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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)

UN warns ‘no progress’ on 260 million missing school places

BBC – Sean Coughlan

“Global pledges to provide education for all young people show little chance of being achieved, according to annual figures from the United Nations. There are 264 million young people without access to school, with few signs of progress, says Unesco. Around the world, almost one in 10 children does not even have access to primary level education. The UN agency says wider access to education would radically reduce poverty and improve security. The annual Global Education Monitoring Report tracks the numbers of young people in school and measures progress in international promises to ensure access to education.”(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)

Multilingual education is ‘absolutely essential,’ UNESCO chief says on Mother Language Day

The United Nations News – Staff Writer

“Learning languages is a promise of peace, innovation and creativity, and will contribute to the achievement of global development goals, the head of the United Nations agency for culture and education has said, marking International Mother Language Day. “There can be no authentic dialogue or effective international cooperation without respect for linguistic diversity, which opens up true understanding of every culture,” said UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova in her message on the Day.”(more)

Why global education rankings don’t reveal the whole picture

The Conversation – Daniel Caro and Jenny Lenkeit

“Country rankings in international education tests – such as PISA and TIMSS – are often used to compare and contrast education systems across a range of countries. But it isn’t always an even playing field. This is because countries with very different social and economic realities participate, so countries such as Norway, Russia, Chile, Lebanon and Thailand are all being compared against each other. And this is without the difference in socio-economic backgrounds of these different countries being taken into account.”(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)