be Parents are treated like slaves. There is no one to go and speak to. I am afraid, the only way left now is for Muslim parents to SIT IN PEACEFUL DHARNA and sensitise public opinion through Media... and/or take to legal recourse., to ensure that RTE is followed in these schools and not flouted (TN has not ratified it yet).


Another danger of RTE act, Hindu schools will be forced to admit jihadis

THE BELL rang; lunch break was over. Fourteen-year-old Vineet waited quietly at the school reception. “The principal’s assistant came to the reception and said I must fetch my bag and go home,” he recalls. His request to make a phone call was turned down. Fever? Poor grades in social science? As he was sent home, Vineet, a student at Delhi’s elite GD Goenka School, did not know why he was being punished.

Vineet joined the posh private school in 2006 thanks to a Delhi High Court order that all private schools granted land at nominal rates must reserve 25 percent of their seats for children from poor families. Back then, his father Satyapal, a postman, earned less than Rs. 1 lakh annually. This helped son Vineet secure a seat under the state-stipulated Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota. But as Satyapal’s income increased a trifle more than his previous salary of Rs. 6,900 per month, the school asked him to either pay the full fee or leave. A Rs. 8,000-a-month tuition fee was too much for Satyapal’s pockets. And even as he made rounds of schools — both government and private — Satyapal could not find a place for his son in the middle of an academic session. Vineet was home for 12 days till Ashok Agarwal, a senior lawyer, helped Satyapal access the local media. Fearing public criticism, the school took Vineet back.

There are instances where rich schools have gone to appalling lengths to get rid of poor students admitted under state norms. Ashish Diwedi, who was a part of the same school’s clerical staff till two years ago, says the school first volunteered to admit his children and a year later, turned around. “They offered me Rs.1 lakh per child to take my children out of the school,” he says. “When schools can charge a couple of lakhs per seat as ‘donations’, it makes commercial sense to get these seats vacated, even at a cost,” he says bitterly, tending to customers in his small shop in Masudpur.

The principle behind Right to Education (RTE) Act, a guarantee of primary education for every child, has faced little opposition. But implementing it hasn’t been a smooth ride as it opens private school doors to children from poor families in the neighbourhood. The Act says that 25 percent of admitted students in Class I or nursery in all schools, including private schools, must be children from disadvantaged groups (based on state-specific socio-cultural, geographical factors ), or ‘weaker’ sections (income-based). While this rule has been in place in some states like Delhi, it now applies to schools across the country.

From being the first suspects of theft to being labelled as ‘vernac’ for their inability to speak in English, the kids are often at the receiving end

The provision is beginning to fan a battle between the government and private schools associations, and is raising the hackles of the urban rich who do not want their children to study with kids from poor families. “Those kids have bad habits, they use foul language,” says Rohini Manchanda, mother of a seven-year-old studying at Delhi’s Raghubir Singh Junior Modern School. “I don’t want to sound snooty, but these children will not be able to cope,” says a teacher who teaches grade IV at Ahmedabad’s elite International School. Parents and teachers say this is a bad idea and will be too harsh on children brought up in hardship. Clearly, examples like KR Narayanan, the first Dalit president of India and son of a small-time medical practitioner, and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, son of a semi-literate fisherman, are not good enough even if they reflect the change that an opportunity can bring to lives of the underprivileged. But is the fear of prejudice a reason to not attempt something that breaks the same bias?

IT IS not just opinions that threaten to derail an attempt to make schools more inclusive. Organisations like the Society for Unaided Private Schools of Rajasthan, an association of 1,100 schools, has gone to the Apex Court challenging this reservation, saying it “takes away the autonomy of schools to choose students whom it wants to nurture” and contravenes a school’s right “to maintain its personality, atmosphere, and standards”.

The RTE came into force this April, but most schools avoided implementing the provision, saying admissions for this year’s academic session were already done. State governments are to reimburse the cost to the school on a per learner basis, or the fee of the school, whichever is less, for these children’s education. No wonder then that many schools see the RTE as a financial burden, the looming threat of an omnipresent government’s interference. “Where will we get the funds beyond the government reimbursement? By making the other 75 percent pay?” asks SL Jain, vice-president, Action Committee of Unaided Private Schools.

