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NISA नमस्कार PDF

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v at di n SI C C / u d e A S NI / g or a. di n aI s Ni / Khan Academy is a free world-class education resource for anyone, anywhere. It offers videos, practice exercises and a personalized learning environment to study at one’s own pace for subjects including Math, Physics, Chemistry, Computer programming, History, Medicine, Economics, and more. Visit Khan Academy at www.khanacademy.org. Download our free Android or iOS app and start exploring! For questions, you can reach out to us at [email protected]. CONTENTS 2 18 Editorial Azadi Views A brief note from the editor’s desk and This section contains powerful hindi messages from stakeholders-NISA articles on education from Azadi.me, a Secretariat, President and Vice President liberal’s guidebook 24 4 Editor’s Pick Ask Your Lawyer: Important news pieces on education Legal Boundaries selected and curated by the editor A regular column answering queries on matters pertaining to law 5 Education- State of Affairs 25 A complete low down on the major Upcoming Events happenings in the education sector at A list of major events pertaining to primary level throughout India education and their details 12 The National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) Communiqué Major initiatives undertaken and news pertaining to the Budget Private Schools under NISA Volume 2 /Issue 2 Page 1 EDITOR’S DESK SCHOOL VOUCHERS : NISA NAMASKAR A PANACEA FOR ALL FAILINGS EDITORIAL BOARD Last one decade has witnessed a spurt in efforts aimed at much awaited improvement in the field of education. For the children in EDITOR the age group of 6 to 14 years, free and compulsory education is Avinash Chandra being guaranteed through the Right to Education Act-2009 (RTE Act) which is, for sure, a big step in this direction. And the next big step is the New Education Policy (NEP) the present government at EDITORIAL BOARD centre is quite serious about. However, even earlier in the year Kulbhushan Sharma 1968 and again in 1986 the governments of the then Prime Rajesh Malhotra Minister Late Smt. Indira Gandhi and Late Sri Rajiv Gandhi respectively had implemented New Education Policies. In the year 1992, some minor Amit Chandra amendments were done. But the bottom line of all the National Education Policies remained the same: governments must augment spends in various fields of education. CONTENT EDITOR Even the RTE Act calls for improvement in the quality of education. It emphasizes an over-all Jyoti Kalbhor improvement like buildings, toilet blocks, playgrounds, appointment of trained teachers, et al. Post independence, an amount of INR 153 crores was allocated for education in the first FY Plan and the same was to be spent in the full span of 5 years. Now, this budget for 2016-17 is INR LEGAL CONTENT ADVISOR 68,968 crores and that too for just one year. This is quite a big leap! Advocate Prashant Narang Even Delhi Government has a budget of INR 10,690 crores for education alone for the current fiscal. Other states like Rajasthan, Haryana, Maharashtra too have substantially increased this SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM budget. So this is amply clear that the Centre and the State governments have kept education on Amit Chandra top priority. But what is to be noted here is the fact that thousands of crores that come for the Thomas Antony improvement of education goes in the name of construction of school buildings, salary of teachers and staff, new recruitments, teachers’ training, mid-day meal, et al. But, alas, the quality Jyoti Kalbhor of education is getting bad to worse, a fact all government and non-government researches prove. Apart from that, a sizeable chunk of the budget goes to schools in the form of reimbursements (25% seats of private schools are reserved for the economically weaker and unprivileged classes and fees for the same being borne by the government) for the fees of private schools. Yet, irregularities regarding admissions in economically weak and unprivileged quota done by private schools, make headlines in newspapers time and again. And there are various types of this irregularities like giving admission to those not eligible for quota or treating those admitted One Year Subscription: INR 500 under quota as children of lesser God, make them sit separately, conducting separate sessions Cheques/drafts in favour of NISA for them, not paying attention to them in class. Education Undoubtedly, the concerned government takes steps against such schools whenever such news and complaints are registered but the ‘management’ is smarter and always has a way out. And as these schools get reimbursements and land for school from government, they anyhow prove their accountability in front of the government or the concerned authorities. As such accountability of schools towards