#Washington; #LoC; #EmbroideringGeographicalMaps; AmericanandBritishSchoolGirls
Washington/Canadian-Media: A map of England and Wales, collected from the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress (LoC) and carefully preserved by the staff of the LoC Preservation Directorate was embroidered by Sophia Mason in the year 1802, with her name stitched at the bottom of the map; the year 1802 is printed beneath her name, LoC reports said.
Sofia Mason. A map of England & Wales. 1802. Geography and Map Division.
From the 18th to the early 19th century, needlework was considered an important part of the curriculum for girls but the use of map needlework for geographical education started to decline during the 1820s. American and British school girls received their geographical education by embroidering maps on pieces of cloth. Girls were educated either at home or sent to boarding schools or dame schools headed by single women.
Extensive research on antique map samplers was conducted on Dr. Judith A. Tyner, a cartographer and historian, and the author of the book "Stitching the World: Embroidered Maps and Women’s Geographical Education." Very little information was available about the use of map samplers to educate young women in geography before her book was published.
Research on embroidered maps was overlooked, according to Tyner because cartographic historians did not consider them to be true maps, some even considered them as cartifacts, an object with a map on it that is used primarily for decorative purposes. But Tyner thought them to be true maps noting the accurate placement of the counties and bodies of water on the detailed sampler. She also thought that map embroidery must have been a very effective method for learning geography.
Detail from A map of England and Wales.
Detail from A map of England and Wales.
The young mapmakers who stitched them will always remain anonymous. Many existing map samplers, being in a state of deterioration were discarded because of their condition. All map samplers that were embroidered during the 18th and 19th centuries are cultural artifacts that should be preserved. We are fortunate to have this map sampler in the Library’s collections as embroidered maps are an important part of cartographic history.
#Washington; #LibraryOfCongress; #WaltWhitman
Washington/Canadian-Media: Library of Congress (LoC)'s By the People launched May 26 a new project Whitman campaign in honor of Walt Whitman’s May birthday, focusing on the diaries and notebooks in the Manuscript Division’s Charles E. Feinberg Collection of Walt Whitman Papers, LoC reported.
Library of Congress. Image credit: Twitter handle
Walt Whitman. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
By the People is an online transcription platform where anyone with an internet connection can transcribe documents from Library of Congress digitized collections. Everyone is welcome to contribute to this crowdsourcing project including members of the public, non-specialists and specialists alike, to help make data more usable and discoverable.
A journalist, essayist, autobiographical and freelance writer, critic, and poet, Whitman carried small and often hand-made notebooks with him most places he went to note everything under the sun, and made them into creative assemblages of his thoughts, observations, and miscellany.
Containing names and places, the notebooks provide evidence of Whitman’s thoughts on politics and politicians, the natural sciences and the organic composition of the soil beneath our feet, and the nature of time, death, and eternity.
“The Insects.” Idea of a poem. Whitman notebook of government, nature, trial lines and self-advice, c. 1855-56. Feinberg-Whitman Papers, Manuscript Division.
Whitman wrote in his notebooks about what His observations while on the streets of Washington during the Civil War were transcribed to his notebooks including the hotels, recently enslaved persons classified in property terms as “contraband” walking up wartime Fourteenth Street, Union soldiers waiting for their pay.
Besides compassionately describing the severity of the conditions of the patients he met while volunteering in Civil War hospital wards, he also sketched scenarios of the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the haze of camp fires during his visit to the Union army encampments at Culpeper, of the sun setting behind the U.S. Capitol, and political opinions formed after witnessing proceedings while sitting in the gallery of Congress.
Combined with resources from the Whitman-Harned collections with two hospital notebooks containing information translated into Whitman’s journalism and poems about the Civil War were, they form a basis of Whitman’s published memoirs about Washington in the war period. The Whitman campaign materials in By the People relate closely to other campaigns of collection items about the Civil War.
