Over the past few decades, the education sector in India has undergone a paradigm shift — what was previously a sector with largely government schools and relatively limited service providers, today, the sector has grown by leaps and bounds and we now see a rapid rise in private schools, proliferation of service providers, expansion and easy access to sophisticated technology, and an ever expanding demand for high quality affordable education. As a result of this drastic growth, Budget Private Schools (BPS) as of today are a reality one can hardly overlook. With an enrolment of around 60 million averaging to around 29% of our students (ASER Report 2013), BPS have emerged, as a natural response to meet the urgent education needs of the nation. Operating on thin margins, their emphasis has been on learning outcomes rather than only on infrastructure and facilities. Systematic research has shown that they produce the same learning outcomes as the government schools, but at only one-third the cost. Despite all the pros, today Budget private schools face several challenges.
Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), Government of India is working on developing New Education Policy (NEP). The last NEP was brought out in 1986 and later amended in 1992. MHRD aims to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping our students with the necessary skills and knowledge to eliminate the shortage of manpower. The objective of the upcoming NEP therefore is to meet the changing needs of quality education, innovation and research.
Considering the pivotal role BPS play in expanding the access of education to the poorest in India, it becomes imperative that a platform like School Choice National Conference to be dedicated on Budget Private Schools. The objectives of SCNC are two-fold:
Bring together educationists, planners, policy experts, activists and government officials to discuss and debate various dimensions of education policy for Budget Private Schools in India.
Showcase cost effective innovative models that foster an enabling education ecosystem.
The 2016 edition of conference will have 3 thematic sessions:
Regulatory Challenges: The session aims to highlight regulatory system within which Budget Private Schools exist, identify areas of conflict and suggest for a regulatory system to match its eco-system.
Research Evidence: The session aims to bring evidence on quality of learning and cost effectiveness in Budget Private Schools. It also aims to identify various aspects of Budget Private Schools which lacks credible evidence.
Innovation in Classroom: This session aims to highlight innovation and development with regard to teacher training, leadership building, classroom management and integration of technology etc.
Dr Amit ChandraWorks as Associate Director – Policy Advisory with CCS
Dr Amit Chandra currently works as Associate Director – Policy Advisory with Centre for Civil Society, a Delhi based public policy research think tank of international repute. Before leading the entire policy advisory vertical of the organisation, he successfully led Jeevika Campaign as advocating policy solutions to the livelihood issues of unorganised sector which helped shape legislation on street vending in Rajasthan and Bihar. He graduated in Commerce, post graduated in Social Work and received Doctorate of Philosophy for thesis on the issue of cycle rickshaws in Delhi. He has made representations in many regional, national and international conferences. He has a rich experience in strategic planning, program designing and execution with good understanding of challenges at grassroot.
Dr Anirban GangulyDirector of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation
Dr Anirban Ganguly is the Director of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi. He is a scholar of Indian civilization, history, culture and politics. He is a Member of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), MHRD, Member of the Policy Research Department of BJP, Co-Convenor of BJP Library & Documentation Department & Visiting Faculty at Banaras Hindu University. He has authored and edited a number of books, monographs, chapters and papers and regularly lectures at leading university and educational institutions across the country. He is also an Author and a Columnist.
Ashok ThakurFounder of Muni International School
Ashok Thakur is Founder of Muni International School. An alumnus of Delhi University and ex-servicemen, Ashok established the budget private school to pursue his dream. He is passionate about the education sector hence left his cushy business and started a school through modest means. His school radically re-imagines education- its purpose, structures and spaces to make learning dialogic, reflexive and student-centric. It adopts the ‘Eklavya model’ of CREATION, ‘GRS’ of peer-learning that decentres teacher authority to reconstitute the teacher as a motivator and facilitator of learning through “Guided Discovery”.
Baijayant ‘Jay’ PandaCurrently serving his second term as a Member of Parliament
Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda is currently serving his second term as a Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament. Previously, he has also served two terms in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament. After finishing his education in engineering and management, he had started his career in the corporate sector. During this time, he was actively involved in industry organisations like the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the International Chromium Development Association. The transition to full-fledged public life came as a result of his desire to see a new and efficient style of politics and governance in India.
