On February 29, 2020, the United States and the Taliban signed an agreement outlining a phased withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in exchange for Taliban commitments not to allow attacks on the US or its allies from Afghan territory . . . The troop withdrawal is expected to take place in parallel with negotiations between representatives from the Afghan government and other Afghan political groups and Taliban leaders. As negotiations advance, they will need to address concerns about protections of fundamental human rights, including the rights of women and girls; education; freedom of expression and the media; due process guarantees; as well as ending attacks on civilians and accountability for serious human rights abuses and war crimes. For this to happen, representatives from human rights and other civil society organizations, including women’s groups and victims’ representatives, should participate in the full range of discussions surrounding the intra-Afghan talks, including in plans for implementation following any agreement. Although the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the laws enacted in the years since 2002 include many human rights protections, implementation has been poor, including in areas under government control. Complete Report HERE
Archive for month: June, 2020
Well beyond a billion students were sent home from schools as the novel coronavirus spread around the world. In recent weeks, hundreds of millions were cleared to return, as countries began to reopen in fits and starts. By late March, less than two months after the confirmation of the first coronavirus cases outside China, more than 90 percent of the world’s students were already affected by school closures, according to estimates by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, known as UNESCO. Stuck at home for months, they found themselves part of a global web of hastily implemented experiments in home schooling, remote l earning and social distancing. At the height of such measures in April, nearly 1.6 billion students were affected, according to UNESCO, with 194 countrywide closures. As of June 5, more than 1.1 billion students remain affected — more than 64 percent of the world’s total, with 134 countrywide closures in place. Even in countries without school shutdowns enforced at the national level, disruptions to education remain widespread. Complete Article HERE
With the Covid-19 lockdown regulations, ministerial announcements and public commentary, never before have Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire’s ideas about education been more relevant. In 1970 Freire argued that education is political and ethical, and cannot be detached from the current context of social and political realities. This is evident in the policies that govern education, the distribution of educational resources across the country, the pedagogy and the assessments used in classrooms. Every day, politicians, parents and society at large are debating whether schools should reopen or not. Many are questioning how the academic year will be completed, and raising curriculum and instruction issues. Pedagogy—the methods and practice of teaching—has come under the spotlight as learners and teachers are expected to rapidly transition from face-to-face to online, remote learning and teaching.
Pedagogy and resources. Epistemological access has become a glaring issue during this period. Some learners have access to information and technology, but even then, the process of learning is difficult, including a lack of study space in many homes as room is taken up by family members in lockdown. It is thus important to understand that access to gadgets and information does not always result in learning taking place. Complete Article HERE