#Educationsectorlabournegotiations; #OSSTF; #changestoclasssizes;
#e-learning; #OntarioSecondarySchoolTeachers'Federation; #EducationthatWorksforYou
Toronto, Apr 30 (Canadian-Media): Today, Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Education, issued the following statement in response to the start of education sector labor negotiations, media reports said.
Lisa Thompson. Image credit: Facebook page
"Our government took the unprecedented step this month of providing teachers' unions with an opportunity to start early good faith bargaining to allow labour negotiations to conclude in time to ensure our students will be in classes, where they belong, in September. The current education sector labour agreement negotiated by the previous government expires on August 31, 2019, which coincides with the start of the fall school year. We believe this is unacceptable. Our government will be considering changing the expiry date of future education sector labour agreements to a different time of year to minimize any disruption to students' ability to attend class.
We are pleased that the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) has taken up our invitation to start early good faith bargaining and we are calling on the remaining teachers' federations to follow their lead. We are extremely disappointed the remaining teachers' federations and education workers' unions have not responded to this opportunity. Beginning this process as early as possible is critical to protecting student achievement and the interests of Ontario families. Students need to be in class when school starts in September and parents need to be assured this will happen.
Those federations and unions who continue to delay the bargaining process are acting irresponsibly and causing unnecessary fear and anxiety for parents. They continue to prioritize their own agenda at the cost of student success and sow seeds of division and doubt.
Our government is committed to raising student test scores, addressing declining math scores and preparing students with the skills they need to enter the workforce. We have already taken steps to address a number of challenges our students face today. On March 15, 2019, our government shared its vision for education in Ontario, Education that Works for You. Our 2019-20 budget protects what matters most by increasing education funding by $700 million over last year.
We are improving students' math performance with our new $200 million four-year math strategy and we have added a $1.6 billion fund over the next four years specifically to ensure no teacher loses their job as a result of our proposed changes to class sizes or e-learning.
Those who are unwilling to join us at the bargaining table nonetheless remain outspoken about their disappointment in our vision for education. We remain focused on providing the best possible education system for our students and peace of mind for parents. Our government wants to work co-operatively with the unions to address the real issues with our education system and we are prepared to immediately begin bargaining in good faith."
#UNESCO; #Haiti; #IIEP-UNESCO; #EuropeanUnion; #EducationalPlanning
UNESCO, Apr 24 (Canadian-Media/UNESCO): In Haiti’s northern department, nearly half of all first and second cycle primary-level students are over the legal age for their grade, according to available data, UNESCO reports said.
Image Credit. UNESCO
One explanation for this is that children are slow to enter school. The level of internal efficiency is also worryingly low, with profound losses documented throughout the school cycle.
These new findings were recently uncovered as part of a coaching session for several education officers based in Haiti’s northern department. Led by the Ministry of Education and Professional Development and with technical support from IIEP-UNESCO and with funding from the European Union, this activity was part of a larger project to boost educational planning and management capacities countrywide.
The coaching session, which took place during two days at the start of April 2019, helped the planners and technicians define new indicators related to educational access, participation, and internal efficiency. The planners are now applying the indicators to a local diagnosis of the educational system, an activity being replicated throughout Haiti as part of this three-year project to help foster stronger education plans and implementation for better educational outcomes.
In addition to the high over-aged school population and low internal efficiency rate, the new indicators also led to the revelation that only half of the resources per pupil-year are used efficiently.
"Repetition and being pushed out of the system are the two main factors that contribute to this situation. It is a major handicap for the system, which will have to be solved," said Mackenzy Blaise, one of the project’s coaches.
The three education officers who received coaching - Denis Roosevelt (technician), Dérius Erick (planning manager), and Merla Christophe (technician) - calculated the over-aged student population based on a series of key indicators and data provided by the DPCE to the central Ministry. For the academic year 2018-2019, the northern department in Haiti has 286,650 students in the first two cycles at the primary level. They then calculated that only 53 percent of these students are of the right age, between 6 and 11 years old.
"The very large number of over-aged students in the first two cycles of primary school is a serious problem in the northern department, and it must be solved as soon as possible if the system is to be effective and normal,” said Fedner Devalon, a second coach in the project. “After fully diagnosing the education sector, we must now interpret these new data, analyse them carefully, and then proceed to develop a strategic plan for this department, including a special programme for over-aged students.”
Merla Christophe said that the team of planners from the Departmental Directorates of Education will now be much more effective in their work as the coaching and diagnosis have enabled them to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the system, learn about educational priorities, and how to respond effectively. "This diagnosis,” Christophe added, “will help us determine which actions are likely to improve education for Haitian children.
