While discussing the Right to Education Bill pending in Indian Parliament at www.ashanet.org/dc today -I was amazed to note that even in heart of Delhi the govt schools REFUSE!! to enroll students.
Refuse to enroll — thats right!!
On the one hand there is great talk of getting children to school by giving incentives -like scholarships and providing free transportation, mid-day meals etc. On the other hand, school principals -right inside Delhi – Yamuna river slums area esp. – say no to parents who want their kids to study. If no kids in school -teachers can relax in peace. Makes sense??!! It does to me.
More power to such teachers/principals??
Saw Hindustan Times article today in Asha DC link —- where such mothers used Right To Info RTI powers to get their kids inside schools.
Grade ONE and Passing scores:
Also, another interesting issue arose about standards of testing. If we from www.ashanet.org/dc were to go to an Indian govt school and test the students of grade 2 – how can we say (or the govt say) that they are performing at correct level. Research has shown that grade one (entry level class) is the toughest -so students drop out faster and efforts should be concentrated at grade one level -wth best teachers to teach grade one. Also 2nd and 3rd grade are the grades which can make or break a student — they are the foundation years. If foundation is weak the student can never become a solid student later.
In India students never tested till they reach grade 5. There are no standards for even schools/parents and NGOs to conduct such tests to check their child's proficiency level. In US proficiency level is 75% correct score (getting 70% score is a cause of alarm in most US schools – C grade) — in India 33% passing score is considered great score -enough to go to higher class.
See Virginia state's SOL for all grade levels K-12 – http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Superintendent/Sols/home.shtml
I am preparing some students for grade 8 and grade 5 SOL exams. they also have a grade 3 SOL. If they do not pass these SOL exams – they and their schools will be penalized.
http://indiatogether.org/2005/oct/edu-rightedu.htm There seems near consensus among many NGOs that govt data is puffed up – on school enrollment/achievement levels -as seen from the data in this website which shows that 50% girls in India don't go to school -are not even enrolled!
Indian Govt Teachers Oppose Right To Education: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS/India/Teachers_oppose_Right_to_Education_Bill/articleshow/1695964.cms