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India

India's Future: Is Private School For The Masses Possible?

As the world's largest democracy goes to the polls for national elections, a closer look at India's struggle to improve its schools through privatization. Even for the poor.

Children go to school on a rickshaw in Lucknow, India
Children go to school on a rickshaw in Lucknow, India
Julien Bouissou

LUCKNOW — Armal Ali lives in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Lucknow, the capital city of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The 11 members of his family live together in a small windowless concrete cube. He spends his days sitting cross-legged in front of a weaving loom, embroidering saris famous all over the country for their golden threads. In this area, however, these long cloths are mostly known for damaging the eyesight and the backs of those who make them.

As he toils, Ali dreams of a different life for his 9-year-old daughter, Ousma. “Not so much,” he says, “but at least that she sits behind a desk, for example, with a lot of light around her.” He would also like for her to speak English, like “the people in suits and ties on television that talk all day long about money.”

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Two Ukrainian soldiers at a military base on the outskirts of the separatist region of Donetsk

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Halito!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine gets underway in Kyiv, Kim Jong-un slams North Korean officials’ response to the coronavirus outbreak and Mexico’s National Registry of Missing People reaches a grim milestone. Meanwhile, Ukrainian news outlet Livy Bereg looks at the rise of ethnic separatism across Russia’s federal regions.

[*Choctaw, Native American]

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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