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.
What Does It Really Mean to Be College and Work Ready? Community colleges expect little of first-year students — and get even less, concludes the National Center on Education and The Economy.
The report paints a grim picture.
High school graduates have trouble reading textbooks written at the 11th- to 12th-grade level, so instructors provide study aids to help poor readers get by. Students do little writing. When they do write, ”instructors tend to have very low expectations for grammatical accuracy, appropriate diction, clarity of expression, reasoning and the ability to present a logical argument or offer evidence in support of claims.”
It’s not enough for community colleges to raise expectations, the report concludes.
We need to bear in mind that a very large fraction of high school graduates does not meet the very low expectations that community colleges currently have of them. The nation may have to learn to walk before it runs, which means that it is important, first, to enable our high school students to meet the current very low standards before we ratchet those standards up.
Determined to improve an educational system beset by challenges, advocates recently launched Uganda’s first Quality Public Education Week. Talk shows, panel debates, exhibitions and rallies were held throughout the country April 22-26, 2013—a call for action from Ugandan decision-makers.
While public schools are available at no charge to Ugandan boys and girls ages 6 through 12, experts question the facilities’ quality and effectiveness. As youngsters age, drop out rates soar - as many as 66 percent leave, according to SC. An alarming 18 percent of those eligible do not attend school at all.
Tens of thousands of students in Chile have resumed their protests for free education with marches in major cities.
The march in the capital, Santiago, was largely peaceful, but there were isolated clashes, authorities say.
Riot police said that they had been attacked with petrol bombs. Police used water cannons and tear gas to break up one group of protesters.
Chilean students have been staging protests for free, high-quality education since 2011.
Wednesday’s action was the second nationwide protest this year.
The police estimated the number of protesters in Santiago at more than 37,000 but organisers say 80,000 people took to the streets. (via BBC News - Chile students resume protests for free education)
[US] In decades of debate on school reform in Mississippi, though, one issue is ever-present but draws little public discussion: race.
The state’s public schools remain nearly as segregated, in some cases, as they did in the 1960s. In many communities across the state, especially in towns where black children are in the majority, white children almost exclusively attend small private schools founded around the time of court-mandated desegregation in the late 1960s.
Black children, by contrast, usually attend the public schools in these communities. This is also true in Jackson, the state capital. The consequences have been devastating for the state in terms of educational attainment and economic disparities. — Racial segregation continues to impact quality of education in Mississippi—and nationwide | Hechinger Report
“The biggest problem is we need more teachers. However, many who are qualified are afraid to work in the area because of the ongoing conflict and the recent attacks,” Haundang said.
Some 47,000 people are in IDP camps in KIA-controlled areas, with thousands more staying with host families, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on 18 April.
Thousands of school-age children have been affected by the conflict, with varying access to education facilities.
In KIA-controlled areas, volunteer teachers have been used to maintain education services for the displaced. However, financial support for this effort is lacking. A comprehensive assessment of the education sector is urgently needed to better determine the number of children in need of education support, gaps in school supplies, and the absorption capacity of existing schools, OCHA said.
Worldwide, 250 million primary school age children are not learning the basics – even though almost half of them are in school. Studies in several countries have shown that many children spend two or three years in school without learning to read a single word. That is why the 2013-14 EFA Global Monitoring Report will focus on recruiting and training effective teachers, who are vital to overcoming the learning gap and providing equitable education for all.
(via Every child needs a good teacher, especially in the early grades | World Education Blog)
Also see here.
23 April 2013 – Calling for quick action by authorities in the Central African Republic (CAR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today warned that education was becoming another casualty of the months-long conflict, with half the country’s schools shuttered and hundreds of thousands of students at risk of missing out the entire year.
At least 250,000 children who started the 2012-2013 primary school year, and 30,000 who were in secondary school at the start of the crisis, could lose the entire school year if schools do not re-open in the coming weeks, the agency said in a news release. (via United Nations News Centre - Children’s education in Central Africa Republic devastated by conflict, UN says)