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Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Malala Yousafzai up for Nobel Peace Prize

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 2, 2013

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai has been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala YousafzaiMalala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot for promoting girls’ education, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year.

The 15-year-old was shot by a Taliban gunman at point blank range as she travelled on a bus to school on October 9, targeted for promoting girls’ education.

She has since become an internationally recognised symbol of opposition to the Taliban’s drive to deny women education, and against religious extremism in a country where women’s rights are often flouted.

“A prize to Malala would not only be timely and fitting with a line of awards to champions of human rights and democracy, but also … would set both children and education on the peace and conflict agenda,” said Kristian Berg Harpviken, head of the Peace Research Institute of Oslo.

Others known to have been nominated are human rights activists whose names have been mentioned in previous years, including Belarussian human rights activist Ales Belyatski – currently behind bars – and Russia’s Lyudmila Alexeyeva.

Belarus, which former US President George W. Bush’s administration had branded as the “the last dictatorship in Europe”, is governed by authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has cracked down even further on opponents of late, rights groups charge. Read the rest of this entry »

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Runner-Up: Malala Yousafzai, the Fighter

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 24, 2012

By 

g9530_malala.indd

Ayesha Mir didn’t go to school on Tuesday, Nov. 27, the day after a security guard found a shrapnel-packed bomb under her family’s car. The 17-year-old Pakistani girl assumed, as did most people who learned about the bomb, that it was intended for her father, the television news presenter Hamid Mir, who often takes on the Taliban in his nightly news broadcasts. Traumatized by the near miss, Ayesha spent most of the day curled up in a corner of her couch, unsure whom to be angrier with: the would-be assassins or her father for putting himself in danger. She desperately wanted someone to help her make sense of things.

At around 10:30 p.m., she got her wish. Ayesha’s father had just come home from work, and he handed her his BlackBerry. “She wants to speak to you,” he said. The voice on the phone was weak and cracked, but it still carried the confidence that Ayesha and millions of other Pakistanis had come to know through several high-profile speeches and TV appearances. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Delhi 14

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 6, 2012

By Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; UN Special Envoy for Global Education

gordon-brown-1bMalala YousafzaiJust 72 hours ago in the Indian capital of Delhi 14 children were freed from slave labour. They were being held in dark, insanitary conditions and forced to work for up to 15 hours a day making Christmas decorations. Two were just eight years old.

The suffering of these young children, cruelly trafficked into slave labour, is the real Christmas story of 2012. Their plight must become a wake-up call for all concerned about the treatment of vulnerable children around the world. It demands we move immediately to ban all child labor.

The children rescued in Delhi had been beaten and intimidated. Imprisoned in dingy, locked rooms where they were forced to make Christmas goods with no access to light or fresh air. Malnourished and underfed, many had injuries as a result of using glass to make trinkets and because of violent assaults by their gangmasters. All had been sold into slavery and trafficked by middlemen.

The Christmas decorations and seasonal gifts they were making were for export from India to the West. There are near identical items on sale in shops in America and Europe right now.

The courageous morning break-in that freed the children from this slave labor was organized and carried out by Kailash Satyarthi and his co-leaders of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) and Global March Against Child Labour (GMACL). They faced violent resistance by the gangmasters and thugs.

Because the gangmasters had received a tip off that a raid would take place, most of the children had been whisked away from the workshop and 12 were incarcerated in a pitch-black cell no bigger than 6ft by 6ft Read the rest of this entry »

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Malala Yousafzai should win Nobel Peace Prize, petition says MaLA

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 10, 2012

Malala speech:

More than 90,000 people have already signed an online petition calling for Malala Yousafzai to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

At Change.org, Canadian journalist Tarek Fatah said no person deserves the award more than the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who survived an assassination attempt. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Unified Global Moment to Honor Malala Yousafzai

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 7, 2012

By Gordon Brown,  Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; UN Special Envoy for Global Education

On November 10th we will celebrate ‘Malala Day,’ the moment the whole world honors the sacrifice of Malala Yousafzai, the young girl shot by the Taliban simply for trying to go to school.

