Appreciation from Kenya

I live in Nairobi, Kenya and have been an avid reader of EducationWorld for over four years. I believe your annual EW India school and preschool rankings are rendering extraordinary value to Indian school education. I wish similar league tables were available for Kenya.

But my favourite section in your magazine is the book reviews page. The books chosen for evaluation are universal in their appeal, focusing on issues and challenges facing societies around the world.

Your deeply researched cover stories and special report features apart, your hard-hitting editorials are rich with constructive suggestions and provide excellent insights for policy formulators and educators in developing countries. Keep up the good work!

Yusuf Keshavjee
Nairobi (Kenya)

Fly in ointment

I was excited by your cover story on ‘Global Superstar Educator’ Salman Khan (EW February). This extraordinary tech-savvy education missionary has the potential to completely revolutionise vitally necessary foundational (primary-secondary) education by enabling hundreds of millions of children pushed out of rotten government schools in third world countries, to resume learning subjects of their own choice at their own pace. But even your well-written story has failed to sufficiently grasp the human capital development and productivity implications of Khan Academy’s arrival in India.

The stumbling block to KA (India) could prove to be broadband connectivity. With government power generation and distribution companies unable to provide even basic electricity to over 200,000 of India’s 600,000 villages, the Central and state governments who have destroyed Indian education, could once again prove to be the fly in the ointment.

Arvind Mehta

Conflicting addresses

We thank you for ranking EuroKids, BJ Block, Salt Lake #3 in Kolkata in the franchised category of preschools (EW December). However although in your print edition, the address of our school has been correctly stated, on your website, the address is incorrect with the hyperlink directing visitors to another EuroKids preschool (BB Block).

Please correct this anomaly to avoid any inconvenience to parents.

Sanchari Mukherjee
Centre Head, EuroKids, BJ Block, Salt Lake, Kolkata

Establish PIRA!

Thank you for the excellent special report on the sixth EW Early Childhood Education Global Conference (EW February).

There’s a real and present danger that the Central and state governments which have ruined public K-12 education, will also ruin pre-primary education. In fact, government interference with private preschools has become a reality in Tamil Nadu with ill-conceived regulations having already been enacted.

Inspection and reform recommendations for ECCE centres should be the province of an expert independent regulatory authority — Preschools Independent Regulatory Authority (PIRA) — not venal government school inspectors. Meanwhile, the Union government’s ICDS (anganwadis) budget which was slashed by half in the Union budget 2015-16 should be restored immediately with state governments obliged to match Central government allocations for anganwadis. It’s time to get serious about ECCE!

Manisha Chakraborty

QEFI petition

At the recent launch of the ‘Start-Up India’ initiative (January 16), prime minister Narendra Modi reiterated his promise to reach quality education to every child in India, even if residing in far-flung, rural, underdeveloped areas.

The Quality Education Forum of India (QEFI), through a petition to the prime minister, has suggested ways to realise this dream. Among our recommendations: enact a new Right to Quality Education Act, 2016 to replace the faulty Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009; enhance the primary education budget allocation to equip and upgrade government primary schools; encourage promotion of private schools by offering them incentives and relaxing regulatory norms; ensure learning outcomes take precedence over infrastructure inputs, and encourage promotion of new schools under the public-private partnership model.

We want your readers and every responsible member of society to endorse this petition.

Archanaa Pande
Convener, Quality Education Forum of India, Lucknow