[UNITED STATES] The number of alternative programs nationwide has skyrocketed, rising from 70 programs in the 2000-2001 school year to 658 in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and these programs now make up 31 percent of all teacher preparation programs in the nation. Yet experts on teacher preparation acknowledge that little is known about which strategies actually work best for developing high-quality teachers. (via Alternative routes to teaching become more popular despite lack of evidence | Hechinger Report)
Saudi Arabian girls will be allowed to play sport in private schools for the first time in the latest in a series of incremental changes aimed at slowly increasing women’s rights in the ultraconservative kingdom.
Saudi Arabia’s official press agency, SPA, reported on Saturday that private girls’ schools are now allowed to hold sport activities in accordance with the rules of sharia law. Students must adhere to “decent dress” codes and Saudi women teachers will be given priority in supervising the activities, according to the education ministry’s requirements.
The decision makes sport once again a stage for the push to improve women’s rights, nearly a year after two Saudi female athletes made an unprecedented appearance at the Olympics. (via Saudi Arabia to allow girls to play sport at private schools | World news | guardian.co.uk)
KANO, NIGERIA, 14 May 2013 (IRIN) - Around 15,000 children in Borno State, northeastern Nigeria, have stopped attending classes since February 2013, according to a Borno State Ministry of Education official who preferred anonymity, as Boko Haram extremists continue a wave of attacks on state schools.
Most of the children are primary school students, according to the official. Thus far Boko Haram (BH) has burned or destroyed 50 of the state’s 175 schools, he said. Teachers in the state confirmed the estimate. — IRIN Africa | Boko Haram attacks hit school attendance in Borno State | Nigeria | Children | Conflict | Education | Governance | Human Rights | Security | Urban Risk
Gaza City: Palestinian schoolboys are learning how to fire Kalashnikovs, throw grenades and plant improvised explosive devices as part of a program run by Hamas’s education ministry.
The scheme has been criticised by Palestinian human rights groups, who point out that Hamas has previously banned sport from the school curriculum on the grounds that there is not enough time for it.
Hamas authorities introduced the “Futuwwa”, or youth program into the state curriculum last September for 37,000 Palestinian boys aged between 15 and 17, conceiving it as a scheme intended to initiate a new generation of Palestinian men in the struggle against Israel. (via Kalashnikov Classes for Palestinian Students)
Young Champions’ initiative is a programme of the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI). In Pakistan, it is conducted in partnership with the UNICEF Punjab office, Jahandad Society for Community Development (JSCD), and government social welfare and education departments.
Through the programme, educated youth are selected and trained to encourage families in their communities to enrol children in school.
“‘Young Champions’ … envisions involving adolescents as ‘young champions’ to become advocates and change-makers in their communities, to address gender concerns, increase girl child enrolment and decrease drop outs,” said UNICEF Education Officer Sehr Raza Qizilbash. “Over the last two years, this initiative has produced encouraging results and made a substantial contribution to UNICEF’s objective of enrolling every school-going-aged child in target districts.” (via UNGEI - Pakistan - Youth advocates help enrol of out-of-school children in Pakistan)
Zimbabwe’s Education Minister formally launched a £12 million investment in girls’ education … that will enable 24,000 girls from the poorest rural families to enrol in and complete secondary school.
The investment from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) represents a major achievement for Camfed, which began in Zimbabwe in 1993 by supporting just 32 girls in two districts. The latest investment allows Camfed to provide four times as many secondary school bursaries as it currently offers and will increase its reach to 28 districts.
School officials in South Sudan say a monthly take-home food ration from the World Food Programme (WFP) has helped to reduce the number of female students dropping out of school.
[…] WFP supports girls through what is known as the “Girls’ Incentive,” which is designed to encourage girls’ enrolment in school and keep them attending class regularly.
[…] The girls from grades 3-8 who are allowed by their parents to attend classes for at least 20 out of 22 days in a school calendar month receive a 9.9 kilograms of cereal and 3.6 kilograms of vegetable oil. The food serves as an incentive to the parents, who generally prefer to send boys to school, while girls stay home to work, help their families with cooking or are married off early in exchange for bride-price.
More than 65% of girls over 15 in Ghana’s Northern Region have received no formal education (compared with the national average of 21%). This is why our support continues to be pivotal to these communities. DFID Ghana will be working with communities in the north, Camfed and the Government of Ghana to ensure that these 70,000 girls remain in and complete secondary school through targeted incentives by 2016. The support includes school fees, uniforms (made by local tailors which helps provide the community with work), and school supplies. (via UNGEI - Ghana - What does education mean to girls in Ghana?)
Islamabad/Brussels, 8 May 2013 – The European Union has provided € 300,000 from its Nobel Peace Prize money to UNICEF to support its educational activities for children affected by a lack of security in parts of northwestern Pakistan. The agreement was formalised today in Islamabad, between Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan and Dan Rohrmann, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan.
These funds, made available through the European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), will enable UNICEF to provide access to education for 3,000 children, including 1,500 girls in 30 schools currently operating in the Jalozai Camp, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.