Fortunately, Malala is starting on the road to recovery and Malala Day, one month after Malala was left for dead by Taliban assassins, is an opportunity for people everywhere to come together to support the cause that Malala so valiantly represents: a girl’s right to education.

The right to education is denied to 61 million children of primary school age around the world. Girls, boys, the marginalized, rural children, child laborers — the hopes of these 61 million are represented by the struggle and voice of Malala. November 10th is our opportunity to continue to speak out in support of Malala’s vision of every child in school, learning and reaching their full potential.

This Saturday, on Malala Day, new initiatives will be announced in support of Malala and in support of the cause she has risked her life for.

The Malala Yousafzai Children’s Education Institute, named in honor of Malala, will be announced to help educate the world on the need for universal education. The Malala Institute, supported by the Good Planet Foundation, will publish research reports leading the fight for education for every child still denied the right to school.

NGOs such as Plan International are already stepping up their efforts to educate girls. I have also been approached by dedicated teachers and philanthropists wishing to start Malala schools.

While the final figures will not be announced until Saturday, already some one million people have signed petitions urging Pakistan to ensure every girl has a place at school and calling for the United Nations to continue the advance of universal education. Read the rest of this entry »

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Educating the World – No More Excuses

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 29, 2012

By Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; UN Special Envoy for Global Education

This September, five and six year olds in the western world have enjoyed their first day at school. In the developing world, however, a total of 61 million school-age girls and boys around the world will not go to primary school at all.

While if you visited the classrooms of New York, London or Paris you would find happy young children beginning their educational journey, if you visit the mining regions of Mali, West Africa, you’ll find children as young as 10 working in tunnels 30 meters underground. Visit the cocoa growing areas of neighboring Côte d’Ivoire and you’ll see young boys of primary school age working with machetes.

This tragic picture of child labor repeats itself across the developing world: new figures show that 91 million girls and boys are currently engaged in child labor. On current trends, there will be as many as 170 million child laborers in 2020, who, instead of acquiring the basic literacy and numeracy skills that we in the western world often take for granted, are engaged in grueling and often dangerous work.

In Africa alone, the number of children aged between five and 14 involved in child labor is projected to increase by some 19 million. Growing numbers of children forced into the workplace, and so denied the opportunity to prosper in the classroom. This endless cycle of poverty begetting poverty through lack of opportunity is ready to repeat itself if nothing is done.

Contrast this with the western world, where education has taken its rightful place amongst the priorities of government, with centuries of investment in teaching and infrastructure. In ten years’ time, 800 million of the world’s citizens, primarily in wealthy countries, are set to have university degrees. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gordon Brown Takes Up UN Education Envoy Role

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 14, 2012

Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown has taken up a role with the UN as the body’s special envoy for global education, he said in a statement on Friday evening.

The former prime minister said it was a “great privilege to be appointed UN Special Envoy for Global Education and work with Ban Ki-moon to achieve quality education for all.”

Brown, who remains a Labour MP, is set to help support the education’s first initiative, which “aims to achieve quality, relevant, and inclusive education for every child.”

“He will focus on countries with the highest burden of children out of school, recognizing that nearly half of out of school children are in countries affected by conflict. He will help bring about change, mobilize resources and generate additional and sufficient funding.”

The role comes in the same week another former Labour prime minister, Tony Blair, took up a formal post as an adviser to the party on sports policy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Recession Is Having a Devastating Impact on Our Young People

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 27, 2012

By Ginny Lunn, Director of policy and strategy at youth charity The Prince’s Trust

The recession is already damaging the hopes of thousands of young people who are struggling to find a job.

Now young people in schools could be next in line.

