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...The way of giving government funding can alter the fortunes of India’s children. Specifically, direct benefit transfer (DBT) or school voucher to parents would be a scholarship to every eligible child, enabling him/her to attend any school of their choice whose fee is upto the monetary value specified on the voucher. Equally importantly, voucher funding would make India’s lax government schools and teachers more accountable by linking a school’s funding (and thus teacher salaries) to its ability to attract and retain children. ...TOI on Sept. 12, 2017, 2 a.m.
...Although the upset of the current-year board examinees is understandable, yet it is right to do away with the status quo of systematically covering up the true quality of education by large-scale artificial inflation of marks by the exam boards, which maintains a pretence of high achievement. For example, last year CBSE inexplicably gave exactly 95 marks in math to any student who actually got 79 to 95 marks, and arbitrarily inflated the English mark of all its Delhi examinees by 12 marks. In Uttar Pradesh there are instances of 100% moderation, e.g. pupils with 28% marks in chemistry being given 56% marks in their report card. ...TOI on May 30, 2017, 2:07 a.m.
...Tinkering at the edges will not do the job. But the framers of the New Education Policy (NEP) must accept that the required sweeping accountability reform will inevitably be painful as it will be strongly opposed by powerful and vocal lobbies. Yet the government must face the pain and take a principled rather than expedient stance. The recommendations of the T S R Subramanian committee are a refreshing departure from the routine official ‘being in denial’ of the problem; it candidly acknowledges the widespread corruption, lack of accountability and reform-blocking teacher unions. The draft of the NEP released by the HRD ministry is more coy and conventional. Most importantly, it shies away from coming up with convincing remedies for the frightening disease. At one level, the HRD ministry is to be congratulated for some excellent provisions in the draft NEP. ...TOI on Aug. 26, 2016, 2 a.m.