students and their guardians stay confined to books. And parents whose children get admitted to renowned private schools feel so obliged that cannot ever dare to take school management to task for the said irregularity. DBT i.e. Direct Cash Transfer seems easy and effective in tackling such issues and stop the EDITORIAL OFFICE pilferage of the government fund meant for such purposes. It must be noted that DBT has proved A-69, Hauz Khas, to be effective in checking misappropriation of government subsidy meant for LPG cylinder and New Delhi- 110016, India the plan of government to implement it in other sectors is in final stage. Even if education is taken in the ambit, not only misappropriation of a huge amount in this sector will be checked but the Tel: 011 2653 7456 children will also enjoy the right to education in letter and spirit. They will not only have the Website: nisaindia.org purchasing power but also the right to choose. They will themselves foot the bills and get admitted in the schools of their choice. Now, if they pay the fees out of their pockets chances of being treated as second class citizens in school will diminish. Schools will take them seriously. If such children have a ‘say’ in what to choose, such private schools will start bending over backwards to show they care. It will give rise to a healthy competition amongst schools to attract more and more such students, who definitely stand to gain. But politicians have a mistrust in this regard. They fear poor parents may divert the amount for other seemingly urgent needs. However, the Bicycle Scheme of Bihar has proved to be a crowd (read students) puller for school For sales, subscription & any which is quite heartening. So, School Vouchers may come handy to stop any chance of pilferage of other query, funds meant for such children. In fact, School Voucher scheme is a brain-child of an American economist the Nobel laureate, Milton Freidman. Under this scheme, governments can hand out contact: [email protected] school vouchers, for the children that can be deposited as school fees. Subsequently, the schools can get the vouchers encashed from the government. An exemplary success of such scheme is Food Stamp given by the American government. The author Avinash Chandra is the editor of Azadi.me Volume 2 /Issue 2 Page 2 MESSAGE: FROM STAKEHOLDERS Mr Thomas Antony, Mr Kulbhushan Sharma, NISA Secretariat President, NISA Many congratulations to the Our quarterly magazine, NISA team on the second edition of Namaskar has been working as a NISA Namaskar! As we are the knowledge transforming bridge unified voice of all the Budget within the country. This Private Schools (BPS), I exhort magazine keeps you abreast all our member association about all of National leaders for your kind co- Independent Schools Alliance- operation. We intend that our NISA’s state activities organized activities, voice and positive by our 23 State Associations. I intent reach out to maximum people so more people and would take this opportunity to schools may associate with us. share with you the impactful journey of NISA in the past three months where we had a resounding outreach. We undertook dedicated meetings with Delhi Education Minister, Manish Sisodia; Karnataka Education Minister, Tanveer Sait; Uttarakhand Education Minister, Mantri Prasad Naithani and Tamil Nadu Education Minister, K Pandiarajan to advocate policy changes and policy reform ideas faced by our Budget Private Schools (BPS). We had larger outreach meetings through a few states, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Haryana, where NISA has a Mr Rajesh Malhotra, presence. These meetings proved to be quite fruitful and Vice President (Advocacy), NISA helped NISA and our state associations in advocating the demands of budget private schools.Through these meetings we reached around 4,500 budget private schools. In 'NISA Namaskar' I see a great initiative on part of CCS and NISA Alongside the advocacy activities, we are working on the to bring into focus the many stories quality improvement aspect of our budget private schools. We and journeys that the Budget periodically keep meeting experts to understand the different Private Schools (BPS) sector of aspects of quality improvement for our budget private schools. India has to share with the rest of We are getting close to our aim of executing ‘NISA 100 Model the world. An often ignored sector Schools Program’ across the country. You may read it in that has been silently catering to the further detail in the pages to follow. educational needs of millions of children of this country has now got a voice of its own. The I would like to end with a glad note that about 25 budget private success stories and the challenges of the stakeholders of this schools from our NISA network got the world rankings and sector which unfortunately have never got the attention they recognition by Education