Today, we are releasing new research showing that seven out of 10 secondary school teachers (70%) are increasingly worried their pupils will end up on benefits, while more than one in three (37%) feel their efforts are in vain, due to high levels of unemployment.

As a former teacher myself, I know that they do all they can to support students. It is now more important than ever for government, charities and employers to work closely with teachers to support young people who may be struggling.

Young people can fall out of the education system for many reasons – and all too often they end up feeling that they can never achieve anything.

There are thousands of young people that fall into this vicious cycle, feeling like they have ‘failed’ in school and leaving with few qualifications and little confidence to help them find a job in the future. This can breed low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness and sometimes even depression. Read the rest of this entry »

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First-Grader Born Without Hands Earns National Penmanship Award

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 21, 2012

Larry Roberts / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / AP Photo

LARRY ROBERTS / PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE / AP PHOTO
Annie Clark, a first-grade student at Wilson Christian Academy, in West Mifflin, Pa., demonstrates how she writes in a booklet.

Annie Clark, a 7-year-old from Pennsylvania, has won a national penmanship award, a trophy and a $1,000 prize. She achieved all of this despite one key setback: she was born with no hands.

A first-grader at Wilson Christian Academy in West Mifflin, Penn., Annie received one of two awards granted by the Zaner-Bloser language arts and reading company, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The firm offered both awards to disabled students, with the other going to an Ohio student with a visual impairment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Education Without Borders

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 18, 2012

By Gordon Brown, former prime Minister of Britain

Every child has a right to an education. Yet millions of children are living in countries where that right is systematically violated as a result of armed conflict. It is time for the international community to stop this state of affairs by getting serious about its responsibility to protect education in all countries, irrespective of the barriers created by armed conflict.

Education seldom figures in media reporting from conflict zones. Yet the effects are devastating. In eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where the education system has collapsed in the face of mass displacement and ongoing violence, over 1 million children are out of school. When the surge in refugees driven from Somalia by hunger and violence arrived in camps in northern Kenya last year there was no provision made for additional education. And the conflict in Yemen has pushed tens of thousands of children out of school. Read the rest of this entry »

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The end of American atom smashing

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 2, 2012

Photo from United States Department of Energy

Photo from United States Department of Energy

After a quarter of a century, scientists operating underneath the surface of the Earth today will pull the plug on Tevatron, bringing the massive atom smasher to a screeching halt.

And just like that, another nail is hammered into the coffin for the American scientific community.

Many scientists have touted Tevatron as the most successful atom smasher in the history of physics. Since 1985 it has been operating outside of Chicago, Illinois and its technology has allowed experts to pinpoint some of the building blocks of the universe.

Abroad, however, the Large Hadron Collider, a similar structure underneath the ground at the French/Swiss border, has usurped the Tevatron as the most powerful machine of its type. Its accomplishments since its construction in 2009 have been remarkable, and American investments domestically cannot compete with the research being carried out by the LHC.

In other words, the Tevatron is no match for what lies across the pond and underneath the Earth.

“The machine has discovered what it could discover within its reach,” Gregorio Bernardi tells The Washington Post. Bernardi is a physicist at Fermilab, the Energy Department facilities that has overseen the Tevatron for years.

At 2pm this afternoon, Bernardi will pull the plug on Tevatron. “That will be it,” he tells The Post. “Then we’ll have a big party.”

Other scientists don’t necessarily see a reason to rejoice, however. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dad goes to jail for 4-year-old daughter’s drawing

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 28, 2012

Jessie Sansone was arrested at his daughter's school after the 4-year-old drew a picture of a gun (Peter Lee / Record staff)

Jessie Sansone was arrested at his daughter’s school after the 4-year-old drew a picture of a gun (Peter Lee / Record staff)

It was a kindergarten class piece of art that Jessie Sansone probably won’t want to hang on the refrigerator anytime soon.

