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Education

Convocation: NOUN graduates 28,740 students

The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) on Saturday graduated 28,740 students, comprising 21,339 undergraduates and 7,401 post graduates, from all the institution’s study centres across the country.

The Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Olufemi Peters, at the 12th convocation ceremony in Abuja, said 58 of the graduates are inmates of various Correctional Centres in the country.

Olufemi, while congratulating the students, also charged them to diligently apply themselves in whatever capacity with integrity as true ambassadors of NOUN.

According to him, every graduate should look forward with great expectation to the future, a future that holds the potential for the realisation of their dreams.

“I am delighted to inform you that it is now 20 years since the resuscitation of the National Open University of Nigeria and commencement of academic activities therein.

“This convocation therefore marks the commencement of activities to commemorate the resuscitation of the University.

“At the undergraduate level, we are presenting a total of 21,339 students, 6 students made First-Class degree; 2,306 students had Second Class Upper Division; 11,075 had Second Class Lower Division.

“Also, 5,558 had Third Class Degree, we also recorded 279 students’ Passes. We are graduating a total of 2,057 students in the Bachelor of Nursing Science Programme.

“85 of these are graduating with distinction; 1,231 are graduating with credit; while 75 are graduating with Pass degrees in the new classification system,” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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Education

Embracing the African philosophy of uMunthu to bolster anti-corruption education

Lilongwe, Malawi, 20- 24 February 2023 — In Chichewa, one of the indigenous languages of Malawi, there is an old saying: “Kali kokha nkanyama; ali awiri ndi anthu”. Translated to “No man is an island,” it stems from the African indigenous philosophy of uMunthu and reflects the notion that no single person exists as an isolated individual, but rather as a member of their broader community.

The values of ethics, integrity, altruism and empathy that reinforce uMunthu are also those key values that inspire and shape the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s work around primary education. Through its methodology to build a culture of rejection of corruption amongst young people around the world, UNODC’s Global Resource for Anti-Corruption Education and Youth Empowerment initiative, or GRACE, works directly at the intersection between Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 (quality education) and SDG16 (building peace, justice and strong institutions), to foster the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UNODC strongly believes in the progressive change that indigenous philosophies like uMunthu can bring when correctly integrated into formal education systems, while at the same time fostering Pan-Africanism and corruption-free societies.

To advance this, GRACE, the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Malawi (ACB), the Malawi Ministry of Education and the Malawi Institute of Education (MIE), in collaboration with UNDP Malawi, have been working to support the development of primary educational material based on this important African philosophy.

The aim is to create a ‘sourcebook’, i.e. a scripted manual with lesson plans and activities on ethics, integrity, and corruption for teachers to deliver in primary school. By embodying uMunthu values, attitudes and behaviours, the belief is that together it is possible to build just communities where corruption is ultimately rejected.

Ahead of the finalization of this important tool for teachers and the start of trainings in the country, representatives from the partner institutions and the two UN entities held discussions across Malawi. During the dialogues, the perspectives of students, teachers, parents, traditional and religious leaders and civil society were collected on the best way to approach this task and ensure the content is both context-specific and age-appropriate.

“The consultation experience was so enriching and changed the whole perception of the concept of the sourcebook,” noted Catherine Nkhoma, Principal Public Education Officer at the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Malawi and a former teacher herself. “After the consultations, we realized that the material we develop needs to speak to children!”

Over a period of ten days, 180-plus community members, primary school teachers and pupils from Blantyre, Lilongwe, Machinga and Rumphi were consulted.

“We are going to change Malawi. With this, we have an aim to achieve!” said one enthusiastic teacher who was consulted at Henry Henderson Primary School in Blantyre after reading the first unit of the sourcebook.

Currently, all the feedback gathered is being aggregated and will be included in the final sourcebook, which will be used as the foundation to develop a teaching methodology and start training teachers across the country.

Behavioural change is a long-term process, but youth deserve an opportunity to design better futures. As Ms. Nkhoma commented, “While we know corruption is a difficult and cross-sectional problem, we need to start somewhere.”

Source: EMM/ Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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Education

Bahrain: IPU Secretary-General calls for dialogue

Manama – The Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Martin Chungong, appealed in Manama for open and fraternal dialogue as a way to solve internal conflicts and between nations.

