Before the current onslaught of Israeli airstrikes, the UN had estimated that Gaza needed an additional 250 schools to meet demand. Now, more than 200 schools have been destroyed.
Tomorrow, the children of the Gaza Strip are due back to class, but the danger of attending school in the current conflict means that term has been delayed. Tens of thousands of children are now living inside their schools, their homes destroyed.
… almost half a million school children living in Gaza will not be able to start the new term this Sunday, which could “have a devastating long-term impact on children’s education and mental health”.
(via Gaza Children Are Meant To Go Back To School Tomorrow (But They Won’t))
August 21, 2014: Canada’s support to UNICEF will help provide more children with specialized teachers, safe schools, and more effective delivery of education in remote communities.
The project aims to increase the number of children, especially girls, attending school in Garissa and Turkana counties, two remote and arid regions of Kenya with high poverty rates, recurrent droughts, and large refugee populations. In these counties, access to governmental services is low, especially for nomadic communities. The project also aims to improve children’s education through activities that include training teachers, renovating classrooms, setting up mobile schools and upgrading the national curriculum.
Sierra Leone: Teachers fall victim to Ebola (22 August 2014)
The Sierra Leone Teachers’ Union (SLTU), Education International’s (EI) national affiliate, has disclosed that 18 teachers have died since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the country […]
“The union has so far recorded some 17 deaths occurred in Kailahun and one in the Kenema Districts, according to official medical reports,” said SLTU Senior Assistant Secretary, Augustine G. Karim.
“SLTU has been fully involved in the fight against the Ebola epidemic since the virus broke out in the country,” he added. “The union recently donated twenty five million leones (ca. 4,300 euros) to show its commitment in the fight against the Ebola virus and as a way of complementing the governmental efforts.”
SLTU has expressed deep concern about the abrupt halt of all academic activities in the country and everything possible must be made to contain this unfortunate menace in our country, Karim went on to stress.
(via Education International - Sierra Leone: Teachers fall victim to Ebola)
Thousands of California kids don’t get past middle school
Although the majority of dropouts leave in high school, thousands of California students never make it to the ninth grade. Legislative efforts to draw attention to the problem have fallen by wayside. With most dropout prevention and recovery efforts centered on the upper grades – and previous statewide budget problems that cut resources – these students slip through the cracks early on and are faced with bleak futures unless they find their own way back.
(via Thousands of California kids don’t get past middle school | The Hechinger Report)
Playfulness masks pain and trauma of Iraq’s children
Unicef has set up centres for displaced people at schools like the one we went to across Dohuk province. Activities are run to keep the children occupied, including drawing exercises from which samples are taken and sent to experts to assess levels of trauma.
(via BBC News - Playfulness masks pain and trauma of Iraq’s children)
The Finnish company that created Angry Birds is marketing an early childhood curriculum around the world that is meant to make learning more fun.
The program is based on the Finnish national curriculum for children ages 3 to 6, which is largely based on free play and physical exercise. It builds in more technological tools, a reconfigured learning environment — and some of the popular Angry Birds characters — to maximize learning through engagement. The company also has worked music and games into the program and is partnering with publishers to create activity books and other learning materials.
Rovio is now training some teachers in China to use the new curriculum, and the company hopes to expand its reach in all directions. (via ‘Angry Birds’ creator develops preschool program to promote learning through fun - The Washington Post)
LONDON – The kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in northern Nigeria by the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram is beyond outrageous. Sadly, it is just the latest battle in a savage war being waged against the fundamental right of all children to an education. That war is global, as similarly horrifying incidents in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia attest.
Around the world, there have been 10,000 violent attacks on schools and universities in the past four years, according to a report by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack. The evidence is as ample as it is harrowing, from the 29 schoolboys killed by suspected Boko Haram militants in the Nigerian state of Yobe earlier this year and Somali schoolchildren forced to become soldiers to Muslim boys attacked by ethnic Burmese/Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar and schoolgirls in Afghanistan and Pakistan who have been firebombed, shot, or poisoned by the Taliban for daring to seek an education. — Gordon Brown proposes a comprehensive initiative to protect schoolchildren around the world. - Project Syndicate
Singapore has one of the best educational systems in the world, according to international assessments, and its teacher training program has been cited as one reason why. As the country increases the use of digital devices in schools, it’s making a parallel effort to train teachers not just in the latest tech trends – like how to work a SmartBoard or what app to use to practice fractions – but in how to determine when and why to use technology.
But the broader goal of the Classroom of the Future is to get Singapore’s future teaching force and visitors to consider how new technologies could change education. Could 4D –where actual sounds and smells join with 3D models – increase student learning? What are new ways for students to share information and ideas? Would video conferencing with foreign peers make students more globally conscious?
(via In Singapore, training teachers for the ‘Classroom of the Future’ | Hechinger Report)
DAKAR / NEW YORK, 6 May 2014 – “The abduction of eight more girls in Nigeria is an outrage and a worsening nightmare for the girls themselves and for the families of the more than 200 girls who have been stolen from their communities in the last several weeks.
“That the girls are alleged to have been abducted to prevent them from attending school is especially abhorrent.
“UNICEF calls on the abductors to immediately return these girls unharmed to their communities, and we implore all those with influence on the perpetrators to do everything they can to secure the safe return of the girls - and to bring their abductors to justice.
“Our hearts go out to the families of these girls. UNICEF continues to monitor the situation and expresses its solidarity with the people of Nigeria.” (via UNICEF statement on second abduction of Nigerian school girls | UNICEF Canada : No Child too Far)