Description of Union army camp at Culpeper, VA, Feb. 1864. Whitman hospital notebook 12, Washington, D.C., c. 1863. Whitman-Feinberg Papers, Manuscript Division. Image credit: LoC
Description of Capitol Hill at sunset, Feb. 1863. Whitman diary, 1863. Whitman-Feinberg Papers, Manuscript Division.
Especially for the literary minded, these notebooks reveal Whitman as a wordsmith who was perpetually working at and ruminating upon his writing and demonstrate the creative behind-the-scenes work of the writer’s craft.
Many concepts on which Whitman worked later appeared in published form in Leaves of Grass or in his many prose writings. He jotted down ideas he had for his freelance writing. He compiled figures of speech, turns of phrase, and words and slang he heard spoken or that he had encountered when reading from a variety of sources. Always working toward utilizing a newer American vernacular in poetry and songs, he evoked philosophies and defined for himself the meanings of words like “microcosm” (“the great whole world”). He imagined a new form of opera that would incorporate American folk song, dialects, and idioms of speech—a concept that would later be manifested in productions like Porgy and Bess, the poems of Sterling A. Brown, or the plays of August Wilson.
Focusing upon philosophies of writing and of life, he records titles of books and the authors he’s reading. he had thoughts about writing a poem about libraries, poems about American names, letter writing, occupations, artists, singers, musicians, tools found in hardware stores or used in trades, tears, insects and plant life, Indigenous peoples, and the various states.
He examines the mandate for equality in light of the perpetual hierarchies created by humankind and figured liberty as something still in the process of being realized. He champions the felon, the prostitute, enslaved people, and those who are dying. While thinking about the nature of personality, of introverts and extroverts, magnetism and ego, he writes of infusing the spirit of joy into poems.
Trial lines and concepts that we see Whitman working on in the notebooks became distilled in such poems as “Song of Myself,” “I Sing the Body Electric,” “Proto-Leaf,” “Starting from Paumanok,” “Song of Occupations,” “the Sleepers,” “Song of the Broad-Axe,” “To the States,” and “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.”
We ultimately see in the notebooks Whitman achieving what poet Alberto Ríos has called a “rugged pluralism.” That is poetry freed of the parlor and brought out into the neighborhoods and the streets, enlivening and honoring what is witnessed, and dealing and struggling, sometime imperfectly, with major questions. The notebooks show poetry as a live and dynamic and changing thing. In the notebook pages we find seeds of influence and work that have since Whitman’s time continued to grow and expand and entwine more communities in ever more diverse languages and voices. This is happening as writers of increasingly polyglot identities take up the mantle of poetry writing today, and as students in classrooms, and those who are penning their own thoughts and trial lines as they walk down the streets of their city, join poetry slams, and see all around them the poetic, as Whitman did, in animal, vegetable, mineral, Earth, and in the faces of strangers and those passing by.
The By the People crowdsourcing transcription process provides volunteers a chance to engage closely with Whitman as he was in effect thinking aloud on the notebook pages and recording information he could turn back to or rework later. They will find that many themes remain evergreen. Whitman writes about caste, and of social hierarchies, and the immorality of slavery and its lasting influence on the body politic.
#ManitobaSchools, #Covid19Rise, #OnlineLearning
Winnipeg/Canadian-Media: COVID-19 pandemic infections rising cases in Manitoba has resulted in the province's decision to move all kindergarten to Grade 12 students in Winnipeg and Brandon to remote learning starting Wednesday.
Image: Online School Education. Image credit: Pixaby
Manitoba's Education Minister Cliff Cullen at an impromptu news conference, alongside Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said on Sunday that students should stay at home until May 30.
"Three-quarters of the schools affected are in Winnipeg and Brandon. So right now, that was the most important to move [to remote learning] at this point," he said.
Presently, schools in other parts of Manitoba will stay open but would move to online learning in case these schools see more than one COVID-19 case unless those are people from the same household.