The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry, the implementing body, dismisses these claims. “Most big private schools have surplus income,” says V Sahay, director in the ministry. Educationists add that often private schools get land, cheaper electricity and infrastructural support from the government. Add to this the tax exemptions they enjoy. “Some of us were quite clear that unless children from different castes, poor and rich sat in the same classroom, social and class differentiations in society would be amplified by the schools,” points out Vinod Raina, one of the authors of this Act.


Making the classrooms inclusive has not been easy. Even the RTE drafting committee stayed divided on the private schools issue, explains Raina. One section favoured the ideal common school, i.e. every child to have the choice to attend any school in his/her neighbourhood. But expecting private schools to admit all children would have been akin to asking them to forfeit their right to charge any fees. At the same time, there was no denying that the current schooling system is divisive. The Law Commission initially proposed that schools keep 50 percent seats in their incoming class for children from poorer families. This was diluted to 25 percent, but retained as a key measure of RTE so that children no longer grow up in “economically disparate universes”, notes educationist Krishna Kumar, in a 2006 report.

If the experience of children from poor families who have studied in integrated classrooms is anything to go by, this opportunity has brought struggle,but meaning too. Labelled “vernac” for not speaking English, being the first ones to be suspected of theft when something goes missing, keeping up with classmates’ conversations around FIFA and gizmos, it has not been a joyride for these kids. Vineet recounts going back to class in GD Goenka School after the crisis over his father’s salary hike passed. “One boy teased me that my father is a postman, another said they now knew my ‘reality’.” He adds, “But my other friends in class beat them up.” Eighteen-year-old Ashok, who joined another elite school, DPS RK Puram, on a merit freeship feels he had it tough. “The first few months were emotional atyachaar!” he says, adding, “Their English, their lunches, parties, it was all so difficult. The attitudes of even those who were at first friendly would change when they learned where I did Class X from. But I loved my classes.” He is now preparing to apply for his bachelor’s in economics.

The children say they negotiate stultifying stereotypes in their own way. “I stood third in the inter-DPS sprinting meet. All the ‘elite’ Dipsites came to congratulate me,” says Ashok. The children say they have it easier in classes where the teachers have been sensitive. “My mother worked as an aayah in my school and my class teacher kept in touch with her. They said I should speak in class in whichever medium I felt comfortable in,” says Kanika who studied in Sanskriti School on a freeship seat and is now a manager with the Shriram Group of Industries.

‘When schools charge lakhs as donations, it makes commercial sense to get the seats vacated, even at a cost,’ says a parent

The parents see this as an opportunity to secure their child’s future. This is validated by empirical studies like the 1999 PROBE report, a study of over 1,000 poor households, that found over 89 percent saying they want their sons and daughters to get quality education.

The battle, however, remains tough. Savitri, a housewife whose husband holds a clerical post in a government hospital, couldn’t agree more. Even as her two-bedroom flat in Trilokpuri is adorned with art prizes, she says there are times when keeping up with her children’s “excessive” demands becomes difficult. Yet, she negotiates with her six and nine-year-olds, makes sacrifices and takes pride in what the children do. “Sometimes the classmates’ mothers call and ask about the homework. I tell them what I know in Hindi confidently,” laughs Savitri as her nine-year-old finishes rendering ‘God’s songs’ she has learned in Queen Mary’s Convent.

“Such an interaction challenges our values, not just the values we say we have but the ones we practice,” says Sister Cyril, principal of Loretto Convent, who voluntarily integrated poorer children into regular classrooms in Kolkata in 1979. Beginning with 40 children, the school now has 700 — half of its students are from families that earn less than Rs. 5,000 a month, studying with children from well-off families. The school crafted a well-functioning system over the years — recycling uniforms and textbooks, giving no tests or homework till Class V, instituting work scholarships for older children to help the younger ones with their lessons. The school’s counsellor, Theresa Mendes, is all for classroom integration but admits to having “an incident or two of stealing, but so what? We told the children this is their school and will always be open for them”.