Speaking to the Angolan press, Martin Chungong said that dialogue allows belligerents to talk and express their points of view, so that they can be taken into account and a solution that satisfies everyone can be found.

When asked about the conflicts in the east region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and between Russia and Ukraine, Martin Chungong stressed the need for cohabitation and peaceful coexistence, respect for religious difference and human dignity for everyone´s well-being.

He said that IPU is for peaceful coexistence, for the promotion of peace and tolerance.

Specifically, regarding the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Martin Chungong announced that IPU will create a task force to keep the channels of dialogue open, reporting on the steps taken to resolve the conflict.

Martin Chungong said that the task force is the only interlocutor of the organisation mandated to maintain permanent dialogue with both countries and help find the best way forward.

The Angolan delegation, headed by the Parliament Speaker, Carolina Cerqueira, spent four days of intense parliamentary diplomacy, maintaining contacts with foreign counterparts with whom she discussed issues related to cooperation between Angola and the respective countries, as well as between parliaments.

During the meetings with the most different personalities, Carolina Cerqueira took the opportunity to promote Angola´s image by publicising the achievements of the government aimed at the social well-being of Angolans and the political transformations that have resulted in a younger parliament, balanced in terms of gender and where peaceful and partisan coexistence is a reality.

In addition to the approach on bilateral cooperation, Carolina Cerqueira also emphasised the need to create parliamentary friendship groups with some countries in order to promote exchanges and exchange of experience in a more active way.

The Angolan delegation also took the opportunity to gather detailed information about the organisation of the event by learning from Bahrain´s experience for the success of the Luanda meeting.

During the 146th General Assembly of the IPU, the parliamentarians addressed, among others, issues related to peaceful coexistence, tolerance, inclusion, crimes and security against cybercrime, climate change, advancement of women in politics, youth in change, natural disasters and global health, as well as the strengthening of climate legislation to reduce carbon emissions and support for a clean energy transition.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is made up of 178 national parliaments and 12 regional assemblies. It is currently the main parliamentary interlocutor with the United Nations.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

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Education

UNITA youth wing begins 5th Congress works

Viana – The 5th ordinary congress of the Revolutionary United Youth of Angola (JURA) started Wednesday in the Municipality of Viana, in Luanda, with internal work, with emphasis on the presentation and analysis of contributions related to the proposed agenda of the national committee meeting.

The official opening ceremony of the three-day congress is scheduled for Thursday, during which the new leader of the Youth Organization will be elected to replace the outgoing secretary-general, Agostinho Kamuango.

Manuel Armando Nelito Ekuikui and João Lucombo are the two candidates vying for the top JURA position.

Speaking to the press, João Lucombo promised that he will prepare JURA to defend the interests of Angolan youth if he wins the elections, while Nelito Ekuikui stressed that he intends to empower Angolan youth to be authors of their own achievements, challenges and dreams.

JURA´s 5th congress foresees the assessment of key issues to solve problems affecting youth such as unemployment, homelessness and social conditions in general.

The congress, which brings together more than 500 delegates from all provinces of the country, will be held under the slogan “JURA – Innovate and Mobilize to Win”.

The United Revolutionary Youth of Angola was founded on July 18, 1974, by David Janotão, who was the first leader of the youth organization.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

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Education

João Lourenço wants to increase cooperation with Japan

Kyoto – The Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço, Wednesday advocated the increase of cooperation with Japan in the economic, cultural and tourism fields, within the framework of reciprocal advantages.

In a statement after a meeting with the governor of Kyoto, Takatoshi Nishiwaki, the Angolan president noted the modernism and economic development of Japan, a country considered to be the world’s third biggest economy.

In the brief speech in Kyoto, a millenary city and of strong cultural traces, the Head of State stressed that the strength of a people resides in its history and culture, having added that “the Japanese are a strong people because, throughout the centuries, they have been able to keep their traditions alive”.

In Kyoto, where the Angolan President ended his four-day official visit to the Land of the Rising Sun, besides visiting the Imperial Palace, he participated in a Japanese people ritual, which consists in drinking a local tea, accompanied by the First Lady, Ana Dias Lourenço.