Schools that move to remote learning, said Cullen will still be able to accommodate children of critical service workers from kindergarten to Grade 6 as well as kindergarten to Grade 12 students considered to be at high risk or who have certain disabilities.
#Covid19Pandemic; #MediaExtinction; #UN
New York/Canada-Media: The financial decline of many public interest media organizations worldwide has been among the dangerous side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday in remarks to a UN-backed event to boost support for the sector.
With newspapers alone losing an estimated $30 billion last year, “some fear that the pandemic could become a ‘media extinction event’”, he warned.
“We cannot afford to let this happen”, the UN chief said in pre-recorded message. “Maintaining independent, fact-based reporting is an essential global public good, critical to building a safer, healthier and greener future.”
The ‘infodemic’ threat The Secretary-General called for countries to support the newly established International Fund for Public Interest Media, particularly to secure the future of independent media organizations in low- and middle-income countries.
Wednesday’s discussion was held ahead of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May. It was co-organized by the UN Department of Global Communications (DGC) in cooperation with the philanthropic organization Luminate, in support of Verified, a UN initiative to share fact-based COVID-19 information. Melissa Fleming, who heads up DGC, moderated the event.
The pandemic has revealed how access to reliable information is more than just a basic human right, but also a matter of life and death, and the UN has been working to counter related misinformation and disinformation, as well as hate speech, which have risen along with the caseload.
Ghana’s Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, told participants that the “infodemic” has only added to the economic woes which the media is facing.
“As people manufacture false materials and throw it out there, and as media revenues are cut and therefore the levels of professionalism that you require have a tendency to suffer, the compounding effect is that the credibility of media outlets is threatened, specifically when they begin airing some of these misinformed or fabricated materials over and over again”, he said.
Salary cuts, layoffs, mental health toll That the pandemic is strangling media globally was confirmed in a survey of 1,400 English-speaking journalists and news managers in 125 countries, conducted by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and Columbia University, both based in the United States.
Media depend on advertising revenues, and more than 40 per cent reported declines of between 50 and 75 per cent. The result has been salary cuts and staff layoffs “at a time when people desperately needed information”, said Joyce Barnathan, the ICFJ President.
Their “snapshot” also revealed the pandemic’s mental toll on the people who bring us the news.
Some 70 per cent of journalists found the psychological and emotional impacts were the most difficult part of their work. Around one-third said their organizations had not provided them with protective equipment. A separate study found women journalists also reported “startling” attacks.
Lyon, France, March 19, lockdown day 3. Anne-Lise, journalist, teleworking for TV channel Euronews with 3-year-old daughter Violette keeping close.
Image credit: © UNICEF/Bruno Amsellem/Divergence
Democracy at risk As economies slowly return to a new normal, Ms. Barnathan expects ad revenues will also come back. However, she wondered if their levels will be sufficient to fund vibrant public interest media globally because something greater is at stake.
“At risk is not just journalism but, in my view, the future of democracies”, she said.
Award-winning Filipina journalist Maria Ressa supported this belief, stating that the “mission” of journalism has never been more important. Most people now get their news from social media such as Facebook, but she said these same platforms “are biased against facts”.
“If we don’t have facts, then we don’t have a shared reality”, said Ms. Ressa, this year’s recipient of a UN press freedom prize. “A lie told a million times becomes a fact. Without facts, we can’t have truth. Without truth, we can’t have trust.”
Disruption and innovation With the current business model of journalism essentially “dead”, and advertising being siphoned off by Facebook and other tech giants, Ms Ressa stressed that public interest media organizations must “deal with the tech” to survive.
Fellow journalist Maria Teresa Ronderos from Colombia believed the current period of “disruption” could lead to experimentation and innovation in their profession. She underlined the need for funding.
“But to experiment, you fail, and that is costly”, she said. “If journalism gets the support it needs at this really big, large scale, it can use the technology to do investigative reporting, to connect with people, to connect with audiences, in a much more qualitative way than it ever did.”
