Russia’s escalating campaign against homosexuals has reached high schools, with at least four teachers harassed this year over their ties to the gay community.
Two of them have already been fired, a trend activists blame on the introduction of a controversial law banning the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” among minors.
Yekaterina Bogach, an award-winning Spanish-language instructor in St. Petersburg, is the latest to be caught in the crosshairs of antigay vigilantes. This week, the city’s education department placed her under investigation after a group of local residents filed a complaint claiming that her participation in gay-rights rallies made her unfit to teach children. (via Russia’s Gay-Friendly Schoolteachers In The Crosshairs)
Where are the 57 Million Out-of-School Children?
Escuela Nueva’s flexible program encourages dropout students to come back to school to study at their own pace and to take exams when they are ready.
“If a student learns faster, I can guide him and he can go even faster; and if a student has difficulties or has been away for a long while, he can be supported,” said Ms. Mazzo. “If a student is away due to illness or farmer parents who move around, when he comes back to school, he can follow his learning guides where he left off — so students are motivated, self-esteem stays high, and they never repeat grades.” (via Children Thrive in Rural Colombia’s Flexible Schools - NYTimes.com)
Why Girls’ Education Matters
With 31 million girls of primary school age out of school, and 17 million expected never to enter school at all, the situation for girls’ education desperately needs addressing. (via Why girls’ education matters | World Education Blog)
Two Syrian refugees in Iraq’s Kawergosk camp at risk of becoming ‘lost schoolgirls’
Cibar, a bright, beautiful girl, is deaf. Even when times are good, she needs specialized help. For just over a month, she’s been living in Kawergosk refugee camp in northern Iraq, one of the more than 61,000 Syrian refugees who have arrived since the middle of August – bringing the total registered in Iraq to 196,843. Before that, the conflict kept her away from school. Her story is tragically common.
Why, with all that’s happened, does school matter so much? Adla starts crying. “Because I want to help my mother and father,” she says, quickly wiping the tears from her eyes. But there’s no way for Adla to do that. There’s no secondary school in Kawergosk. And there is certainly no special needs teaching for Cibar.
(via Field diary: Two Syrian refugees in Iraq’s Kawergosk camp at risk of becoming ‘lost schoolgirls’ | Back on Track)
Educating Romani children: why Europe must make it a priority
We’ve been discussing the “Roma issue” for two decades. Why are the Roma different? Why are there so many problems integrating this minority and what can be done? All answers lead to education.
All questions have the same answer: because they do not have an education. A quarter of Romania’s illiterate population is Roma and the majority of Romani students leave school by the eighth grade, with only 0.5% of Roma graduating from university.
Roma aren’t outcasts because they’re Roma: they’re outcasts because they don’t have an education due to the extreme poverty in which they live. Poverty and books do not mix. I sometimes see stories about students studying by candlelight. They are the exceptions, which is why we see them on the news. But the rule is rather this: those who live in poverty today will perpetuate in misery forever. (via Educating Romani children: why Europe must make it a priority | openDemocracy)
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.
[Cebu, Philippines] Excerpts from Education Secretary Armin Luistro’s message to teachers in the Philippines:
[Image credit: UNICEF]
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.
Read the original here.
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)
Also see here.