A senior HRD ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledges the transition cannot be expected to unfold by itself. “We have to involve state governments, local authorities, school management committees,” she says. The RTE right now talks only of primary education. Eight years later, where will these children be? “Hopefully, the schools will keep them,” she says.

How a rich school tagged poor studentsIndia

Aug 15, 2011Rate This

New Delhi

St Andrews Scots Senior Secondary School, a posh school in east Delhi, boasts of ''providing value- based education'to its students but is under the scanner of a child rights panel - for tagging poor students.

The school admits poor students under the legally bound 10 percent freeshi quota - fee waiver - for economically disadvantaged chi dren.

But the students, their parents and child rights ac tivists allege that the school discriminates against poo kids, profiles them on the basis of their socio- economi status and makes them wear tags showing they hav been admitted under the quota.

The children are made to wear an ink mark ''F/ S,'de noting freeship, on their shirt collars to distinguis them from the rest of the children. IANS

Class Struggle: India's Experiment in Schooling Tests Rich and Poor


Comments (116)





↓ More




NEW DELHI—Instead of playing cricket with the kids in the alleyway outside, 4-year-old Sumit Jha sweats in his family's one-room apartment. A power cut has stilled the overhead fan. In the stifling heat, he traces and retraces the image of a goat.

Flawed Miracle

The Journal is examining the threats to, and limits of, India's economic ascent.

Doubts Gather Over Rising Giant's Course

India's Jobs Program Fails its Poor

Few India Graduates Are Fit to Hire

India's Boom Bypasses Rural Poor

India's Tata Finds Home Hostile

Photos: Crisis in Punjab

In April, he enrolled in the nursery class of Shri Ram School, the most coveted private educational institution in India's capital. Its students include the grandchildren of India's most powerful figures—Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress party President Sonia Gandhi.

Sumit, on the other hand, lives in a slum.

His admission to Shri Ram is part of a grand Indian experiment to narrow the gulf between rich and poor that is widening as India's economy expands. The Right to Education Act, passed in 2009, mandates that private schools set aside 25% of admissions for low-income, underprivileged and disabled students. In Delhi, families earning less than 100,000 rupees (about $2,500 a year) qualify.

Shri Ram, a nontraditional school founded in 1988, would seem well-suited to the experiment. Rather than drill on rote learning, as many Indian schools do, Shri Ram encourages creativity by teaching through stories, songs and art. In a typical class, two teachers supervise 29 students; at public schools nearby, one teacher has more than 50. Three times a day, a gong sounds and teachers and students pause for a moment of contemplation. Above the entrance, a banner reads, "Peace."


Honestly the these lower middle class Indian kids will benefit from DTEA and DAV and RSS Shishu mandir schools and others run by Hindu charities . RSS shishu mandir in Orissa wins half the toppers of the top 100 in state board

Shri Ram school is for the lazy rich who want to make connections early in life
Hyderabad, India


SOURCE: Author’s calculations based on original research and local government figures.

SOURCE: Author’s calculations based on original research and local government figures.

Visit the ultramodern high-rise development of “High Tech City” and you’ll see why Hyderabad dubs itself “Cyberabad,” proud of its position at the forefront of India’s technological revolution. But cross the river Musi and enter the Old City, with once magnificent buildings dating to the 16th century and earlier, and you’ll see the congested India, with narrow streets weaving their way through crowded markets and densely populated slums. For our survey, we canvassed three zones in the Old City (Bandlaguda, Bhadurpura, and Charminar), with a population of about 800,000 (about 22 percent of all of Hyderabad), covering an area of some 19 square miles. We included only schools that were found in “slums,” as determined by the latest available census and Hyderabad municipal guides, areas that lacked amenities such as indoor plumbing, running water, electricity, and paved roads.

In these areas alone our team found 918 schools: 35 percent were government run; 23 percent were private schools that had official recognition by the government (“recognized”); and, incredibly, 37 percent slipped under the government radar (“unrecognized”). The last group is, in effect, a black market in education, operating entirely without both state funding and regulation. (The remaining 5 percent were private schools that received a 100 percent state subsidy for teachers’ salaries, making them public schools in all but name.) In terms of total student enrollment in the slum areas of the three zones, with 918 schools, 76 percent of all schoolchildren attended either recognized or unrecognized private schools, with roughly the same percentage of children in the unrecognized private schools as in government schools (see Figure 1).