National Museum of African American History and Culture revisits African Burial Grounds after 30 years
#NMAAHC; #AfricanBurialGroundProject; #Slavery;
Washington, D.C./Canadian-Media: A special conversation on the landmark African Burial Ground project that revealed a greater history behind slavery in the North would be featured by the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)’s May programming, NMAAHC reported.
National Museum of African American History and Culture. Image credit: Wikimedia commons
The discussion will explore about the way slavery has changed in the North since the discovery of the 6-acre burial ground containing the remains of enslaved and free Africans who lived and worked in colonial New York and from Black cemeteries. Michael Blakey, the director of the African Burial Ground project, joined by researchers and preservationists Peggy King Jorde and Joseph Jones, who worked on the project alongside Blakey to lead the conversation.
The only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture, NMAAHC was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans.
To date, the Museum's collection contains more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members and opened its doors to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
The four pillars upon which the NMAAHC stands are to facilitate exploration of African American culture and its history through interactive exhibitions; to raise awareness of the global influences in shaping their stories, their histories, and their cultures, to reveal to the Americans their identity in resiliency, optimism, and spirituality, and to collaborate with new audiences and other museums and educational institutions that have explored and preserved this important history well before this museum was created.
As a public institution open to all, NMAAHC welcomes all to participate, collaborate, and learn more about African American history and culture.
In the words of Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the Museum, “there are few things as powerful and as important as a people, as a nation that is steeped in its history. This Museum will tell the American story through the lens of African American history and culture. This is America’s Story and this museum is for all Americans."
#MokshaCanada; #CanadaFirstSpringFestival; #FreeLiveEvent; #Free; #MCF
Ontario/Canadian-Media: The first ever, SPRING FEST to celebrate Canada’s multiculturalism would be showcased by MOKSHA Canada and would be held on Saturday, March 27 from 5 - 9 PM, with a kid’s component on Sunday, March 28 from 2 - 4 PM.
This festival would be a live event via Facebook and YouTube and admission is free. The festival programming includes live music, cultural performances, magic show, arts and more. Some local artists with significant talent and achievements lined up are 6DEUCE, SIMONE, Ensemble Topaz, and Girl Pow-R to name a few. The Master of Ceremonies are Isabella Milano and Tushar Unadkat.
Celebration of Canada's Multiculturalism is another step towards eliminating discrimination, racism, and prejudice in Ontario, Canada, and the world. It is indeed festivals and events such as these that are beneficial in promoting multiculturalism and unity.
This Festival encourages and promotes the expression of multiple identities to increase participants' sense of belonging and attachment to Canada. We will be highlighting the incredible talent of various local artists from a variety of artistic and cultural backgrounds.
In addition MCF invites you to participate in SPRING FEST - PHOTO CONTEST!
3 Winners! $300 Cash Prize each.
Photo Contest Ends on Friday, March 26, 2021, at 9 PM | FREE ADMISSION
- Upload your best photo to Facebook/Instagram or both
- Please tag & check-in Moksha Canada Foundation.
- Use the hashtag #MokshaCanada in your post.
Photos with maximum likes and comments will be the Winner.
“Moksha Canada always find new and innovative ways to share our culture and tradition while celebrating the multiculturalism and diversity that makes our community so vibrant and strong,” said the honorable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade, Canada.
Moksha Canada Foundation is a registered Not-for-profit organization (Ontario Based) operating since 2014. The word "Moksha" originates from the Sanskrit language, which refers to liberation and releases forms.
We believe the spirit and joy of "Moksha" can only be attained in celebration of cultures and through the selfless service of those who are from most marginalized backgrounds.
“The commitment of Spring Fest to diversity and inclusion is both noticed and appreciated. Festivals like this in Canada are integral to fostering greater inclusion and connection. They give us the chance to express and embrace the uniqueness of the diversity of countries and culture,” said the honorable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth.
