ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Padma M SarangapaniSubscribe to RSS - Padma M Sarangapani

Preparing to Teach

District Institutes of Education and Training were the Indian state’s first and only significant institutional investment in elementary teacher education, ushering in a new phase of elementary schoolteacher preparation nationwide. This worm’s-eye view of one such institute in a backward district of Maharashtra suggests that, far from being “dysfunctional,” the pre-service teacher education at these places is engaged and responsive to local needs. The problems encountered by student–teachers and teacher–educators have more to do with the neglect and arbitrary nature of the system than the negligence and dereliction of duty of actors and agents within the institution. The proposal by the ministry to do away with teacher education at these institutes demonstrates that policymaking is often based on assumption rather than reality, borne out by research.

Is Education News?

This article reports the findings of a study that examined the nature of school education-related reporting in the Mumbai edition of a national newspaper for the period September 2008 to 2009, the period in which the Right to Education Act was debated and passed by Parliament. Content analysis of all stories pertaining to school education and appearing in all sections revealed that education news accounted for a mere 1.6% of all news on an average annually, and a mere 3% of this reporting pertained to rural areas. The news was overwhelmingly related to the concerns of the middle-class English-medium education readership. The RTE Act itself received very limited reporting.

Quality, Feasibility and Desirability of Low Cost Private Schooling

The article "Feasibility of Implementation of Right to Education Act" (EPW, 20 June 2009) makes the argument that some budget private schools have demonstrated their ability to provide quality education at considerably low salaries for teachers. This comment disagrees: there is no credible evidence to prove that the education offered by budget private schools is comparable, leave alone viable or desirable.

Tedium of Schooling

Social Implications of Schooling: Knowledge, Pedagogy and Consciousness by Avijith Pathak; Rainbow Publishers, New Delhi, 2002; pp 260, hardback Rs 325

Aided Programmes or Guided Policies?

This article reviews the structure, functioning, impact and implications of the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP), in Karnataka. Assessed against the mandate of the programme and its validity in the field, the article calls attention to the limitations of the programme and to its impact on the state's policies for education.

Science Teaching

Teaching Science to Schoolchildren

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