BIKKRAMA D SINGHleads Central Square Foundation’s work in the area of school systems
Bikkrama leads Central Square Foundation’s work in the area of school systems and governance. He joined CSF with training in economics, business and education. Prior to joining CSF, Bikkrama, a Teach For India (2011) Fellow, worked for two years as an elementary school teacher in a municipal school in Delhi. He has also worked as a management consultant with Accenture in India on a variety of projects related to change management, performance improvement, cost reduction and supply chain. Bikkrama is an MBA from INSEAD and holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
PROF GEETA GANDHI KINGDONChair of ‘Education Economics and International Development’
Prof Kingdon holds the Chair of ‘Education Economics and International Development’ at UCL Institute of Education, University College London. Prior to this, she worked for 10 years as faculty at the Department of Economics, University of Oxford. Her research is based mostly on statistical analysis of education datasets. Based on this research, she advises governments and donor agencies such as the World Bank, European Union (EU) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) on their education-related aid to developing countries. She has frequently been a member of the Union Human Resource Development Ministry’s ‘Joint Review Missions’ of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and of the Secondary education programme (the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan), a member of the Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Board (Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad), and also serves on the Government of UP’s Advisory Committee on Basic Education. In 2013, Professor Kingdon was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Kingston University London for “her outstanding contributions to education and development”.
Dr J. S. ParanjyothiCompetent Teacher /Educator Trainer
Dr J. S. Paranjyothi was a competent Teacher /Educator Trainer. He established SHAMARY Educational Research and Training Institute, and organized several Training Programs for the Students on study skill, career guidance, for Parents on Parenting skills, for Teachers on Educational Philosophy, Psychology, Methodology, Technology and Class Management skills. The Private Schools Principals of several Districts of Andhra Pradesh were trained by Dr. Paranjyothi through his novel Training Programs called CPEP’s (Correspondents’ Professional Enrichment Program). Dr Paranjyothi was also a member of the advisory committee representing the State Private Schools Association invited by the Secretary to the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Department of School Education, to advise on the modifications to the Education Act and G.O. Ms. No. 1 of 1994.
Kavita AnandFounder director of both, Adhyayan Quality Education Services and Adhyayan Foundation
Kavita Anand is founder director of both, Adhyayan Quality Education Services and Adhyayan Foundation. She was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship in 2015 for her social entrepreneurship and single minded focus on bringing quality to schools through leadership development. Kavita serves on the board of organisations such as the Institute of School Leaders, India, Somaiya Vidyavihar, The Somaiya School, Kapila Khandvala B.Ed College, Educate for Life and Apni Shala. She has provided long-term consultancy services in Leadership and Management for India-based programmes of the Open University, UK and the National College of Teaching and Leadership, UK. Over her career spanning 30 years, she has worked in organizations such as Aga Khan Education Services and the Sir Ratan Tata Trust. In 2001, she set up and led Shishuvan School, Mumbai, for 12 years.
Kulbhushan SharmaPresident of Federation of Private Schools Associations
Kulbhushan Sharma is the President of Federation of Private Schools Associations, Haryana. He is also State President of Patriotic Forum of India and State Working President of National Human Rights Protection Organisation and President, National Independent Schools Alliance. Previously, he has been General Council Member of the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and Member of the School Education Rues Review Committee.
Manish SisodiaAn Indian politician who has been the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi
Manish Sisodia is an Indian politician who has been the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi since February 2015. He also holds the Finance and Planning, Revenue, Services, Power, Education, Higher Education, Information Technology, Technical Education, Administrative Reforms portfolios in the government of Delhi. Previously, he was briefly a cabinet minister in the Government of Delhi. Prior to being elected to the Legislative Assembly of Delhi in December 2013, Sisodia was a social activist and journalist as well as a member of the National Executive Committee of the Aam Aadmi Party.
Dr Parth J ShahFounder President of the Centre for Civil Society (CCS)
Dr Parth J Shah is the Founder President of the Centre for Civil Society (CCS). CCS advances social change through public policy. Their work in education, livelihood, and policy training promotes choice and accountability across the private and public sectors. To translate policy into practice, CCS engages with policy and opinion leaders through research, pilot projects and advocacy. Parth taught economics at the University of Michigan before returning to India to start CCS. He has published academic articles in the areas of development economics, welfare economics, business-cycle theory, free or laissez-faire banking, and currency-board systems. He has edited Morality of Markets, Friedman on India, Profiles in Courage: Dissent on Indian Socialism, Do Corporations have Social Responsibility?, and co-edited Law, Liberty, and Livelihood, The Terracotta Reader, and Agenda for Change.