World, a leading education deserve would now get highlighted. I am very hopeful that magazine. These schools are contributing to the whole 'NISA NAMASKAR' would prove to be a game changer in the education ecosystem with their own unique innovation, field of Indian education system and would go a long way in bridging the gap between perception and reality of the BPS commitment and passion in providing quality education to the sector. children of this country. Volume 2 /Issue 2 Page 3 EDITOR’S PICK fell by 1.13 crore students and enrolment in private schools rose by ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM 1.85 crore students in India, as per official DISE data. By 2014-15, out of the total 10.53 lakh public elementary schools in [Ms Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, the renowned the country, 3.72 lakh (or about 35% of all) public schools had 50 or Economist and the Professor of Education fewer students, with an average of 29 students per school, 12.7 Economics at University College, London pupils per teacher, a teacher salary expense of Rs 40,800 per year emphasizes per student funding as the single per child, and a monumental teacher salary bill of Rs 41,630 crore most powerful way of improving school/ in 2014-15, a diabolical and unconscionable wastage of scarce teacher accountability.] public resources on pedagogically unviable tiny schools! While the draft NEP says that “efforts will be made to convert A New Educational Policy that doesn’t tackle teacher existing non-viable schools into composite schools for … better accountability won’t go anywhere academic performance and cost effective management”, unless the Source: The Times of India bête noire of school and teacher accountability is addressed, even Let us not mince our words. Remedying the deep malaise afflicting these merged public schools will empty over time! education in the country requires taking by its horn the bull of To raise accountability, the government needs to introduce what school and teacher accountability. Tinkering at the edges will not do almost all good education systems around the world do: incentives the job. in the grant formula of funding for public and aided schools. But the framers of the New Education Policy (NEP) must accept Per student funding is the single most powerful way of improving that the required sweeping accountability reform will inevitably be school/ teacher accountability, used in most educationally painful as it will be strongly opposed by powerful and vocal lobbies. developed nations. When funding is made dependent on a school’s Yet the government must face the pain and take a principled rather number of students, then schools have a financial stake in giving than expedient stance. good education in order to attract and retain students. The recommendations of the T S R Subramanian committee are a Further, giving per-student funding to schools indirectly, via a refreshing departure from the routine official ‘being in denial’ of the school voucher to parents (Direct Benefit Transfer, or DBT), fosters problem; it candidly acknowledges the widespread corruption, lack greater accountability since it empowers parents. With voucher of accountability and reform-blocking teacher unions. funding, hundreds of parents monitor the school every day. This The draft of the NEP released by the HRD ministry is more coy and gives schools an inbuilt incentive to be accountable to voucher- conventional. Most importantly, it shies away from coming up with bearing parents who can punish the schools by withdrawing their convincing remedies for the frightening disease. children and choosing another school. At one level, the HRD ministry is to be congratulated for some Voucher schemes can also greatly improve equity, by giving every excellent provisions in the draft NEP. However, with its huge BPL child in the country the entitlement to attend a private school number of proposed reforms, the NEP is impractical and in danger of their choice, or at least to poor children in 25% seats of private of suffering the same oblivion as the 1986 NEP which was also a schools under the RTE Act 2009. wish list of policies without an overarching theme. The catastrophic accountability situation calls for further root and While the draft NEP does delineate some accountability-raising branch reform. It requires amendment of Article 171 (3c) of the measures, most proposals are weak and vague, eg: “Issues relating Constitution, to do away with teachers’ guaranteed representation to … teacher accountability will be resolved with strong political in the state legislature, which has turned teachers into politicians; it consensus and will” but how consensus will be forged is not demands that publicly paid teachers (in aided schools) be specified; “Principals will be held accountable for the academic recognised as holding an office of profit under the government