Governor defends partnership

After a meeting with the Angolan Head of State, the Governor of Kyoto, Takatoshi Nishiwaki, defended the need for a strategic partnership with Angola and noted the country’s potential in the mining, agricultural, fishing and tourism sectors, adding that cooperation links with the African country had become increasingly close since the creation of an Angolan honorary consulate in Kyoto in 2021.

Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, is a city on the island of Honshu, famous for its many classical Buddhist temples, gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It is also known for its formal traditions, such as the kaiseki dinner, with several specific dishes and it is located about 470 kilometres off Tokyo City.

According to President João Lourenço’s schedule, he is expected to leave the city of Kyoto this Wednesday, returning to Luanda with a stopover in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

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Education

Bahrain: King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa reiterates commitment to democracy

Manama – The King of Bahrain Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa on Tuesday reiterated his commitment to democracy, tolerance and diversity.

In a short welcoming message for the representatives of parliaments attending the 146th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), being held from March 11 to 15, the king said he considers the above mentioned aspects as elements that allow the Kingdom of Bahrain to present itself to the world as a modern country with solidarity with the noble causes of humanity.

Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa congratulated Angola for being chosen to host the next IPU Assembly and wished the best for the success of the event, which will be the largest parliamentary forum in the world.

At the ceremony held at the royal palace, Angola was represented by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Carolina Cerqueira and the Second Vice Speaker, Arleth Chimbinda.

During the ceremony, the King received and greeted all the heads of the invited delegations.

During four days of work, the Angolan delegation carried out an intense day of parliamentary diplomacy, meeting with foreign counterparts with whom it discussed issues related to cooperation between Angola and the respective countries, as well as among parliaments.

Carolina Cerqueira took advantage of the meetings with several parliamentarians and others to promote the country’s image, highlight the government’s achievements towards the social well-being of Angolans and the political transformations that have resulted in a younger parliament, balanced in terms of gender and where peaceful and partisan coexistence is a reality.

Carolina Cerqueira also emphasized the need to create parliamentary friendship groups with some countries to promote exchanges of experience in a more active way.

Angola received members of all the delegations present, with a daily flow of more than 300 delegates eager to learn about the country, the next spot for the IUP meeting, in October this year.

During the 146th General Assembly of the IPU, Angola gathered experiences of the coordination of the meeting in Bahrain, during a meeting between the National Assembly Speaker, Carolina Cerqueira, and the President of the Organizing Committee, Jamal Fakhro.

The Angolan delegation took the opportunity to gather detailed information about the organisation of the event, learning from Bahrain’s experience for the success of the event Luanda intends to hold.

During the IPU general assembly, parliamentarians discussed the organisation’s strategies on climate change, accountability at all levels, as well as the transformation of speeches into actions to fight climate change.

The agenda encompassed the strengthening of climate legislation to reduce carbon emissions and support for a clean energy transition.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union is made up of 178 national parliaments and 12 regional assemblies. It is currently the main parliamentary interlocutor for the United Nations.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

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Education

Bahrain: IPU General Assembly ends with Angola display

Manama – The 146th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) held at the Bahrain’s World Exhibition, in Manama, capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain, ended this Wednesday afternoon with the display of a promotional video with detailed information and images about Angola.

Angola will host, in October this year, the IPU’s 147th General Assembly, which is why the organization took the opportunity to promote the host country of the next world inter-parliamentary meeting.

During the four days of activity, which brought together representatives of 178 national parliaments and 12 regional assemblies, the Angolan delegation headed by its National Assembly leader, Carolina Cerqueira, developed an intense day of parliamentary diplomacy, maintaining contacts with foreign counterparts with whom it addressed issues associated to cooperation between Angola and the respective countries, as well as between parliaments.

Carolina Cerqueira took advantage of the meetings with the most diverse sensitivities to promote the country’s image and features, making known the achievements made by the Executive aimed at the social well-being of Angolans and the political reforms, which resulted in a younger parliament, balanced in terms of gender and where peaceful and partisan coexistence is a reality.

In addition to the approach on bilateral cooperation, Carolina Cerqueira also emphasized the need to create parliamentary friendship groups with some countries in order to promote trade and experience exchange in a more active way.

Also highlighted was the Angola spot, which, throughout the event, received members of all the delegations present, with a daily flow of more than 300 delegates eager to know information about the country, the IPU’s next stop, in October of the current year.

