Emanuel Macron

France’s Bold Education Reform: Macron’s Plan for New Curriculum, Screen-Time Limits, and Uniforms

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has discussed a series of ambitious education reforms. These include the introduction of a new curricular reform which will include a greater focus on civics to improve national cohesion, and ensure that students learn “what the Republic means – a history, duties, rights, a language, respect.” Other reforms include strict regulations on screen time in schools, and the implementation of compulsory uniforms. The reforms reflect a broader vision to adapt the educational system to contemporary challenges, and prepare students for a rapidly evolving world. Complete Article HERE.

Image: Indian woman looking at textbook in a library

India to Combat Youth Voter Apathy Through School Textbooks

India’s National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has announced it will introduce new textbooks which include content on electoral literary, and will update existing textbooks to incorporate this material. The goal is to address voter apathy among young people, and Indians living in urban areas. These measures, which will begin in years 6–12 across all schools, are part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed a few weeks ago between the Election Commission of India and the Education Ministry. The document focuses on training teachers in electoral literary to promote voter awareness among students; creating a “Democracy Room” in secondary schools to display voter education materials; and a mechanism to issue students with voter ID cards when they turn 18.  Complete Article HERE

 

 

Image: Row of old books in Russian on sale in book stall

Russia’s Latest Effort to Sway Young Minds: High-School Textbooks Praising the Conflict in Ukraine

The country’s Ministry of Education this week unveiled new history textbooks with sections about what it calls the “special military operation” in Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea and Western sanctions. Critics say the move is a part of a sustained effort to indoctrinate school children and stifle any independent thinking.

The new textbooks endorse this narrative and include maps that show occupied regions in Ukraine as being part of Russia. Photos of the books published by state media show they call Ukraine an “ultranationalist state” where all dissent is persecuted and “everything Russian is declared hostile.” Elsewhere, the authors tell students that when they look for information about Ukraine on the internet, they should remember that there is a “global industry for the production of staged videos and fake photos and videos.” Complete article HERE

 

Image: Boy in Kippa looking out

‘Frightening Antisemitic Abuse is on the Rise in Australian Schools’

The recent gut-wrenching story of the Jewish student at a Launceston school subjected to antisemitic and Nazi abuse is just the tip of the iceberg. For Jewish students, public schools in Australia are not what you would imagine. Antisemitic bullying is alive and well, and these terrible forces are gaining traction. The frightening reality is that we are getting very close to a point where many young Australians will be hiding their Jewishness for fear of being targeted, singled out and mocked. Schools are supposed to provide an inclusive and nurturing environment in which our young people can learn, free from religious and racial assaults – that is, unless you are Jewish… Complete Article  HERE

Image: Afghan girls in classroom studying from textbooks

‘Will I Be Illiterate’? In Taliban’s Afghanistan, Girls Fight Back—Attend Secret Classes, Refuse to Disappear

The underground school in suburban Kabul began in July this year, one of 50 set up by women’s rights activists, months after the Taliban regime in Afghanistan disallowed school for girls studying in classes 7 and above. In the Taliban’s interpretation of Islam, there is no sawaab in educating girls. While women have so far not been stopped from going to universities—men and women go on separate days—given the ban on schooling, there will be no new admissions. In the class of 26 are women of varying ages, including a woman in her thirties, who had to drop out of school in her fourth grade during the first Taliban regime from 1996 to 2001, and her daughter, who should have started Class 8 in March this year but is now out of school—two generations of women who know first-hand what it is to have dreams cut short, what it is for women and girls to live under the Taliban’s boots. “I could never go back to school after that. I come here because it is a chance to relearn how to write and read Dari and be able to do some sums, so that I can teach my children,” says the mother.  Complete Article  HERE

Statement on UNRWA Response

In respect to UNRWA’s latest statement on our report reviewing UNRWA-branded school materials, labeled for use in 2022, below is an executive summary. Given that UNRWA chose to reach out in its statement to IMPACT-se for guidance on the reviewed material, we felt compelled to provide additional information.