and performance of the school”, and “Programmes for enhancing … thus be debarred from contesting elections, which has created a accountability of teachers … will be accorded priority”, but who will culture of political activism among teachers; it needs Election do these in what time frame is not specified. Commission to reduce the proportion of teachers in the polling party that mans the voting booths during election time, to reduce Although the proposal to vest disciplinary powers “with the School politicians’ perception that teachers decide election outcomes, Management Committees … to deal with absenteeism and which causes them to shelter chronically absentee teachers from indiscipline” is more promising, it alone is inadequate for the due disciplinary action. mammoth task. There is also no talk of enacting legislation to give the policy effect. It needs empowering parents by publishing information through press/ websites, about the learning levels of children in the On the contrary access- and inputs-enhancing policies that neglect different schools within each town, to promote inter-school accountability have sadly been given legislative force under the competition. This links directly to the prime minister’s idea of RTE Act 2009, which the draft NEP does nothing to abrogate. putting expected learning levels on the wall outside every Section 6 of the RTE Act obligates states to establish public schools classroom. in all neighbourhoods, thus binding states to create more of the kind of non-accountable public schools that parents are deserting: The idea to formulate a new NEP is a wonderful initiative of the during the short four year period from 2011 to 2015, despite an current government, but to fail to put accountability centre stage increase of 9,448 public schools, total enrolment in public schools would be to miss a huge opportunity to restore Indian education to the greatness it deserves. Volume 2 /Issue 2 Page 4 EDUCATION: STATE OF AFFAIRS THE QUALITY OF QUANTITY one teacher—between them, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan have over 48,000 single-teacher schools. Across India, & THE BROKEN STATE OF over five lakh teacher posts lie vacant. Even those schools with teachers suffer from teacher absenteeism. According to World Bank studies, one in four teachers is frequently absent. There is EDUCATION physical absence and absence of accountability. Even when present, teachers are programmed by the system to focus on Source: The New Indian Express completing the syllabus, and not necessarily on learning outcomes. [Shankkar Aiyar Author of Accidental For decades, governments in India have taken refuge in the alley of India: A History of the Nation’s Passage alibis—about diversity, complexity and scale. And even lack of through Crisis and Change ] resources. Thailand and Indonesia, much smaller economies with lesser resources, have shamed India with literacy rates of 94 per It is rare for a guest to be so candid, so bold to tell the hosts some cent and 84 per cent, way before the dawn of the new millennium. honest truths. But Tharman As for scale, China in the 1980s had Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime a literacy rate higher than India has Minister of Singapore, did just that. today. That this is not an issue of He told a power-packed audience at resources is better proved by the Vigyan Bhavan that “schools are the Kerala model. In every decade, biggest crisis in India” and that “it is Kerala has outdone not just India a crisis that cannot be justified”. His but also China. observation is scarcely an unknown The rot in the landscape stems from fact. What made it attention-worthy the divorce of accountability and the is the manner in which he absence of autonomy. The systemic contextualised it. He observed that issues are aggravated by the “the biggest gap between India and placement of education in the Singapore Deputy PM Tharman Shanmugaratnam delivers the NITI East Asia” is the broken-down 'Transforming India' Lecture at a function in New Delhi concurrent list. The First system of education. The state of Administrative Reforms education is unjustifiable and haunts aspiring India. Commission (1966) had observed that the role of the Union The quality of quantity is best illustrated by the ASER Reports of the government in areas which are covered by the state list of subjects past decade. ASER 2004 informed us that four of 10 students in the Constitution should be largely that of a ‘pioneer, guide, between Class II and V in government schools could not read level 1 disseminator of information, overall planning and evaluator’. That basic text and over six of 10 students could not read level II text. It was not to be and education was pitchforked into the concurrent also reported that five of 10 students could not do subtraction or list. At the operational level, the focus should have been about division. ASER 