The Angolan delegation also took advantage and learned detailed information on the organization of the event, “drinking” on Bahrain’s experience for the success of the conclave in Luanda.

During the IPU’s 146th General Assembly, parliamentarians addressed, among others, issues linked to peaceful coexistence, tolerance, inclusion, crime and security against cybercrime, climate change, advances of women in politics, youth in change, natural disasters and global health.

The approach also included reinforcement of climate legislation to reduce carbon gas emissions and support for a clean energy transition.

The parliamentarians approved, among other documents, a resolution in which they call for dialogue as a way to end armed conflicts in the world, highlighting Russia and Ukraine’s war issues.

They also approved the creation of a task force, as the only interlocutor, to monitor the situation in Ukraine, as well as to help in the dialogue between the two member countries of the organization.

The IPU is made up of 178 national parliaments and 12 regional assemblies. It is currently the United Nations main parliamentary interlocutor of the United Nations.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

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Education

Education: More investment in school health, nutrition, will realize childhood potential

Although investing in school health and nutrition has a positive effect on children’s academic outcomes, one-third of schools worldwide still do not have access to drinking water and basic sanitation facilities, three UN agencies said in a report published on Wednesday.

It is estimated that some 584 million children have limited or no access to basic drinking water services at school.

Nearly half live in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the study by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

A supportive environment

Furthermore, even though practically all countries in the world provide school meals, roughly 73 million of the most vulnerable children still do not benefit from these programmes.

“Students learn best in safe and healthy schools,” said Audrey Azoulay, the UNESCO Director-General.

Speaking on behalf of the partners, she urged the international community to support countries in investing in health, nutrition and social protection at school “because children deserve an environment where they can reach their full potential.”

Feeding young minds

School meals alone increase enrolment and attendance rates by nine per cent and eight per cent, respectively, the report revealed.

In places where anaemia and worm infections are prevalent, de-worming and micronutrient supplementation can keep children in school for an additional 2.5 years.

Additionally, students are 50 per cent less likely to skip school when the learning environment is free from violence, and absenteeism is reduced in low-income countries when promoting handwashing, particularly for girls during menstruation, when water, sanitation and hygiene is improved.

Return on investment

The report also addresses other issues such as the promotion of eyecare, mental health and well-being of children, and prevention of school violence.

Measures like these represent a significant return on investment for countries, in addition to improving the lives of children and adolescents, with benefits extending to homes and whole communities.

For example, every $1 invested in school feeding programmes generates $9 in returns, according to the report, while school programmes that address mental health can potentially deliver a return of nearly $22.

A lesson from Malawi

UNESCO spoke to Wezzie Kacheche, who teaches life skills education, also known as comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), at a secondary school in northern Malawi.

Students there increasingly dropout of school due to early and unintended pregnancy, early marriage, and drug and substance abuse.

Ms. Kaleche provides her students with appropriate information about health and sexuality, helping them to “demystify adolescence” at a time where young people get most of their information online or from their peers.

“One of the girls in my class was on the verge of dropping out of school due to her risky sexual activity and drinking habits,” she recalled. “Upon watching a video about sexually transmitted infections during my class, she came to me to seek more information privately.”

Unequal and insufficient

Currently, 90 per cent of countries globally invest in school and nutrition programmes, and more than 100 nations organise school vaccination drives, said UNESCO, pointing to some of the good news in the report.

One in two primary school children receives school meals and nearly every country includes education for health and well-being in its curriculum.

Unfortunately, investments are unequal from region to region, and are often insufficient compared to the needs. The report advocates for stronger commitment from governments and support from the international community.

Globally, investment stands at only $2 billion annually whereas some $210 billion is needed in low- and lower middle-income countries alone.

Key interventions are needed, the partners said, including provision of school meals, vaccinations, de-worming, psychosocial support, and safe and inclusive learning environments that promote health and well-being.

Source: United Nations

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Education

Pope Francis Prepares for Long-Awaited Visit to Congo and South Sudan

Pope Francis is set travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan at the end of the month – a visit the pontiff had earlier been forced to postpone due to health issues.

Pope Francis will visit the DRC from January 31 to February 3 and then spend two days in South Sudan before returning to the Vatican. When the Holy See announced the trip, which was called off due to the pope’s knee ailments last summer, it said the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland would travel with the pope.

