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.
Learning in Rural China: The Challenges for Teachers
Mr. Huang became principal of Qiao Tou Lian He school at the age of 25, not because he was specifically trained for the post, but because he had been the only educated person in his village. He’s a dynamic leader who is squarely focused on supporting, developing and evaluating his teachers, of whom only a handful have a high school degree and more than basic teacher training.
The teaching conditions in the rural Qiao Tou Lian He school, 3,000 kilometres southwest of Shanghai, are tough and teachers are struggling […] The Qiao Tou Lian He school is mainly on its own; but the teachers I met there showed an amazing commitment, and I was struck by the positive learning atmosphere – rigorous, highly disciplined, yet joyful – in every classroom I visited.
(via OECD educationtoday: Learning in rural China: The challenges for teachers)
Did you know that some countries lose more than $1 billion per year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys? Or that women’s education has prevented more than 4 million child deaths in the past 40 years? Or that investing in girls education could boost agricultural output in Africa by 25%?
This new infographic reminds us that when we FAIL to invest in girls’ education, millions of girls and women are locked out of opportunities. But when we SUCCESSFULLY invest in girls’ education life expectancy increases, women earn more, and economies prosper. See how the Global Partnership for Education is delivering real results by investing in girls’ education. (via Investing in Girls’ Education Delivers Results [INFOGRAPHIC] | Education for All Blog | Global Partnership for Education)
Bangladesh Schools Battle Water-logging
Students and teachers in southwestern Bangladesh, where chronic flooding known as water-logging closes schools annually, are forced to find creative ways to carry on learning, citizens and experts say.
Interruptions to a child’s education due to emergencies can have serious implications, say experts, who point to the impact of gaps in schooling and the long-term dangers of schools that are decaying from water damage.
While improvising through disaster has helped, more is needed to keep schools functioning, say experts.
(via IRIN Asia | Bangladesh schools battle water-logging | Bangladesh | Education | Natural Disasters | Water & Sanitation)
The Harper government is poised to unveil education reform measures for First Nations children that are so historic it could turn the page on more than a century of economic and social ills faced by aboriginals, says a federal cabinet minister.
“We think it is high time, given the importance of population growth of First Nations living on reserves, that these kids get the same opportunities as other Canadians,” said Valcourt.
The problem, he said, is that aboriginal children are served by a “non-system” of education — which results in staggeringly high drop-out rates and which puts those young people in an “intolerable” situation. (via First Nation Education Act will be ‘transformational’, says Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt)
The Education Management Information System (EMIS) statistics for 2012 indicate that Namibia has about 24 660 teachers of whom 1 208 are without teacher training and about 3 000 are underqualified.
"This is a concern to all. Namibia needs more teachers. Namibia needs better teachers. And Namibia needs teachers who optimally deliver at all times. The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers," Namwandi stressed.
In an attempt to rectify the dire situation, UNESCO developed a Teachers Strategy 2012-2015’ that focuses on developing capacity for training and building a high-quality teaching force in those countries most hampered by the lack of teachers, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.