PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Apr 7 2014 (IPS) - Following scattered defiance of the Taliban earlier, a new wave of students is now heading for education in schools and colleges across the troubled north of Pakistan.
“There is a steady increase in enrolment of students because parents have realised the significance of education, and now they want to thwart the Taliban’s efforts to deprive students of education,” Pervez Khan, education officer in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), tells IPS.
In 2012, he says, the literacy rate for girls was three percent in FATA. That rose to 10.5 percent in 2013.
The boys literacy rate shot up correspondingly to 36.6 percent compared to 29.5 percent.
The Taliban are opposed to modern education. They have destroyed about 500 schools, including 300 schools for girls.
Khan says the Taliban’s campaign against education is only propelling more of the tribal population towards schools.
“The majority of people know that the Taliban are pursuing anti-people activities, such as damaging schools, and therefore they are now coming in droves,” he says.
Eastern Sudan is a region facing extreme poverty, as well as high rates of undernutrition and maternal and infant mortality. Its schools have among the lowest enrolment rates in the country.
According to the 2010 Sudan Household Health Survey, only 48.9 per cent of girls and 61.4 per cent of boys in the state attend school. And, only 28.7 per cent of children complete primary school, compared to a national average of 62.7 per cent.
But, at Jamam primary school, the transition to a CFS model has brought about major improvements in learning, as well as in student enrolment and retention. (via In the Sudan, a transformed school transforms children – and their community | UNICEF:Learning for Peace)
Can an iPad Game Teach You About Slavery?
A lone woman flees into the woods, clinging tightly to a crying baby. She needs to put the child down in order to clear a path, but when she does a shadowy creature slowly make its way toward the baby — if she’s too slow she’ll lose the child to the shadows. That woman is Isaura, a fictional African slave in Brazil during the 1700s, and the protagonist of Thralled, an in-development game for iPad. “Slavery, as a legacy and an institution, is a topic that needs discussing,” says lead designer Miguel Oliveira. “And we want to bring it up to discussion.”
"We have the potential to involve people in the subject and create a sense of empathy that can only be achieved with direct involvement," he says. "With Thralled, we want to try to encourage empathy for victimized people and thus heighten sensibility for others’ suffering … interactive media has the potential to change people, and yet this potential is mostly left unexplored. We want to make an effort in the way of exploring it." So far during testing, which has included a few students, these efforts have proved largely successful. "People have had strong emotional reactions, which makes me think that Thralled has the potential of teaching and getting people interested about this and related topics."
(via Can an iPad game teach you about slavery? | The Verge)
Courage and Hope gives voice to the real life experiences of 12 HIV-positive teachers, five of whom are women, from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania (both Mainland and Zanzibar) and Zambia. The teachers recount their experiences of discovering their HIV-positive status and how this has affected them in their families, their communities, and their professional lives.
Their stories are documented by journalists, emphasizing the human dimension. The voices of these teachers suggest that a number of obstacles are commonly faced by teachers living with HIV. Paramount among them are stigma and discrimination, both within their families and communities as well as their workplaces and in society more generally. The difficulties of overcoming stigma and discrimination are further exacerbated by a failure to ensure confidentiality in the workplace.
(via Courage and Hope: Stories from Teachers Living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa)
[MALI] Children in Timbuktu are returning to their classrooms over a year since the end of the occupation of the ancient desert city by militant Islamists.
Schools dispensing ‘western-style’ education – as opposed to Qur’anic institutions – had been prime targets for attack. Books were burned, furniture looted and buildings destroyed. Now Timbuktu is firmly on the road to postwar recovery there has been a slow but steady return to normal life
(via Mali pupils return to school in Timbuktu – video | Global development | theguardian.com)
Residents of a town in north-east Nigeria are furious at the Nigerian security forces for withdrawing checkpoints ahead of a bloody attack by Islamist militants on a local school.
At least 29 teenage boys died in the raid, blamed on Boko Haram, on a rural boarding school in Yobe state. Residents say soldiers guarding a nearby checkpoint were mysteriously withdrawn just before the attack.
The attackers reportedly hurled explosives into student residential buildings, sprayed gunfire into rooms and hacked a number of students at the secondary school to death.
“Some of the students’ bodies were burned to ashes,” Police Commissioner Sanusi Rufai said of the raid on the Federal Government College of Buni Yadi.
All the victims were boys - female students were told to go home, get married and abandon education, said teachers at the school.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sin”, has attacked dozens of schools in north-east Nigeria, since it began it began its bloody fight for an Islamic state in the north of the country in 2009.
(via BBC News - Nigeria school attack: Fury at military over Yobe deaths)