Over 40 percent of India’s children drop out of school before finishing 8th grade, despite a recent law designed to provide free and compulsory elementary education for all.
Most students who quit school are from the lowest rungs of Indian society. A new Human Rights Watch report, “They Say We’re Dirty,” shows that discrimination by teachers and school officials fail to provide a welcoming and child-friendly school environment for these children.
(via Q&A: Talking Discrimination and School Dropout Rates in India | Human Rights Watch)
UK: Teachers ‘should check holiday plans for FGM clues’
Teachers should scrutinise the holiday plans of families from communities that practise female genital mutilation (FGM), a conference has heard.
School staff should also watch for signs of FGM, such as frequent toilet trips and girls in pain.
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) says teachers need more training to help them identity and protect girls at risk.
At least 66,000 girls and women in the UK are believed to be victims of FGM.
Campaigners say girls are most at risk of undergoing the procedure during the long summer holidays.
ATL general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: “Teachers have been put in a position of great responsibility. What they need now is clear guidance on how to fulfil those responsibilities.
"They need a clear system for reporting their concerns."
Dr Bousted welcomed the letter that Education Secretary Michael Gove sent to schools last term, urging them to protect girls at risk from what he described as “this very serious form of child abuse”.
(via BBC News - Teachers ‘should check holiday plans for FGM clues’)
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Apr 7 2014 (IPS) - Following scattered defiance of the Taliban earlier, a new wave of students is now heading for education in schools and colleges across the troubled north of Pakistan.
“There is a steady increase in enrolment of students because parents have realised the significance of education, and now they want to thwart the Taliban’s efforts to deprive students of education,” Pervez Khan, education officer in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), tells IPS.
In 2012, he says, the literacy rate for girls was three percent in FATA. That rose to 10.5 percent in 2013.
The boys literacy rate shot up correspondingly to 36.6 percent compared to 29.5 percent.
The Taliban are opposed to modern education. They have destroyed about 500 schools, including 300 schools for girls.
Khan says the Taliban’s campaign against education is only propelling more of the tribal population towards schools.
“The majority of people know that the Taliban are pursuing anti-people activities, such as damaging schools, and therefore they are now coming in droves,” he says.
Eastern Sudan is a region facing extreme poverty, as well as high rates of undernutrition and maternal and infant mortality. Its schools have among the lowest enrolment rates in the country.
According to the 2010 Sudan Household Health Survey, only 48.9 per cent of girls and 61.4 per cent of boys in the state attend school. And, only 28.7 per cent of children complete primary school, compared to a national average of 62.7 per cent.
But, at Jamam primary school, the transition to a CFS model has brought about major improvements in learning, as well as in student enrolment and retention. (via In the Sudan, a transformed school transforms children – and their community | UNICEF:Learning for Peace)
Can an iPad Game Teach You About Slavery?
A lone woman flees into the woods, clinging tightly to a crying baby. She needs to put the child down in order to clear a path, but when she does a shadowy creature slowly make its way toward the baby — if she’s too slow she’ll lose the child to the shadows. That woman is Isaura, a fictional African slave in Brazil during the 1700s, and the protagonist of Thralled, an in-development game for iPad. “Slavery, as a legacy and an institution, is a topic that needs discussing,” says lead designer Miguel Oliveira. “And we want to bring it up to discussion.”
"We have the potential to involve people in the subject and create a sense of empathy that can only be achieved with direct involvement," he says. "With Thralled, we want to try to encourage empathy for victimized people and thus heighten sensibility for others’ suffering … interactive media has the potential to change people, and yet this potential is mostly left unexplored. We want to make an effort in the way of exploring it." So far during testing, which has included a few students, these efforts have proved largely successful. "People have had strong emotional reactions, which makes me think that Thralled has the potential of teaching and getting people interested about this and related topics."
(via Can an iPad game teach you about slavery? | The Verge)