The pope will first travel to Kinshasa, where he will meet with the country’s authorities, victims of the conflict in the eastern part of the country and representatives of charitable organizations. Then he will fly to Juba, the capital of South Sudan, on February 3.

Kinshasa, a large and impoverished city of more than 10 million people, is getting a face lift ahead of the papal visit. The apostolic nuncio in the DRC, Ettore Balestrero, said a huge effort is being made to ensure security and public order while the pope is in the country. It is the first time a pope has traveled to the country in 37 years and Balestrero said that for many people Pope Francis’ arrival is “a dream come true.”

In an interview with Vatican News, the archbishop said the main purpose of the DRC visit is “to awaken faith in those who do not have it and to strengthen the joy of those who do.” He added that “throughout the country there is an anticipation of receiving a word of consolation and also of healing of the wounds that are still bleeding, especially in the east.”

On Tuesday Pope Francis sent condolences to victims of the bombing of a Pentecostal church in Kasindi in North Kivu province in eastern Congo. Islamic militants claimed responsibility for the attack that killed at least 14 people and injured more than 60. The pope originally planned to visit Goma in North Kivu but as violence continues to ravage parts of the province, that stop was scrapped.

Pope Francis has long desired to travel to predominantly Christian South Sudan but the unstable situation in the country had complicated plans for a visit. A peace deal was signed in the country in 2018, putting an end to a five-year civil war that killed 400,000 people but the nation is still reeling from hunger and violence.

Speaking at the end of Sunday Angelus prayers in Saint Peter’s Square in December, the pope made one more appeal for an end to the violence in South Sudan and asked for prayers for reconciliation.

Pope Francis expressed concern at the news of violent clashes in South Sudan. He prayed for peace and national reconciliation and an end to attacks. He also called for civilians to be respected.

In South Sudan, Pope Francis will meet with internally displaced persons and take part in an ecumenical prayer service at the John Garang Mausoleum in Juba, where he will also celebrate Mass on Sunday before returning to the Vatican.

Source: Voice of America

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Education

UN launches first-ever International Finance Facility for Education

UNITED NATIONS— UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his special envoy for global education, Gordon Brown, launched a multi-billion-dollar International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd).

 

With the first projects expected in 2023, IFFEd will support education and skills development investments in lower-middle-income countries. With an initial funding of 2 billion U.S. dollars, the facility is expected to expand to 10 billion dollars by 2030.

 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, two-thirds of countries have cut their education budgets, but education is the building block of peaceful, prosperous, stable societies, said Guterres at a Saturday joint press conference with Brown. “Reducing investment virtually guarantees more serious crises further down the line. We need to get more, not less, money into education systems.”

 

Wealthy countries can increase funding from domestic sources, but many developing countries are being hit by the cost-of-living crisis, and urgently need support for education, Guterres said, adding that this is exactly the role of the IFFEd.

 

This facility is aimed at getting financing to lower-middle-income countries — home to half of the world’s children and youth — and to the majority of the world’s displaced and refugee children, he noted.

 

IFFEd is not a new fund, but a mechanism to increase the resources available to multilateral banks to provide low-cost education finance. It will complement and work alongside existing tools that provide grants and other assistance, said Guterres, urging all international donors and philanthropic organizations to back IFFEd.

 

Brown said IFFEd is to deal with a crisis when 260 million school-age children do not go to school, 400 million children at the age of 11 are not able to read or write and leave education for good, and 840 million children and young people, by the time they leave education in their teens, have no qualifications for the workplace of the future.

 

“Over time, we expect the fund to grow from the two billion (dollars) that it will be initially, to five billion and then to 10 billion. This means that today we’re announcing the biggest-ever single investment in global education that the world has seen, and we believe it can transform the prospects of millions of children,” he said.

 

Source: Nam News Network

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Education

At UN, Leaders Confront COVID’s Impact on Global Education

With COVID-related school disruptions setting back children around the world, activists implored world leaders Monday to prioritize school systems and restore educational budgets slashed when the pandemic hit.

The summit on transforming education, held at the U.N. General Assembly ahead of the annual leaders’ meeting, was expected to produce commitments from the world’s nations to ensure that children everywhere from sub-Saharan Africa to the United States don’t fall too far behind.