Prashant NarangAn advocate at heading iJustice
Prashant Narang is an advocate heading iJustice, a public interest law initiative supported by the Centre for Civil Society. An ardent advocate of economic freedom for poor, Prashant engages in public interest litigation for budget private school owners and street vendors. A ‘Nani Palkhivala’-gold medalist in the LL.M. program at Jindal Global Law School, he has a keen interest in regulatory frameworks. His publications include ‘Regulatory Barriers to Litigation in India’ in Asian Journal of Law and Economics, 'Time for Manushi-II' in the Student Law Journal of National Law University- Delhi and ‘RTE-Another License Raaj’ in Auro Law Journal (best paper– professional category). Prashant has also contributed to some of the well-known law blogs in India such as Law and Other Things and My Law. He teaches a course ‘Law and Public Policy’ at some of the top law schools in India as a CCS guest faculty.
Rohan Joshiheads the Research vertical of Centre for Civil Society
Rohan Joshi heads the Research vertical of Centre for Civil Society. Rohan has a long experience of working in Education and Skill Development sectors with wide variety of organizations ranging from NGOs, private companies to Government departments. Rohan has been a part of multiple large scale projects in Education sector such a School Excellence Program of Mumbai Municipal Corporation, Skill Development Cell of the Dept of Social Justice and Special Assistance, Government of Maharashtra. Rohan holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, with specialization in Language Pedagogy and Education Policy. He is affiliated with a few Government and Non-government organizations in India in the capacity of an advisor and board member.
S. K. Bhattacharyaformer Principal of Bal Bharati Public School
S. K. Bhattacharya is the former Principal of Bal Bharati Public School, Ganga Ram. Currently, he is Advisor of Child Education Society, Secretary – Manager of Bal Bharati Public School Pitampura, Chairman Bal Bharati Public School, Navi Mumbai, Chairman, Nursery Teachers Training Institute, President Action Committee of Private Unaided Recognized Schools, an apex body of nine major Associations of Private unaided Schools, former chairman NPSC, and the recipient of Life time Achievement Award of NPSC.
Sujatha MuthayyaResearch Associate at CCS
Sujatha Muthayya started her career with Centre for Civil Society as a Research Associate. Over the last 15 years, she has worked on developing service delivery for the bottom of the pyramid with a particular focus on private education. Over the years, she has worked with the Rural Technology and Business Incubator, Professor James Tooley, Intellecap, Centre for Civil Society and Pearson. She is currently the Expansion Director, India for Bridge International Academies where she launched the first schools in Andhra Pradesh and spearheads strategic and policy efforts for Bridge's forays into India.
Susmita BasuHead of the Quality Assurance and Innovations Department
Susmita Basu has been the Head of the Quality Assurance and Innovations Department, (QAID) City Montessori School (CMS) Lucknow for over six years. Susmita (as head, QAID) along with her team engages in regular inspection throughout the academic session, of all the twenty campuses of City Montessori School (many of which are Council affiliated ISC and ICSE campuses). The QAID looks after the administrative and academic programmes of the various campuses of City Montessori School, Lucknow. Prior to this, Susmita was Head, Innovations Wing, CMS for over eight years. She has done her Bachelors with (Honours) and post graduation in Economics and she has worked as a Research Associate with the Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi, Programme Officer at the Voluntary Health Association of India in New Delhi and further, with the editorial department of the India Today magazine.
Dr Udit RajMember of Parliament (Lok Sabha)
Dr Udit Raj is a Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), from North-west Delhi constituency, National Chairman, All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations and Chairman, Buddha Education Foundation and formerly, a serving officer of the prestigious Indian Revenue Services (IRS). He is one of the most influential leaders of BJP and one of the strongest dalit leaders. He is also an Indian Social Activist and member of National Executive of Bharatiya Janata Party. He was selected for the prestigious Indian Revenue Service in 1988 and served as the Deputy, Commissioner, Joint Commissioner and Additional Commissioner of Income Tax at New Delhi. It was due to his efforts that the Atal Bihari Government passed the 81st, 82nd and 85th Constitutional Amendments which in turn led to the retrieval of reservation benefits. He remains the only person in the history of independent India to have pushed three Constitutional Amendments through the Indian Parliament.
Vivek KathpaliaHead of the Singapore office of the multi skilled
Vivek Kathpalia is the head of the Singapore office of the multi skilled, research-based international law firm, Nishith Desai Associates. He heads the Education, TMT & International Commercial Law Practice Groups. He has been advising clients from across the spectrum in the education space. Vivek earned a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the Government Law College, Mumbai and is a Solicitor affiliated with the Bombay Incorporated Law Society. He is a member of the Bombay Bar Association, Bar Council of Maharashtra & Goa, the International Bar Association and Vice Chair of the TMT committee of the Inter Pacific Bar Association. He is a registered foreign attorney in Singapore with a special license to practice Indian law. He divides his time between Singapore & India.