After Jesse Sansone’s 4-year-old daughter drew a picture of a gun, cops handcuffed the clueless father and dragged him off to jail. It was there that the dad was stripped of his clothes and searched by the authorities. Sansone was never charged with a crime.

Sansone wasn’t expecting to be greeted by police when he went to pick up his three children from school last week. Faculty there had become concerned, however, after the man’s 4-year-old daughter drew an image last Wednesday that they thought warranted investigation. It was a picture of a man holding a gun, and when teachers asked the girl to explain it, she said it was a depiction of her father.

“He uses it to shoot bad guys and monsters,” teachers say the girl explained.

The father says he doesn’t own a gun. Nor does he kill monsters. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Global Fund for Education

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 27, 2012

 

By Gordon Brown, Former prime Minister of the United Kingdom

The world is currently at risk of falling woefully short of the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015. If we are to avoid this fate, a game-changing reform is needed. I believe that a Global Fund for Education is that game-changing initiative.

As you’ll see in the report below, I propose that World Bank’s Global Partnership for Education (formerly, the Fast Track Initiative) should be converted into an independent Global Fund for Education (GFE) that draws on the experience of the global funds in health, and that serves as a focal point for a renewed drive toward getting another 68 million children into school by 2015. The GFE would engage the business sector, and have the flexibility to make grants to NGOs and private companies, as well as national governments and multinational agencies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Girls desperate for education in rural Balochistan

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 29, 2011

 

Most girls in rural areas of Balochistan are out of school (file photo)

29 November 2011 (IRIN) – Gehava Bibi, 9, is very excited. She is visiting the city of Quetta, capital of the southwestern province of Balochistan, with her father to buy some basic school supplies. She has never held a pencil or piece of chalk. “This seems like magic,” she told IRIN as she awkwardly drew a few squiggly lines across a piece of paper offered to her by the shop-owner.

Bibi has never been to school; there is no educational facility in her village in the Bolan district, some 154km southeast of Quetta, and like 90 percent of women in rural Balochistan, according to official figures, she is illiterate. 

However, recently, an elderly villager, who had spent many years in the southern port city of Karachi, has returned to Bolan and offered to provide the girls in the village with some basic education.

Fazila Aliani, a social activist, educationist and former member of the Balochistan provincial assembly, recently told the media the reason for the lack of educational facilities was the “insurgency” in the province, “while a lack of necessary funds, absence of a well-defined education policy, lack of girls’ schools, acute shortage of teaching staff, and poverty are other factors which contribute to the backwardness”.

She said that except for Quetta, educational institutions were “non-existent in Baloch-dominated areas of the province”. Aliani also said foreign donors seeking to set up schools in Balochistan struggled to do so because of the lack of security and government resistance.

Another reason is the reluctance of teachers to venture into districts they see as dangerous. Strikes by militants on targets that include security personnel occur frequently in Balochistan, with one of the most recent killing 14 members of the Frontier Corps force in the district of Musakhel.  Read the rest of this entry »

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‘It’s a Revolt!’ Students march in London

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 9, 2011

Thousands expected at student march in London.

Students took to the streets of London en masse on Wednesday to fight government funding cuts and a massive hike in tuition fees. But rubber bullets and police intimidation threaten to turn the demonstration into a bloody affair.

Gathering at the University of London in the center of the capital around noon, 10,000 people are expected to take part in the march against the privatization of education and other attacks on the welfare state.

Having been criticized for their mishandling of previous protests, the police announced they would be out in force.  With 4,000 officers being deployed, the run-up to the march has been fraught with tension.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has authorized the firing of rubber bullets if things get out of hand.  In a further move to intimidate demonstrators, police sent dozens of letters to anti-cuts activists warning them of dire consequences if they attend the march.

As marchers are later expected to meet up with Occupy London protestors camping out at Saint Paul’s Cathedral, fears are widespread that heavy-handed police tactics could turn the peaceful protest violent.   Read the rest of this entry »

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