For sponsorship opportunities contact email@example.com | 647 831 7223
For more information please visit: www.mokshacanada.com
Follow us on social media @mokshacanada for updates.
#AmericanFolklifeCenter; #LoC; #CanadianEmbassy; #QuébecGovernment; #ÉTÉGroup
The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress is proud to partner with the Embassy of Canada and the Québec Government Office in Washington to support the online presentation of 2021 Homegrown at Home Concert Series recorded at home by the artists, starting March 10 at noon (Eastern U.S. Time Zone), initially on the AFC Facebook page and then permanently on the Library of Congress YouTube channel and website.
American Folklife Center at Library of Congress. Image credit: LoC
For this concert Élisabeth Moquin, Thierry Clouette and Élisabeth Giroux came together in 2015 to create this exciting group É.T.É., signifying the group’s first initials but also the French word for summer.
The series kicks off on March 10 with É.T.É., who play traditional and contemporary francophone music from Québec.
The members of É.T.É., Élisabeth Moquin, Thierry Clouette and Élisabeth Giroux. Photo by Amelie Fortin. Image credit: LoC
A contemporary and dynamic vision of traditional Québec music, combining influences from folk, jazz, progressive rock, and classical music on fiddle, cello, bouzouki, voice, foot-tapping and step dancing is offered by the trio. Together they create daring and refined arrangements of pieces from the traditional Québec and Acadian repertoires. They also compose original pieces that contribute to the continuation of francophone musical traditions in Canada.
The series continues on March 24 with separate concert videos by two groups from the Republic of Georgia. Ialoni Ensemble, whose video will premiere at noon, is a women’s group performing ecclesiatical, folk, and city music in traditional Georgian polyphony.
Ranina Quartet, who premieres at 12:30, is a male group performing a similar repertoire. Both groups are highly skilled and widely acclaimed performers.
Ialoni has been the recipient of several prestigious prizes, including 1st place in the “Women’s Folk Ensemble Category” at the National State Folklore Center Competition (2016), as well as both the grand prix in the Traditional Chant Category, and the first place and gold medal in the “Georgian Traditional Song” category at the Tbilisi Competition of Choral Music.
The Ranina Quartet is a new ensemble, but the individual members have been performing with other award-winning groups for many years and regularly performs in Tbilisi, as well as at international festivals, and gives master-classes and concerts for international tourists and choirs.
Committed to popularizing good quality music as a form of social outreach, Ranina's members are thrilled to sing in nursing homes, kindergartens, public schools, penitentiaries, and other venues where they can bring their music to vulnerable members of society. The Ranina Concert video also includes English-language narration by musicologist John Graham, which will help those of us who don’t speak Georgian to understand the themes of each song.
The next concert day is April 7, which again features two separate videos, this time with performers from Finland. The American Folklife Center is proud to co-sponsor both concerts with the Embassy of Finland.
Another concert would be held at April 21, and continue every other Wednesday into September, but the details are still not known.
#UNHCR; #RefugeeChildrenEducation; #Covid19; #VirtualEducation
UNHCR/Canadian-Media: COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on the lives of young children, students, and youth. The disruption of societies and economies caused by the pandemic is aggravating the pre-existing global education crisis and is impacting education in unprecedented ways.
A mother helps her daughter as she attends a virtual class in Jakarta, Indonesia. The unique nature of the pandemic places parents as first-line responders for children’s survival, care, and learning. This places a burden on all families, and especially the most vulnerable.