2014 informs us that over five of 10 students in Class learning outcomes. Instead, it has been about buildings and V—and a quarter of students in Class VIII—cannot read Class II budgets. The need for autonomy—for states and schools—has been text. Just over 26 per cent of students in Class V can do repeatedly made. The case for accountability and autonomy is division—and only 44 per cent of those in Class VIII could do a settled in logic and validated by success stories elsewhere. Yet the three-digit by one division. The findings are worrisome. Madhav transition is thwarted. Chavan of Pratham makes a stark observation in the 2014 ASER The causal reasons for the flailing state of education are many Report: “A hundred million children have gone through the schools —from the rather casual approach of political class to complex in the last decade without basic reading and math skills.” issues that determine learning. That said, the failures of the past It is not that money has not been spent on education. Between 2004 decade dictate exit from the business as usual mindset. The first and 2014, allocations for education —Centre plus principle must be to fix the structural flaws —for the Centre to states—quadrupled from `84,111 crore to `3,95,000 crore. Yet facilitate autonomy of policy for states, which translates into outcomes of quality and quantity elude India. Five decades after the facilitation to achieve learning outcomes. The states on their part Kothari Commission, the phenomenon of dropouts persists. The too must enshrine autonomy to local governments with a similar HRD Ministry informed Parliament recently that nearly 62 lakh objective. children dropped out at the primary level in 2013-14. The failure is At the operational level, schools, teachers and governments must most visible in rural India—over 35 per cent not literate, 14 per cent embrace technology. Absenteeism of teachers, for instance, will not have below primary level literacy, and only three in 100 are disappear. How about inducting technology, introducing virtual graduates. teaching by the best in the states with locally recruited minders? The paradox is that even as the government ramped up spending, How about making skills training a part of school curriculum? more parents are sending children to private schools—from 16 per How about incentivising schools and teachers? The BJP is in power cent in 2005 to 30 per cent in 2015 and estimated to touch 50 per in a dozen states. It has the opportunity to invest in the future. How cent by 2020. According to NSSO, every fourth school student is about seeking help from NITI Aayog and pushing the chief also attending private coaching classes. There is no dearth of ministers of these states to create models of innovation that further programmes either. In fact, one suspects, there are too many of the cause of learning? them—Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha The aspiration of Reform, Perform and Transform is a noble intent. Abhiyan, Rashtriya Uchch Shiksha Abhiyan, Padhe Bharat Badhe Education would be a good place to start. Shanmugaratnam Bharat Model School Scheme and so on. observed that the Modi Sarkar is batting on a good wicket. He urged That the children are not doing well is both an issue of quantity and the government to graduate from singles and hit boundaries. The quality. Consider this: Over one lakh schools across India have just advice to eschew incrementalism and adopt radical change to achieve transformation is well-intentioned and well-timed. Volume 2 /Issue 2 Page 5 EDUCATION: STATE OF AFFAIRS NEP WIKI: NEP ALLIANCE DEMOCRATISES DISCOURSE ON THE NEW EDUCATION POLICY National Education Policy Alliance, India’s diverse group of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), has started an avant-garde concept of creating a Wiki on the government’s draft National Education Policy (NEP) to democratize the policy discourse. The Wiki is at www.nep.ccs.in. The idea is to have an open platform to deliberate, publicly collaborate and find realistic solutions for the challenges plaguing the education sector and influence the policy in a participatory manner. It is a collaborative, productive and a transparent platform for public discourse on education policy. Here is some media coverage on the NEP WIKI initiative. INDIA SPEAKS : NEW EDUCATION POLICY Centre for Civil Society and NISA’s representative participated in an elaborate discussion on the challenges and newer possibilities for the upcoming National Education Policy in ‘India Speaks’ show on Lok Sabha TV. Volume 2 /Issue 2 Page 6 EDUCATION: STATE OF AFFAIRS WHY NOT ASSESSMENTS FOR PRIMARY CLASSES AS WELL IN CHUNAUTI 2018: DELHI HIGH COURT Delhi High Court issued a notice to all the Municipal Corporations and the Directorate of Education to file their replies by the next hearing date while hearing a petition filed by India’s leading think tank, Centre