[South Korea] The National Assembly on Thursday passed a bill that aims to prevent Korean students from taking school courses beyond their regular academic schedule.
Rep. Kang Eun-hee of the Saenuri Party, who proposed the bill with Rep. Lee Sang-min of the Democratic Party, said Korean students are often forced to study subjects for subsequent semesters in advance at school or private institutes, known as hagwon. The widespread practice, even involving elementary school students, is meant to boost their chances for admission to elite schools.
The excessive competition leads to more difficult entrance exams by higher level education institutes, which in turn pushes students to study more courses in advance. Rep. Kang said the practice is a main factor driving up the already heated private education system in Korea, spawning a profitable market valued at 19.4 trillion won ($17.9 billion) per year.
Once you get past the short term emergency, basic life-sustaining relief efforts, what does the transition to recovery look like? After water, food, sanitation are improved, what becomes the big challenge next?
This is an important question to start addressing from the very beginning. What is important is to work on the resumption of basic social services so there is a sense of normalcy and children can access these services. Amongst the most importance, is the resumption of education so that children are in a familiar environment and begin the healing process. In addition, children will need pyschosocial support, to deal with the stress that they have been under, including the possible loss of lives in their families and loved ones. We also need to start looking at early recovery and reconstruction activities from the get go, starting with water systems but also looking at health and education infrastructure.
This is a crucial time for us. It is during times like this when you are most needed. It is important that you recognize your leadership role. The leader has to stand strong. Without a leader, chaos just spontaneously erupts.
Let’s look for people first. Don’t worry about damages to property – we will deal with that later. The worst thing is to count buildings and fallen trees and not account for our people.
Second, let’s bring our children back to school. The best way for kids to recover is to bring them back to their routine as soon as possible – and that is to bring them to school. There is no need to conduct classes right away. Let them play. Do activities.
The Department of Education must be the spokesperson for children. Bring them back to school; then we will start accounting for them. Let’s see who are not present and who cannot be contacted: sick, missing.
In times of crisis, we account for the lost sheep. This is what the leader should do: to leave the 99 and look for the lost sheep.
More info on the impact of Typhoon Haiyan on children and education:
An estimated 2.8 million preschool and school aged children may have been driven from their homes. In the hardest hit area of Region 8: Eastern Visayas, more than 3,000 schools and 2,400 day care centres appear to be affected (via UNICEF)
Cairo:It is a small photograph of a young man on a page in an Egyptian primary-school textbook. But to many watching closely, it is a big step for education in the Arab world.
Khalid Saeed was the 28-year-old Egyptian computer programmer dragged out of an Internet café and beaten to death by Alexandria police after he posted a video of two of them allegedly divvying up drug money after a bust.
The Facebook page commemorating his life and expressing outrage over his 2010 death eventually mushroomed into the movement that overthrew president Hosni Mubarak.
Khalid Saeed’s story will be taught to all second-graders (seven and eight-year-olds) in Egypt, marking a modest attempt at curriculum reform in an otherwise stodgy educational system.
The Education Management Information System (EMIS) statistics for 2012 indicate that Namibia has about 24 660 teachers of whom 1 208 are without teacher training and about 3 000 are underqualified.
"This is a concern to all. Namibia needs more teachers. Namibia needs better teachers. And Namibia needs teachers who optimally deliver at all times. The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers," Namwandi stressed.
In an attempt to rectify the dire situation, UNESCO developed a Teachers Strategy 2012-2015’ that focuses on developing capacity for training and building a high-quality teaching force in those countries most hampered by the lack of teachers, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The establishment of more specialist universities and education campuses for teacher training could see South Africa substantially increasing the quality and quantity of new teachers entering the profession.
A recent report from the National Education Evaluation and Development Unit (NEEDU, which forms part of the Department of Basic Education), was previously presented to the Committee, stating that there were substantial challenges with the quality of teachers and that for this reason it was desirable to develop a new qualification policy for teacher education.