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Editorial

Dear Friends,

In the last CCS Impact, I talked about the adverse effects of the infrastructure norms mandated by the Right to Education Act. Media reports that the total number of schools that have been closed or issued a notice for closure across nine states alone is 8,809 (2,983 closed, 5,907 under threat) displacing over 1,600,200 poor children. The figures by our coordinators of National Independent Schools Alliance are even more alarming—19,414 schools have been closed or issued notice across 17 states impacting over 3,494,520 poor children.

How are schools being shut? Where are displaced children going? What’s happening to the teachers? What are parents doing? These are some of the immediate concerns that trouble us all. The lack of reliable information prompted us to initiate a research study to understand the status of school closures and its impact. The first leg of this study was rolled out in two districts of Punjab – Barnala and Mansa, which are among the worst affected districts in the state. The preliminary findings were quite alarming. While 72 schools have been shut down in Barnala district, Mansa district has seen 42 school closures displacing almost 5,904 and 7,602 students respectively and leading to 360 and 252 teachers losing their job in the above districts.

  • The schools in Mansa never received any written notice for closure: neither were they inspected nor an inspection report given. They were told on the phone to close down.
  • In Barnala, schools were sent notices on the grounds of non-compliance with Section 12(1)(c) of the Act, which stipulates that private schools provide 25% seats to disadvantaged children.
  • The education officials followed no due process, lacked clarity of processes and provisions of the Act and made little effort to inform schools about RTE norms or their plan for enforcement.
  • The authorities made no arrangements to guarantee the displaced students an alternative school. Schools were closed in the middle of the academic session, impacting regular studies of children.
  • Total of 612 teachers lost their job with very few options for alternative employment.
  • Many of these schools have been losing students over last couple of years, mostly as a result of rumours of private schools being closed under the Act by local press and government authorities.
  • Despite all these, most parents have chosen to send their children to another private school bearing the additional expenses of re-location in the form of admission fees, higher school fees and increased transportation costs.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Instead of guaranteeing education, the Right to Education Act is taking away education that the poor have. We really cannot be a silent spectator to this catastrophe that has already started and would affect estimated 72,000,000 poor children studying in over 400,000 budget private schools in the country.

In June, we launched Boondein, a national campaign to strengthen the voice of budget private schools to ensure that poor children have the choice of quality education at an affordable price. Here’s how you can join this movement—Champion this cause and support our advocacy efforts (write to Pari Jhaveri); Contribute, donation of any amount is appreciated; and Connect to keep the discussion alive at our Right to Education portal.

It’s time to RIGHT this Wrong!

For the Right to Education of Choice!

Parth


Fund Students, Not Schools!
Pari Jhaveri | Director, School Choice Campaign

Boondein LaunchSchool Choice Campaign (SCC) has seen a renewed vigor and impetus in protecting the rights of children such that they are able to avail affordable quality education of their choice. Our mission and work has seen effective traction and impact across stakeholders this quarter. Read more.

 

Removing Barriers to Livelihood
Gaurav Arora | Associate Director, Skill Voucher Program

Vikalp voucherThe new phase of Vikalp began with a lot of experimentation–from conducting melas during the weekday to handing over the vouchers to the aspirants. The training providers realised the importance of the stringent timelines and came together for joint mobilisation, extending their full support by visiting communities. Read more.

 

CCS Academy
Baishali Bomjan | Director, Development and Outreach

Summer InternshipThe first quarter of this financial year has been an exciting and meaningful one at CCS Academy–strategy planning and annual goal setting for team and individuals, change in leadership and team structure, an alumni meet and ìpolicy, and 24 interns buzzing in CCS office for the acclaimed Researching Reality Summer Internship! Read more.

 

New faces at CCS

Nikunj
Nikunj Beria
Nikunj has worked as the Government Relations and Alumni Impact Manager at Teach For India, Mumbai and was a TFI fellow in 2011-13. He joins CCS as Manager of Patang. He has a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communications from Manipal Institute of Technology.
Priyanka
Priyanka Anand Chadha
Priyanka is an Economics graduate from the National University of Singapore and Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University and has a degree in Strategy and Finance from the Indian School of Business. Priyanka has worked in the field of social entrepreneurship and has also published two research papers on sustainable city growth in edited volumes and presented her papers in major international conferences. She comes on board as Manager, Advocacy for SCC.
Rohan
Rohan Joshi
Rohan has a Master’s Degree in Education from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. He has extensive experience in the Education and Skill Development sectors, having worked with and led projects for the public and private sector, and NGOs. He joins us as Associate Director, SCC.
Sajad
Sajad Santhosh
Sajad completed his Masters in Development Studies from IIT Madras. He joins the SCC team as a Research Associate. He has a keen interest in public policy and urban studies.
NEW PUBLICATIONS

Boondein: Stories of hope from Budget Private Schools in India

BoondeinIn Boondein, a coffee table book published by NISA, we have journeyed to four states and visited a number of budget private schools with diverse financial and social structures. Forty five stories of fortitude and commitment of parents, teachers, students and school owners have been presented, which capture and showcase the essence of these schools, why parents prefer these schools to their government counterparts, what made these edupreneurs start these schools; building evidence for their relevance and acknowledging their contribution in achieving universal education and schooling for all children in India.

RTE State Rules Matrix

RTE State Rules MatrixThis Matrix features an in-depth analysis of state rules under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. It broadly classifies the rules into seven key categories, further divided to provide clause level summary.

Soft copies of these publications are available for download on the CCS website. For hard copies, email ccs@ccs.in.
 
Jeevika Campaign: Over a Decade of Impact
Jeevika - over a decade of pact
 
CCS in the MEDIA
By CCS
  • Board Member Praveen Chakravarty in the Indian Express on Aadhar and the Rhetoric of Fear. 23 June 2014.
Quoting CCS
About CCS
 

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