Photo: © World Bank
Even before COVID-19 hit, the world was experiencing a learning crisis. 258 million children of primary- and secondary-school age were out of school, and the Learning Poverty rate in low- and middle-income countries was 53 percent – meaning that over half of all 10-year-old children could not read and understand a simple text. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the figure was closer to 90 percent.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the learning crisis, and the impact on the human capital of this generation of learners is likely to be long-lasting. At the peak of school closures in April 2020, 94 percent of students – or 1.6 billion children – were out of school worldwide, and, still, around 700 million students today are studying from home, in a context of huge uncertainty and with families and schools having to navigate across options of hybrid and remote learning, or no schooling at all. In the vast majority of countries, there is no end in sight to this uncertainty. Early evidence from several high-income countries has already revealed learning losses and increases in inequality.
Young children are particularly at risk since the pandemic is exacerbating existing disparities in nutrition, health, and stimulation, and services to support these children are too often overlooked in the pandemic response. Most early childhood education institutions are closed. And the unique nature of the pandemic places parents as first-line responders for children’s survival, care, and learning. This places a burden on all families, and especially the most vulnerable.
Adding to this global shock to education systems is the negative impact of the unprecedented global economic contraction on family incomes, which increase the risk of school dropouts, and also results in the contraction of government budgets and strains on public education spending. The extended school closures, together with this economic downturn, is a twin unprecedented shock to education.
Due to learning losses and increases in dropout rates, this generation of students stand to lose an estimated $10 trillion in earnings, or almost 10 percent of global GDP, and countries will be driven even further off-track to achieving their Learning Poverty goals – potentially increasing Learning Poverty levels to 63 percent.
Source: Azevedo (2020). Pessimistic Scenario (of 70% of school closure, very low mitigation effectiveness, no remediation, and WB-MPO June). For more details on the simulation methodology, see Azevedo et al (2020)
Historical data and initial evidence from this pandemic suggest an inequality catastrophe in the making. Similar to the very different experiences Sutil and Rosa faced in 2020 in Indonesia, in all countries in the world we see immense differences in what rich and poor students experience. COVID-19 poses an even higher risk to girls’ education and well-being, as girls are more likely to drop out of school and are also more vulnerable to violence and face child marriage and adolescent fertility. Vulnerable groups such as children with disabilities, ethnic minorities, refugees, and displaced populations are also less likely to access remote learning materials and to return to school post-crisis.
Tertiary education system is also in a deep crisis
At its peak, 220 million tertiary education students were impacted by closures of campuses globally. The tertiary education system is critical for countries’ growth. It is too soon to know the full impact on the declines and decreases in enrollment rates due to the pandemic, but severe losses of current and potential future students are expected.
Unprecedented disruption was also reported for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). According to the ILO-UNESCO-WB survey, 90 percent of respondents reported a complete closure of TVET centers in their countries as the continuity of practical skills training as well as assessment and certification of practical skills has been hit particularly hard due to the social distancing measures.
As a result, this generation of students, and especially the more disadvantaged, may never achieve their full education and earnings potential. This is not acceptable, and urgent and effective action is required to address these differential learning losses, which is critical to moving forward so that these gaps don’t widen.
Ramping up World Bank support to countries
The World Bank responded to the pandemic immediately, ramping up its support to countries through a variety of different channels and on different priority interventions. In all, the World Bank is supporting COVID-19 response investments in 62 countries, covering the entire cycle from early childhood to higher education. The Bank’s overall new commitments in education during the last fiscal year reached US$5.3 billion, the largest figure ever, and expects to add another US$6.2 billion this year. Our active portfolio surpasses $20.6 billion.
The World Bank’s education teams are working with countries along three phases of the COVID-19 response: i. Coping; ii. Managing continuity; and, iii. Improving and accelerating.
Source: World Bank 2020
So far, World Bank efforts are reaching over 400 million students and 16 million teachers – about one-third of the student population and nearly a quarter of the teacher workforce in current client countries.
The World Bank is also providing just-in-time policy advisory support in 65 countries and are leveraging partnerships (with UNICEF, DFID, University of Harvard, University of Oxford, John Hopkins University, OECD, UNESCO, and others) to continue supporting country responses to the pandemic.