What is clear from our research is that these private schools are not mom-and-pop day-care centers or living-room home schools. The average unrecognized school had about 8 teachers and 170 children, two-thirds in rented buildings of the type described above. The average recognized school was larger and usually situated in a more comfortable building, with 18 teachers and about 490 children. Another key difference between the recognized and unrecognized schools is that the former have stood the test of time in the education market: 40 percent of unrecognized schools were less than 5 years old, while only 5 percent of recognized schools were this new. Finally, tuition in these schools is very low, averaging about $2.12 per month in recognized private schools at 1st grade and $1.51 in unrecognized schools.

While these fees seem extremely low, they must be measured against the average income of each person in the student’s household who is working for pay. For students in unrecognized schools, this was about $23 per month, compared with about $30 per month for students in recognized schools and $17 for government schools. Since the official minimum wage in Hyderabad is $46 per month, it is clear that the families in the private schools we observed are poor. Fees amount to about 7 percent of average monthly earnings in a typical household using a private unrecognized school. For the poorest children, the schools provide scholarships or subsidized places: 7 percent of children paid no tuition and 11 percent paid reduced fees. In effect, the poor are subsidizing the poorest.

Myth TWO:

Private Education for the Poor Is Low Quality

In Hyderabad, however, on every input, including the provision of blackboards, playgrounds, desks, drinking water, toilets, and separate toilets for boys and girls, both types of private schools, recognized and unrecognized, were superior to the government schools. While only 78 percent of the government schools had blackboards in every classroom, the figures were 96 percent and 94 percent for private recognized and unrecognized schools, respectively. In only half the government schools were toilets provided for children, compared with 100 percent and 96 percent of the recognized and unrecognized private schools.

In Hyderabad, students attending recognized and unrecognized private schools outperformed their peers in government schools by a full standard deviation in both English and math (after accounting for differences in their observable characteristics).
I do support a quota for poorer kids in private schools, but

the private schools should have choice of which poor kid to admit

If a muslim area is near your school, would you like to admit 25% jihadis ?

and the need for entrance IQ tests
An early version of this act has been implemented in Delhi and the main features are

1. The main beneficiaries are Lower Middle class kids, not Slum kids

2. The EWS - Economically Weaker Section - Certificate can be easily bribed and middle to upper-middle class families get fake certificates

3. The Inspector Raj can and will be bribed by Schools

4. There is a rush to re-classify private schools - using benami - as Religious Minority ( Sikh, Jain, benami xtian or benami muslim )- and as fake Linguistic Minority ( Hindu from another state )

5. My guess is that 50% will be faked and bribed and only 50% will actually admit EWS

6. There is a big que among EWS kids and who gets in - can be bribed
some dangerous clauses of RTE

*No teacher shall engage himself or herself in private tuition or private teaching activity

*medium of instructions shall, as far as practicable, be in the child’s mother toungue
RTE act is also dangerous to RSS schools like Ekal

1. It requires that teachers be paid R-25k per month, instead of market rate of 5k per month

2. It requires that all schools have facilities like toilets and playgrounds

3. It requires that management be placed in the hands of local-area-parent+ govt
Filthy mullahs mixing with your kids


NEW DELHI: Union human resource development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal has urged the Delhi government to treat Muslim students as a "disadvantaged group'' for admission in schools under the 25% economically weaker section quota mandated by the Right To Education Act.

At present, apart from SCs and STs, only OBC students not belonging to creamy layer are considered disadvantaged and, therefore, entitled for admission under the 25% RTE quota. Under the Act, however, states have the authority to include any other group that it feels is disadvantaged within this quota.

Sources said Sibal raised the issue of expanding the "disadvantaged" category with Delhi education minister Arvinder Singh in a meeting on Thursday in view of reports that few Muslim students were able to get admission under RTE.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)