Image Credit: UNESCO
UNESCO marks 20th anniversary of Second Protocol to 1954 Hague Convention on cultural heritage in times of armed conflict
#UNESCO; #ProtectingCulturalProperty; #1954HagueConvention; #EventofofArmedConflict; #InternationalCommitteeoftheRedCross; #UnitedNations; #humanrights; #Mali; #Syria
UNESCO, Apr 24 (Canadian-Media/UNESCO): From 25 to 26 April, UNESCO will host a high level conference, Protecting Cultural Property, International Conference on the 20th anniversary of the 1999 Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention, in Geneva, Switzerland, to take stock of successes and challenges in implementing the 1954 Hague Convention, with a particular focus on its Second Protocol, and provide a coherent vision for the future.
Marco Domino. Image credit: UNESCO
The Second Protocol complements the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, with enhanced protection and recognition of individuals’ criminal responsibility in cases of heritage destruction. To date 82 States have ratified the Second Protocol.
Two-hundred and fifty participants, including experts, government ministers and stakeholders are expected to attend the conference, which is organized with the support of the Government of Switzerland.
Opening the conference will be Pascale Baeriswyl, State Secretary, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Switzerland, Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture, Balthasar Staehelin, Deputy Director of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.
Panel sessions will focus on an historical overview of the 1999 Second Protocol, successes and challenges surrounding its implementation, the human rights approach to the protection of cultural heritage, modern armed conflicts emergency response mechanisms, international criminal law, and on the role of non-governmental actors in supporting implementation. Experts will share their experience and discuss examples such as those of Mali and Syria.
#UNESCO; #InternationalBookandCopyrightDay; #indigenouslanguages
United Nations, Apr 23 (Canadian-Media): The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has long celebrated the power of International Book and Copyright Day, marked on 23 April, but this year, special attention is being paid to the protection of indigenous languages, many of which are threatened with extinction, UN reports said.
Students at the Quang Son Daycare Center in Ninh Thuan Province, Viet Nam. The daycare center serves children who are ethnic minorities in the area, as well as children with disabilities. Image credit: UNICEF/Quan.
Beyond just pure enjoyment, books have always been considered a bridge between generations and across cultures. "Books are a form of cultural expression that lives through and as part of a chosen language”, said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, in a message for the day.
“Each publication is created in a distinct language and is intended for a language-specific reading audience. A book is thus written, produced, exchanged, used and appreciated in a given linguistic and cultural setting”.
Highlighting the importance of this dimension, as 2019 also marks the International Year of Indigenous Languages, Ms. Azoulay emphasized the “commitment of the international community in supporting indigenous peoples to preserve their cultures, knowledge and rights."
On this occasion, UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of the book industry - publishers, booksellers and libraries - also select the World Book Capital from year to year, to maintain, through its own initiatives, the impetus of the Day’s celebrations.
“Don’t give up on your dreams.”
Children’s book author and former Somali refugee Habso Mohamud poses with students after a book reading at a middle school in the Washington, DC area. Image credit: © UNHCR/Arielle Moncure
Speaking of her own experience as a 24-year-old former refugee from Somalia, Habso Mohamud, wrote It Only Takes One Yes, an illustrated children’s book to inspire children around the world.
The project supported by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, tells the story of little Nasra, who dreams about being a queen who can feed the hungry and make books grow from trees, so that everyone could read.
Growing up in Dadaab refugee camp, in Kenya, Habso had to walk 45 minutes to get to school every day. Even so, she would never miss a class.
“The love of education really came from when I was in the refugee camp,” Habso explains. “I wouldn’t miss out on those opportunities even though they were far from my home.”
Now Habso is sharing that message with schoolchildren at readings across the United States, where she resettled with her family in 2005. By telling her story, she also aims to challenge stereotypes about refugees and mental health.
#Africa, #OxfordUniversityPress; #kona; #Tanzania;
A new dictionary of African politics, published by Oxford University Press, tries to capture this richness by describing people, institutions and events by defining theoretical terms, media reports said.
Oxford Dictionary of African Politics. Image credit: Twitter handle of DIA
More significant, the editors used social media to crowdsource the terminology of the kona, getting hundreds of responses.
There are two ways to talk about politics. One describes the dry mechanics of government. The language of bills and ballots, cabinets and coalitions, is similar the world over. The other is inventive, diverse and bleakly humorous—the idiom of the street, or what in Tanzania they call the kona (corner).
#Anualmathtest; #Ontarioteachers; #Curriculumsupport; #LisaThompson; #Ontarioeducation
Ottawa, Apr 4 (Canadian-Media): Ontario considering mandatory annual math testing for all teachers, both at primary and secondary levels, even if they do not teach maths in class, media reports said.
Lisa Thompson. Image credit: Facebook page
A legislation had been passed by the Ontario government yesterday requiring all aspiring teachers in Ontario to pass a math test before receiving their licence to teach.
This decision is based on the announcement last month by Ontario Education Minister Lisa Thompson, and parliamentary assistant Sam Oosterhoff of significant changes to the province's education system.
There were several oppositions regarding this consideration across the province. regarding this decision. Opposition critics said the government should be thinking of curriculum supports and teacher training instead of imposing a test on teachers.