for Civil Society (CCS) demanding Chunauti 2018 to be extended to primary classes as well. The next date of hearing is 28 November 2016. The current scheme - Chunauti 2018 prescribes assessments and supplementary learning interventions only for children of classes VI to IX. The recent assessment conducted by Delhi Government of sixth graders found that 74% students were unable to read or write basic text of Hindi, indicating huge learning deficits accrued during primary classes. UMANG PROJECT IMPROVING QUALITY OF EDUCATION IN BUDGET SCHOOLS The Centre for Civil Society (CCS) in collaboration with National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) launched ‘Umang’, a programme to improve the quality of education in budget schools of Ambala district, identified by the Federation of Private Schools Associations, Haryana. Volume 2 /Issue 2 Page 7 EDUCATION: STATE OF AFFAIRS WORKSHOP FOR JOURNALISTS ON EDUCATION: PHILOSOPHY, POLICY & PRACTICE audience by transporting them to a fantasy world. Each one of the participants was asked to close their eyes and visualize their ‘Dream School.’ Every individual spoke from their experiences and reminisced about their childhood. This system emphasized the ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governance’ battle cry which has gradually been applied by the current Modi government in sectors such as defence, railways, ease of doing business, and which Ahead of the cabinet ministerial shuffle, a instances when the Mexico government consequently can be applied in the motley group of educationists, academicians negotiated accountability with the education sector via: and journalists came forth to deliberate teachers’ association at the time of pay l Values- Choice and competition- about the current education system and the raise. The state of affairs in different states competition in the number of schools strong need to bring about a tangible change. painted a sad picture of the education hence giving an access of choice to The two day workshop for the fifteen system. parents and children; participants organized by Centre for Civil Society in Rishikesh emphasized the urgency l Autonomy and accountability: as two sides to the same coin, both these factors of the matter. A strong inclination and root of should be made available to schools and the problem was identified in the way the teachers Indian government works in terms of politicization and cost efficiency which are l Innovations and communities: largely reasons behind the malfunctioning of giving entrée to social and civic education system. communities to innovate and make a difference in the education sector. The Principles that were ruminated: l Fund students, not schools through the Voucher system for the simple reason that the guardian of a child will most importantly and rationally spend on his child’s education and future; l Promote autonomy, not control so as to determine accountability accordingly; l Track outcomes, not inputs so as to ensure a coherent approach in terms of The second session elaborated on the measurability; Some interesting activities were undertaken Education Policy: Voice, Choice and to engage the participants, acquaint them Incentives which was largely an l Reward performance, not compliance; with each other and to promote a interactive session defining the l Encourage innovation, not conformity freewheeling discussion on ‘education.’ The parameters of the policy. The takeaways first day witnessed an interesting ice This exercise also gave resolutions which indicated that competition and low entry breaking activity to familiarize the were reflected in another activity the next barriers amongst schools may ensure participants. The pairing of individuals was day, where contestants were asked to better school education. done, on the basis of iPhone- MacBook, formulate policies based on students, apple-mango, mountain- river, and then they schools’ governance and improving learning were asked to come forth and introduce one’s outcomes. partner along with stating their expectations from the workshop. The interactive element Student Centric Policy of the workshop kept the audience on their Problems: Rote learning, Uniform toes and facilitated discussion on a variety of curriculum, Innovation discouraging issues. approach The first session by Professor Geeta Kingdon Solutions: Innovative pedagogy, on the state of school education in India, was Activity based learning, Teacher full of empirical data. The highlights and responsibility, Supplementary learning, consensus was to increase teacher Case studies (IDEA) accountability as commended in one of the The third session speaker engaged the Volume 2 /Issue 2 Page 8

is equipped with skills like Vedic Maths, Short hand, Acupressure,. Ayurvedic remedies etc. This comes as a shock for the said twenty five thousand
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