Our operational and policy support is not just responding to the crisis, but is building back better so that systems don’t replicate the problems that led to a learning crisis before COVID-19 and instead use this window of opportunity to shape more resilient systems, better prepared to cope with future shocks, as well as more equitable systems that ensure opportunities for all.
Bringing global knowledge and tools to the country levelA critical challenge of the response to the rapidly evolving crisis is providing up-to-date and evidence-based information to countries to support them in making the difficult decisions they face in addressing the COVID pandemic.
The World Bank is supporting countries with this by providing them with tools and guidance on remote learning and school re-openings, such as a decision-making toolkit on remote learning options; remote learning assessment solutions; bringing reading materials to home; measuring the quality of teaching practices in the classroom and using these observations to provide continuous, practical support to teachers; identifying and developing teacher professional development solutions using EdTech, and building a compendium of structured lesson plans for teaching and uses of multimodal technology (TV, Radio, Mobile, digital content, and platforms).
Laying the groundwork for the future, now
Country challenges vary, but there is a menu of options for countries to choose from to cope with the pandemic shocks, to recover, and to lay the foundations to build back better, more resilient, and equitable education systems.
An urgent priority is to return to learning. Learning losses are mounting, and it is critical that children and youth re-engage with the learning process, either with effective remote learning, hybrid options, or returning to safe schemes of presential education. Many countries are already managing flexible schemes in which schools open partially or close according to the sanitary conditions. It is a complex balance of managing health risks with the huge learning losses, particularly among the poor.
Specifically, there are 10 actions on which countries can take decisions to recover and accelerate learning:
Assessing learning loss and monitor progress, when children return to school and during remote instruction;
Providing remedial education and socio-emotional support to help students catch-up and ensure school retention;
Restructuring the academic calendar, to adjust for lost school days due to the pandemic;
Adapting the curriculum, to prioritize foundational learning (including social-emotional learning) accounting for the lost time;
Preparing and supporting teachers, to manage burnout, improve digital skills, identify those students needing support and adjust instruction to meet them where they are at;
Preparing and supporting school management, to develop and implement plans that ensure health and safety conditions for children’s return to schools and learning continuity;
Communicating with stakeholders, to build ownership and support from parents/ caregivers, teachers, school staff and the broader community for school reopening plans;
Encouraging re-enrolment, with special emphasis on at-risk of dropout populations;
Minimizing disease transmission in schools, supporting campaigns for vaccination rollout and following epidemiological guidelines for sanitation and hygiene to prevent outbreaks, activation of remote instruction; and
Supporting learning at home, by distributing books, digital devices where possible and resource packs for remote learning to children and parents.
Education technology can be a powerful tool to implement the above 10 actions by supporting teachers, children, principals, and parents; expanding accessible digital learning platforms, including radio/TV/Online learning resources (which is here to stay); and using data to identify and help at-risk children, personalize learning, and improve service delivery.
Looking ahead to the ‘Future of Learning’While COVID-19 poses huge challenges, the crisis offers an opportunity to transform and reimagine education and to start realizing a vision for the Future of Learning where all children learn with joy, rigor, and purpose in school and beyond. In fact, this is a window of opportunity to reimagine education, with a vision of how schools will be shaped in the future – a future that has been propelled to today.
The pandemic opens a once in a lifetime opportunity, where long overdue investments in technology, teachers, and parents and communities, might happen faster and better. Countries can build on the lessons of the pandemic:
The digital divide must be closed
We need to invest aggressively in teachers’ professional development and use technology to enhance their work,
Parents play a critical role in their children’s education, and need to be supported in that role, and Resilient systems require better education conditions at home, devices, connectivity, and books.
The critical policy challenge is to make sure that this window of opportunity is not lost, and countries use this momentous crisis as THE opportunity to start seeing a turning point in addressing the learning crisis. The comprehensive reforms that are needed in each one of our client countries can be framed in the five-pillar approach, summarized recently in the Future of Learning report.
