Rehabilitated School Brings Together Conflict-Affected Communities in Ethiopia

For Ethiopians like Ahmed, an eighth grader at Bilisuma Primary School, pursuing education in East Hararghe has been agonizing. An outbreak of violent conflict in 2016 led to the disruption of education and schools were damaged. “I have a very keen interest in finishing my studies. However, I was forced to stop for some time because of a conflict in my town. This created a gap in my academics. It was very frustrating,” Ahmed explained. “Every time it is deemed safe to return to school, I’ve already forgotten what I have learned before classes were interrupted.” East Hararghe Zone borders the Oromia and Somali regions of Ethiopia. A 25-kilometre drive off the main road here takes one to the even more remote district of Gursum, where there is little access to basic facilities. The community in this district witnessed inter-communal conflicts between 2016 and 2018, which destroyed what minimal facilities there were. Thousands of people were displaced as a result of the conflict while vital facilities such as schools and health posts were damaged. Ahmed is among the hundreds of students in Gursum District whose studies have been affected by these conflicts, one of many whose memories of the conflict still haunt….  Complete Article HERE

Iran classroom during pandemic

Teaching Hate: Iran Textbooks Push Antisemitism

Iranian schoolkids are studying antisemitism, hatred and conspiratorial material in their textbooks, including a theory that Western media hyped up the COVID-19 pandemic to thwart large-scale attendance at last year’s celebration of the Iranian revolution, according to a comprehensive study published by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Thursday. The ADL said its report, “Incitement: Antisemitism and Violence in Iran’s Current State Textbooks,” is the first comprehensive study of antisemitism, intolerance and extremism in the official Iranian school curriculum in nearly half a decade. The study was published on the 42nd anniversary of the 1979 revolution that saw the rise of the current autocratic, conservative Islamic regime which has long threatened to destroy Israel and which is now battling US sanctions imposed to curb its nuclear activity. Last year, in response to the global pandemic, Tehran updated school textbooks to include a conspiracy theory alleging that Western media exaggerated the coronavirus to drive down turnout at crowded ceremonies for the regime’s 41st anniversary, said report author David Weinberg.  Complete Article HERE

VOA-Turkish Protests, Arrests_Screen

Turkey Detains Dozens More Over University Protests

Authorities in Turkey made dozens of new arrests in cities across the country Thursday, after downplaying international criticism—including U.S. condemnation—of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on university student rallies. According to police, about 600 people have been detained since January 4 as protests spread in the capital, Ankara, and in Istanbul. Erdogan has accused student demonstrators of being terrorists for protesting his appointment of a new rector at Bogazici University in Istanbul, one of the country’s top schools of higher education. For over a month, students, faculty members and alumni of Bogazici University have protested Erdogan’s appointment of Turkish politician and academic Melih Bulu, demanding an election to choose a rector from the university’s own faculty. Bulu holds a doctorate from Bogazici’s business management program but has never been a full-time academic at the university. Critics accused him of plagiarism in his dissertation and published articles and called for his resignation. Bulu has denied those accusations. His involvement in politics also stirred controversy over his appointment, since he once ran for parliament as a candidate for Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).  Complete Article HERE