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 Residents say soldiers guarding a nearby checkpoint were mysteriously withdrawn just before the attack.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)
[South Korea] The National Assembly on Thursday passed a bill that aims to prevent Korean students from taking school courses beyond their regular academic schedule.
Rep. Kang Eun-hee of the Saenuri Party, who proposed the bill with Rep. Lee Sang-min of the Democratic Party, said Korean students are often forced to study subjects for subsequent semesters in advance at school or private institutes, known as hagwon. The widespread practice, even involving elementary school students, is meant to boost their chances for admission to elite schools.
The excessive competition leads to more difficult entrance exams by higher level education institutes, which in turn pushes students to study more courses in advance. Rep. Kang said the practice is a main factor driving up the already heated private education system in Korea, spawning a profitable market valued at 19.4 trillion won ($17.9 billion) per year. — Parliament passes bill to ban ‘advanced learning’
Teaching Manuals Modified to Describe Senkakus, Takeshima as Japan’s Territory
The education ministry said Jan. 28 it has revised practice manuals for school curriculum guidelines to underscore the government’s position that the disputed Senkaku Islands and the Takeshima islets are integral parts of Japan’s territory.
The practice manuals are for junior and senior high school teachers. They are used in textbook screening and deciding how to instruct students at schools.
“As we are striving to develop human resources who can do well globally, it is only natural to teach students about our territories in a correct manner,” education minister Hakubun Shimomura said at a news conference the same day.
The uninhabited Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea are controlled by Japan but also claimed by China, while the Takeshima islets in the Sea of Japan are administered by South Korea despite Tokyo’s claim that they are inherently Japanese territory.
The announcement will inevitably spark a backlash from Beijing and Seoul.
(via Teaching manuals modified to describe Senkakus, Takeshima as Japan’s territory - AJW by The Asahi Shimbun)
World Inequality Database on Education
The World Inequality Database on Education (WIDE) highlights the powerful influence of circumstances, such as wealth, gender, ethnicity and location, over which people have little control but which play an important role in shaping their opportunities for education and life. It draws attention to unacceptable levels of education inequality across countries and between groups within countries, with the aim of helping to inform policy design and public debate.
(via DME WIDE • World Inequality Database on Education)
[TAIWAN] Ministry approves new “brainwashing” curriculum
Ministry Groups yesterday protested the Ministry of Education’s bid to “slightly adjust” the national high-school curriculum, calling the move part of a “brainwashing” policy that would see the new curriculum reflect a more China-oriented perspective.
Despite the groups’ opposition, the ministry later formally approved a new curriculum on Chinese literature and social sciences.
“Taiwanese have fought long and hard to reach a stage where there is much less political influence on our education, so it is therefore unacceptable that the government under the leadership of President Ma Ying-jeou [馬英九] is making an U-turn on this progress,” Jim Lee (李筱峰), a professor at National Taipei University of Education’s Graduate School of Taiwanese Culture, told a rally in front of the ministry in Taipei.
via Taipei Times
British girl leads Guardian campaign to end female genital mutilation
A 17-year-old student is calling on education secretary, Michael Gove, to help end female genital mutilation in Britain by asking headteachers to train and inform teachers and parents about the horrors of the practice. theguardian.com/end-fgm
– 7-year old Tas Ismail dreams of being a teacher when she grows up. The little girl took a big step towards her goal today when she and her friends received their first school reports at a UNICEF-built school in Turkey’s Gaziantep province.
Those most excited by the end of term ceremony were Tac and other first-grade students, who collected their first-ever school reports. Tac’s class-mate, Serif Abroz, whose family fled from the Syrian city of Edlib, said he’s now looking forward to playing with his friends as classes end for a two-week break.
The school, in the tented city of Islahiye, opened in November 2013, and was constructed by UNICEF in partnership with the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkey (AFAD). Operating on a double-shift basis, the school has 46 classrooms which hold 2,544 students, ranging from nursery school to high school. There are a total of 69 teachers, 64 of whom are Syrian and five who are Turkish.
(via Syrian students celebrate a first at a UNICEF-built school in Turkey | #ChildrenofSyria)