“Seven years ago, I stood on this platform hoping that the voice of a teenage girl who took a bullet in standing up for her education would be heard,” said Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, a U.N. messenger of peace. “On that day, countries, corporates, civil society, all of us committed to work together to see every child in schools by 2030. It is heartbreaking that halfway through that target date, we are facing an education emergency.”

Nigerian youth activist Karimot Odebode was more pointed. “We demand you take responsibility,” Odebode told the General Assembly. “We will not stop until every person in every village and every highland has access to an education.”

The percentage of 10-year-old children in poor and middle-income countries who cannot read a simple story increased to an estimated 70% — up 13 percentage points since before the pandemic shuttered classrooms, according to a report from the World Bank, UNESCO and UNICEF.

Will the world’s leaders do enough to help their youngest citizens learn to read and gain the other skills they need to thrive? It will require addressing systemic problems that existed before the pandemic, dignitaries and students say. Countries will need to increase spending, change policies to increase access for girls and disabled students, and modernize instruction to stress critical thinking rather than rote memorization.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us to radically transform education,” U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told reporters ahead of the education summit at U.N. headquarters in New York. “We owe it to the coming generation if we don’t want to witness the emergence of a generation of misfits.”

When COVID-19 closed schools around the world in spring 2020, many children simply stopped learning — some for months, others for longer. For many, there was no such thing as remote learning. More than 800 million young people around the world lacked internet access at home, according to a study by UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union in December 2020.

More recent studies underscore the pandemic’s lasting effects. “The learning losses from COVID were enormous,” Mohammed said.

The amount of time school buildings were closed because of COVID-19 varied widely around the world. At the extreme, schools in parts of Latin America and South Asia were closed for 75 weeks or longer, according to UNESCO. In parts of the United States, including cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles, schools operated remotely from March 2020 through most of the 2020-2021 school year.

There also were huge variations in the availability and quality of remote learning. In some countries, students stuck at home had access to paper packets, or radio and television programs, or almost nothing at all. Others had access to the internet and video conferences with teachers.

The estimated learning delays on average ranged from over 12 months of school for students in South Asia to less than four for students in Europe and Central Asia, according to an analysis by consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

Most of the world’s classrooms are now back open, but 244 million school-age children are still out of school, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said during the summit, citing data from the U.N. education agency. Most of those children — 98 million — live in sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Central and Southern Asia, in a reminder of the deep inequalities that persist in access to education, she said.

In many places, money is the key ingredient for stemming the crisis, if not fully reaching the leaders’ lofty goal of “transforming education.” “Education financing must be a priority for governments,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the General Assembly Monday. “It is the single most important investment any country can make in its people and its future.”

On average wealthy countries invest $8,000 a year per school-aged child, compared to upper middle-income countries, like some in Latin America, that invest $1,000 per year, according to a report from UNESCO and Global Education Monitoring. Lower income countries allot roughly $300 a year and some poor countries— just $50 a year per student.

Rich countries should also step up spending, said Guterres. In recent years, Germany, France and the United States have given the most international aid toward education in low-income countries, according to a 2021 Center for Global Development report. The United States invested more than $1.5 billion annually from 2017-2019, according to the report based on the most recent available data.

As top dignitaries urged individual countries to prioritize their youngest citizens, it was some of the youngest attendees at the summit who aired the most skepticism toward any prospect of change. After all, the U.N. lacks any authority to force countries to spend more on schooling.

Yousafzai urged countries to devote 20% of their budgets toward education. “Most of you know what exactly needs to be done,” she said. “You must not make small, stingy and short-term pledges.”

 

 

Source: Voice of America

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Education

Mozambique drops textbook over sexuality, masturbation content

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Philippines Daily Inquirer

MAPUTO — Mozambique will remove a seventh grade natural science textbook from schools after outrage on social media over content that discussed masturbation and homosexuality, the education ministry said Tuesday. Pupils in the southern African country have studied “The Secret of Life” by Portuguese publisher Texto Editores for the past 18 years. However sections of a chapter on sexual orientation and masturbation went viral on social media after being posted on Facebook last Thursday. Under pressure, the education ministry quickly decided to withdraw the book, with controversial parts to be st…