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The Meaning of Privatization


Most of us keep using the term ‘privatisation’ as if it has one meaning. The article that I link below is a fine informative piece on the ‘theory and rhetoric of privatisation’ in the Western societies. But we need to recognise that in some societies the state and politics worked to to protect the ‘private […]

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Enemy of the people


Just saw a film by Satyajit Ray based on Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 play “Enemy of the People”. The script of this film is set in small town India. The central character in the plot is a doctor, Asok Gupta, who has found a simple ‘truth’ about the existence of disease causing bacteria in the water […]

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Affordable, but at what cost?


Published today in Pakistan Today‘s Sunday Magazine.  The complete magazine may be downloaded at review+54+for+web [huge file tho 26 MB] or read online here  When an over- loaded bus carrying 102 school-children from a Faisalabad institution plunged down a deep ravine on the curving motorway near the Kallar Kahar hills, the entire nation was stunned by the tragedy. 38 […]

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Any Standardised Test is Inauthentic?


‘Any standardised test is inauthentic and that you do not need to test in order to assess’…Provocative, ain’t it? Before you read on, let me say that this post, like some [not all] of the other posts on this blog, is an attempt to provide the readers of this blog with a range of opinions […]

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The other side of the coin | pakistanpolicyideas | Some Reflections


A couple of days ago, I wrote about some issues related to the use of standardised testing for accountability on this blog.  In an update to the same post, I mentioned a statement issued by a gathering of members of Pakistan’s academic, civil, and political society at the Harvard University.  This statement also mentioned the idea of minimum standards […]

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Cheating in Atlanta Schools


Haven’t you heard the sound of warning shots fired by some advocates on this problem already?  Haven’t you heard the warnings about the possibility of schools gaming the system when faced with high stakes test-based accountability measures? The report I read today describes one example of this actually happening in the state of Georgia in […]

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Egypt, Foreign Aid, and Pakistan


The recent uprising in Egypt has raised all kinds of questions about the relationship between the Western and middle-eastern governments and populations.  Among several others, the question of handling of aid from bi-lateral aid agencies such as USAID, DFID, and others has also come under scrutiny.  David Rieff, the analyst at TNR, was rather ruthless […]

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