While there is no single path toward the future of learning – countries can draw lessons from the pandemic and chart their own path with visionary and bold action to implement targeted investments and reforms starting today so that their:
Learners are prepared and motivated to learn;
Teachers are effective and valued;
Learning resources, including curricula, are diverse and high-quality;
Schools are safe and inclusive spaces;
Education systems are well-managed.
Infographic: Realizing the Future of Learning. Image credit: UNHCR
Throughout these five pillars, education technology can be a powerful tool to support and connect teachers, students, parents, and broader communities, and build education systems that are equitable, effective, and resilient.
#Africa; #CivilWar; #AfricanAmericanFuneralHomes
Africa/Canadian-Media: Black owned and operated funeral homes with a rich heritage and culture were among the first family businesses established by African Americans after the abolition of slavery, Library of Congress (LoC) reports said.
Traditions surrounding death that cater to the needs of the black community are maintained in the African American funeral homes, including burials, wakes, and home visit
Horses and carriages in front of funeral home of C.W. Franklin, undertaker, Chattanooga, Tennessee, ca 1899. Image credit: LoC
The death services industry developed during the Civil War when the bodies of soldiers needed to be embalmed for transportation for burial, moved from a trade to a professional business and by viewed by many within the industry as a spiritual calling and are honored to do counseling and helping people at a difficult time in their live including comforting their families; providing information on funeral service options; and filing death certificates and other legal documents.
Burial traditions are maintained by the African American funeral directors as home-going or celebration of life ceremonies with a distinctive way of grieving, often including a level of theater and pageantry and sound recordings of funeral sermons from the late 1890s are maintained by the the LoC.
A collection of digital Funeral Services Workers in the Carolinas, and these interviews are available in American Folklife Center’s Occupational Folklife Project (OFP) of LoC which highlights funeral directors’ role as a pastoral counselor offering support, guidance, dignity, respect, and making a difference in people’s lives under very trying circumstances. To date, fieldworkers across the United States have recorded more than 900 audio and audiovisual oral history interviews with workers in scores of trades, industries, and crafts.
The National Association of Negro Funeral Directors was established as a professional organization affiliated with the National Negro Business League, founded by Booker T. Washington in 1900. The League worked to advance the commercial and financial development of African Americans to bring African American families into the middle class through a variety of professional careers. The organization continues to exist today as the National Business League.
National Negro Business League Executive Committee, Bain News Service, publisher.
Image credit: LoC
The funeral director and his family often lived upstairs in the funeral parlor, and without access to traditional credit markets, the business was a family affair with the the majority of the funeral businesses remain small, local, and typically family-owned independent businesses.
Carnie Bragg, owner of Bragg Funeral Home, poses in front of the business, 1994. From the Working in Paterson Project Collection. Image credit: LoC
Generally college educated, having studied mortuary science serve as undertakers, who are apprenticed to learn their craft. The resources of African American funeral directors, who provided financial support and gathering spaces to the movement led to the Historical Civil Rights movement progress.
Label from a promotional water bottle distributed by Don Brown Funeral Home, Ayden, North Carolina, 2016. Part of the Occupational Folklife Project, American Folklife Center. Image credit: LoC
#Quebec; #WQTA; #5DayStrike; #LowPay; #HeavyWorkload
Quebec/Canadian-Media: A growing threat has emerged from the English teachers in western Quebec to walk off the job as early as the middle of next month after voting in favour of striking over a year of negotiations with the province for more investment recently failed.
Western Quebec Teachers Association. Image credit: Website
Members of the Western Quebec Teachers Association (WQTA) voted on Thursday evening, 95 percent in favour of a five-day strike mandate.
Heidi Yetman, president of the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers, which encompasses the WQTA said the major sticking points being salary and workload.
Other local unions across the province are also set to vote by the end of the month on whether to strike.