Although not within the scope of our research, a cursory inspection of UNRWA school social media accounts reveals that UNRWA-branded materials in our report, in violation of UN values, are, in fact, used in the UNRWA schools.

This is despite UNRWA’s absolute denial that problematic UNRWA-produced teaching materials were “authorized for use in any UNRWA school,” claiming that identified materials were from an unnamed, private commercial website, which illegally utilized the agency’s logo and names of employees.

The UNRWA-branded material analyzed in the report includes 590 pages, in 30 documents, across at least four freely available open-source platforms, spanning six separate grades. They all bear the UNRWA logo or its name in Arabic. The materials list UNRWA staff, six of whom are supervisors and inspectors, as well as 49 teachers affiliated with over 30 UNRWA schools in three verified UNRWA school districts, who helped to write and supervise the documents in question.

Read Complete Response  HERE

Image: Boy writing in a school classroom in Lebanon with children learning in the background

A Forgotten Generation: Syrian Children Dream of Education in Lebanon

Amin and his family fled Syria ten years ago, when the conflict broke out. He was just a baby when they arrived to Jbeil, Lebanon. When he was seven, Amin first joined JRS’s activities. Today, at 10 years old, he attends the JRS learning support program at Nicolas Kluiters Centre (NKC) in the morning and a local public school in the afternoon. The learning support program is designed to provide language and homework assistance to kids registered in public schools, as well as other educational activities to help students succeed. Amin is one of many children whose families, for a variety of reasons, had to flee their home country. Growing up in an unfamiliar environment, these children are now battling for a better future in their host countries…   Complete Article  HERE

Image: Girls in a school in Africa studying out of textbooks

A Case for Educational Justice in Africa

Affo, 29, was born in a polygamous family comprising more than two dozen children. He is the second child to have obtained a high school degree but the only one to have gone to university. For his seven years at high school, he had to balance his studies with part-time jobs to pay tuition fees and daily expenses. Affo was brought up in a place where educational opportunities are nearly non-existent. But Affo’s is not an isolated story. Rather, it’s common in Benin and the wider African continent. If we’re serious about intergenerational fairness, we need to urgently address the education problems facing millions of Affos in Africa. A widening educational inequality is a global problem but its effects are particularly dire in Africa, given the low level of literacy and the failure of education systems to adapt to the constantly evolving dynamics of learning. While the global literacy rate stands at 90 percent, the average in Africa is about 70 percent. But this continental average does not provide an accurate understanding of the realities.  Complete Article  HERE

Afghan Girls Waiting for Mobile School

Mobile Schools Provide Hope for Afghan Children—Especially for Girls

“Afghanistan’s education system has been devastated by more than three decades of sustained conflict. For many of the country’s children, completing primary school remains a distant dream—especially in rural areas and for girls—despite recent progress in raising enrollment.In the poorest and remote areas of the country, enrollment levels vary extensively and girls still lack equal access” (UNICEF— https://www.unicef.org/afghanistan/education).  Afghan volunteers have organized a mobile educational program to tour remote areas, giving children hope after the Taliban closed schools for girls in March. An Afghan NGO, Pen Path, gives lessons and library books to children who might otherwise be starved of any opportunity to learn. Pictorial Essay Begins  HERE

Image: Women and child on bus in Pakistan

New Bus Line Speeds Pakistani Women to Education, Jobs

Pakistani student Mah Jabeen credits a new public bus system in her home city with saving her from being stuck at her parents’ house doing chores – or even having to get married. Thanks to the Bus Rapid Transit system in the northwestern city of Peshawar, Ms. Jabeen said she had been able to continue her master’s degree—keeping alive her dreams of becoming a botanist. “My parents had decided to stop my education … because they didn’t like me traveling in the disheveled Mazda wagons,” Ms. Jabeen said, referring to the city’s privately run minibuses while sitting on a shiny BRT bus en route to college. They relented, she said, because the new bus stop was just a few minutes from her front door and dropped her off at the university gates. Launched in 2020, the BRT has proved hugely popular among women in the ultra-conservative city, where burqas and veils are standard female dress and 90 percent of women reported feeling unsafe using public transport in a 2016 survey.  Complete Article  HERE