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Teachers are nation-builders. Developing countries must invest in them properly

The Guardian – Ziauddin Yousafzai

“When I first began my teaching career in Pakistan 20 years ago, a friend of my father said to me: “We were expecting great things from you, Ziauddin. You could have been a political leader or a police chief, but instead you just became a teacher.” I told the man that if I inspired just one of the children in my class that year to be a leader, one again the next year, and one every year for the rest of my career, I would be very proud of my contribution to our community.”(more)

Language Study as a National Imperative

Inside Higher Ed – Colleen Flaherty

“A major 2013 report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences warned that at “the very moment when China and some European nations are seeking to replicate our model of broad education,” including the humanities, the U.S. was instead “narrowing” its focus and abandoning its “sense of what education has been and should continue to be.” The paper caught the attention of policy makers, including members of Congress. Four Republicans and four Democrats asked the AAAS to dig deeper into the state of language education in the U.S. They wanted to know what the U.S. could do to ensure excellence in language education, especially how it might more efficiently use existing resources. They also asked how language learning influences economic growth, cultural diplomacy, productivity for future generations and a sense of personal fulfillment.”(more)

‘The world needs science and science needs women,’ UN says on International Day

The U.N. News Centre – Staff Writer

“United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today urged greater investments in teaching science, technology, engineering and math to all women and girls as well as equal access to these opportunities. “For too long, discriminatory stereotypes have prevented women and girls from having equal access to education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM),” said Mr. Guterres in his message for International Day of Women and Girls in Science, marked annually on 11 February. “As a trained engineer and former teacher, I know that these stereotypes are flat wrong,” he said, explaining that they deny women and girls the chance to realize their potential – and deprive the world of the ingenuity and innovation of half the population.”(more)

Study of 60 Countries Finds Increasing STEM Participation is a Global Initiative

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“A study conducted by IEA’s TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College assessed the education systems of 60 countries and regions to compare global education trends, finding similarities when it comes to both increasing standards for teacher preparation and promoting involvement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects. Using a chapter defining each country’s education systems as well as questionnaires filled out by teachers, parents and students living within each respective country, the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center provide insight on how global education has evolved as a whole in a 20-year period.”(more)

Language skills can seal the deal for business students

North Jersey – Antoinette Rainone

“Interested in conducting business around the world? It may seem obvious, but it’s highly beneficial to speak the language of the people you’re doing business with. “Business is conducted all over the world in real time in multiple languages,” said Dr. Maria Ann Roglieri, professor of foreign languages at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, N.Y. “People in international business need to understand the language – and culture – of their clients.” Dr. Gladys Torres-Baumgarten, associate professor in international business at Ramapo College of New Jersey concurs. “In international business, there could be a scenario where someone in an international market is faced with doing business with two potentially viable business partners, but if one of them speaks the decision-maker’s language, chances are that the foreign language speaker will be given the business.” In pragmatic terms, it cannot be assumed that clients are fluent enough in English to conduct an entire meeting in English.”(more)

We’re No. 3: U.S. Infrastructure, Education Faulted In Global Competitiveness Index

NPR – Bill Chappell

“The U.S. trails Switzerland and Singapore in economic competitiveness in a new global index that finds America’s infrastructure, health system and primary education all lagging. The World Economic Forum’s index also notes three U.S. strengths: its large market, financial sophistication and labor efficiency. Out of 138 economies worldwide, the U.S. “does not rank in the top 10 on any of the basic requirements pillars (institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education),” this year’s Global Competitiveness Index says. The authors add that the U.S.’ high ranking is supported by its “innovation, business sophistication, market size, financial market development, labor market efficiency, and higher education.” It’s the third straight year at No. 3 for the U.S., which hasn’t ranked No. 1 in global economic competitiveness since 2008. In the past decade, the U.S. has fallen out of the top five twice: in 2006, when it was sixth, and 2012, when it was seventh.”(more)