[21 January 2013] - A 28-year-old middle school teacher at a private school in Mexico City has been fired after showing her students the 2008 film Milk, which tells the story of gay rights activist Harvey Milk, who was murdered in San Francisco in the 1970s. Mexico’s capital has been celebrated as a champion of gay rights in the region, permitting civil unions in 2006 and approving gay marriage in 2009. However, the scandal around the dismissal of the teacher, Cecilia Hernandez, shows some of the ongoing battles for gay rights in the city.
Until December last year, Hernandez was an adjunct professor of civics and ethics at Lomas Hill middle school, which serves a well-heeled community on the outskirts of Mexico City. In a telephone interview, Hernandez said the dismissal surprised her, since she was only “following Mexican educational standards”. According to Mexico’s Education Ministry guidelines, teachers in public and private schools should provide lessons on tolerance and against discrimination.
A group of South African Indian teachers have asked the Education Ministry to recognise five Indian languages Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati and Telugu as optional third language in the school curriculum.
The five main mother tongues of South African Indians will die out completely in 50 years if they are not taught as formal school subjects, the teachers said.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and filmmaker Spike Lee teamed up Monday to urge more black men to consider teaching.
Teachers should look more like the people they serve, Duncan said. While more than 35 percent of the nation’s public school students are black or Latino, less than 15 percent of the teachers are black or Latino, according to federal figures. Less than 2 percent of the nation’s teachers are black men.
In March this year, EI commissioned Paloma Bourgonje to produce a study on ‘Education for refugee and asylum-seeking children in OECD countries’. In the four countries where policy was scrutinised: Australia, Spain, Sweden and the UK, it was evident that there was a lack of training for teaching in a multicultural setting. Consequently, teachers found it challenging to support children from diverse backgrounds.