Classroom heroes: Amid violence, teachers committed to children’s learning (by UNICEF)

"We, the teachers, we try to make the violence disappear," says Nguinissara Rita, a primary school teacher in a site for internally displaced people in Bangui. Some 2.3 million children have been affected by the ongoing crisis in the Central African Republic, and for almost two years schooling has been disrupted. Through temporary learning spaces set up by UNICEF and partners, more than 20,000 children are now able to attend classes.

Read more.

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’)

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.

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.

Three years ago, after they had first fled to Damascus, Shaiima and her family then fled again, crossing the border into Lebanon after a harrowing journey. They set up what was supposed to be a short-term, alternative shelter amid some 15 tents.

Today, they are among 1,000 refugees living on this strip of muddy lowland next to a polluted stream, and the makeshift tent has become their home for an indeterminate future. 

[…] Children are now able to attend non-formal educational classes organized by local NGO Beyond Association, supported by UNICEF, right on the settlement. The child-friendly spaces provide basic literacy and numeracy classes, an accelerated learning programme, English lessons, psychosocial support and structured recreational activities for the refugee children. Some 400 children between the ages of 6 and 14 participate in either the morning or afternoon shifts. (via Refugee children determined to keep learning, as Syrian conflict reaches three-year mark | UNICEF:Learning for Peace)

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)

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)

Teaching can get you killed at schools on the front lines.

[…] in war zones around the world, students, teachers, and schools are regularly targeted for attack. Last year alone, armed forces and groups attacked students, teachers, or schools in at least 21 other countries in the midst of armed conflict, endangering children’s lives, educations, and futures.

Such attacks are not a matter of collateral damage; they are part of deliberate, despicable strategies.

(via Teaching can get you killed at schools on the front lines | Human Rights Watch)

"More than half of Arab children are not learning," says Senior Fellow Hafez Ghanem in this new podcast about learning in the Arab world.

He joined Liesbet Steer, a fellow also with the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, in this discussion about their findings on and solutions for a range of education issues in the region, including number and quality of teachers, accountability, gender, curriculum, and whether Arab world children are learning the skills they need to compete in the 21st century.

(via A Bleak Picture for Children’s Education in the Arab World | Brookings Institution)

Jibon is 12 years old and works at a fish market in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. He lives alone with his mother, who works in a garment factory.

The little money Jibon makes is essential for the survival of his family. For this reason, Jibon dropped out of school after only the second grade. In all likelihood, he will never have the opportunity to go back to school.

“I don’t have a father. My mother has to work, but her income is not enough for me to go to school,” Jibon says. “Yes, I want to go to school, but I cannot, because we don’t have enough money.”

Jibon shares the same fate with millions of children in South Asia. According to a recent study on out-of-school children published by UNICEF and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics under the Global Out-of-School Children Initiative, 17 million children of primary-school age and 9.9 million children of lower secondary-school age are out of school in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – placing South Asia as the region with the second-highest number of out-of-school children in the world.

(via In Bangladesh, learning why children are out of school  | Back on Track)

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)

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)

Courage and Hope gives voice to the real life experiences of 12 HIV-positive teachers, five of whom are women, from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania (both Mainland and Zanzibar) and Zambia. The teachers recount their experiences of discovering their HIV-positive status and how this has affected them in their families, their communities, and their professional lives.
Their stories are documented by journalists, emphasizing the human dimension. The voices of these teachers suggest that a number of obstacles are commonly faced by teachers living with HIV. Paramount among them are stigma and discrimination, both within their families and communities as well as their workplaces and in society more generally. The difficulties of overcoming stigma and discrimination are further exacerbated by a failure to ensure confidentiality in the workplace.
(via Courage and Hope: Stories from Teachers Living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa)

Courage and Hope gives voice to the real life experiences of 12 HIV-positive teachers, five of whom are women, from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania (both Mainland and Zanzibar) and Zambia. The teachers recount their experiences of discovering their HIV-positive status and how this has affected them in their families, their communities, and their professional lives.

Their stories are documented by journalists, emphasizing the human dimension. The voices of these teachers suggest that a number of obstacles are commonly faced by teachers living with HIV. Paramount among them are stigma and discrimination, both within their families and communities as well as their workplaces and in society more generally. The difficulties of overcoming stigma and discrimination are further exacerbated by a failure to ensure confidentiality in the workplace.

(via Courage and Hope: Stories from Teachers Living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa)