Tag Archives: schools


Each day we offer a sample of headlines that appeared in the world press along with our comments.

Israel, Haaretz: “Cop Gets 15 Months For killing Illegal Israel Arab”
I guess you get a free pass for killing a legal one.

Finland, Sanomat: “Man Kills Parents”
I assume one goes light on orphans.

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Danish Youth Drink Early”
At least we have happy youth in this country.

Sweden, The Local: “Student Skips School For Year”
This is one bright kid who found the perfect way to save his mind from what passes for education.

South Africa, Argus: “Tea Party For Cop”
After all, these nuts are against authority figures.

Saudi Arabia, Saudi Gazette: “Indian Gets Lashes And Jail For Suicide Attempt”
If he succeeded in the suicide attempt, it would have been death.

UAE, Khaleej Times: “Hunt On For Chopper After Politician Disappears”
We anxiously await news of the missing chopper and hope it is not damaged. As for the passenger, it’s only a politician.

UK, The Independent: “Wife Killer Studying To Be Taxi Driver”
Of course, he needed a quick exit from the scene.

What’s Best Education For Roma Children?

Romas in the Czech Republic encounter daily prejudice, they lack equal opportunity to access good jobs, and their children invariably struggle to survive in schools. As is so often the issue with children whose families are poor, educational authorities face complex issues. Should Roma children be provided separate classes in which teachers know all children have basically the same problems or should Roma children be integrated with other students. A primary school in the Czech Republic town of Valasske Mezirici decided to open two primary classes, one specifically for Roma children and the other for remaining town students.

The Ministry of Education decided segregation in the long run damaged opportunities for Roma children to succeed in school and ordered integration of all children in the community. This is a wise decision. Once children in school are placed in “special classes” the stigma lives with them for their entire educational experience. Teachers tend to “teach down” rather than expecting better performance. Roma children will have to live in a society containing those of various backgrounds and abilities, where best to begin the journey but in elementary school?

Romas Claim School Discrimination

A Prague Court rejected a claim by a Roma that he faced discrimination in school and was not provided an opportunity to succeed in a regular school program. The court argued he did not display sufficient academic achievement when placed in a school for slow learners which was evidence he lacked the ability to succeed in a regular academic program. Romany Suchy pointed out he was heavily sedated on grounds he was hyperactive and this impeded his ability to do well in school

An ongoing problem is to have schools for “slow learners.” This triggers what is termed the “pygmalion effect” under which students attain the levels the school believes they should attain. There is need to end such schools unless there is clear evidence of physical mental disability. A high percent of Roma children no doubt are classified as below average due to faulty diagnosis.

Bounce Kids Out Of School By A Bouncer

A British school has finally come up with a strategy to handle kids who don’t know how to behave, let a bona-fide bouncer teach the little bugger a few things about life by shoving him out the front door of the school. A school in the UK has hired two bouncers who were given full time jobs as “cover supervisors” and their job is quite clear, keep the little tykes in line and if they don’t obey the teacher, show them how a real bouncer handles unruly customers by throwing them out the door. One recruitment agency has advertised offering retired Marines, firemen, and athletes to handle any discipline problem that might arise.

There is no end to what can be accomplished by using bouncers. How about bouncers to send some congressmen flying when they open up their ignorant mouths. Then again, Sarah Palin, are you listening– the next time you gaze across the Bering Straits there might be a man behind you to bounce you across the water.

Roma Children Encounter Prejudice In Schools

During World War II, thousands of Roma people were murdered by German troops since the Nazis regarded them as an inferior sub-human people. These days Romas are not physically killed but their children are driven from schools due to prejudice and bigotry on the part of school officials. A recent survey by the Czech Republic organization People in Need reveals widespread indifference on the part of teachers to succeed with Roma children in their classes. The preferred solution is simply to transfer Roma children to a special school. According to Zdenek Svoboda, “schools and their teachers still do not approach children with certain disadvantage equally. We have recorded a tendency to eliminate children requiring special care of those who are difficult to manage.”

The survey revealed that two out of ten Roma female students are sent elsewhere and three out of ten boys are sent to special schools. Svoboda notes, “Roma people are often perceived as lacking interest in education, and unable to keep a commitment.” If educators believe a child fits certain characteristics before they enter a classroom, it is most probable the child will wind up displaying those characteristics.

Finnish School Shooter’s Parents Discuss His Life

The parents of Pekka-Eric Auvinen, who shot several students in a Finnish school last year discussed their son for the first time on the anniversary of his destructive action. The father said he spent the morning with his son who outwardly, at least, was normal. Later, a schoolmate called and asked if either Pekka or his gun were at home. This was the first Mr. Auvinen even knew his son owned a gun. He found a receipt for the gun in his son’s room along with a note that indicated according to the father, “that hopefully conditions would be better in the future for individuals and there was the hope that nobody would have to do anything like that again.” After reading the note, he went into a state of shock.

The parents insisted their son had long been the object of bullying at school and that even in elementary school he had been harassed by other children. “He was attacked, thrown against the coat racks. He was also shot with a pellet gun on his way to school nd had a laser pointer pen pointed at his eyes.” The boy constantly asked his parents why no one would be his friend.

Variations of Pekka’s story continually crop up AFTER shootings.

Sweden Schools Denounced For Surveillance Cameras

Sweden’s Date Inspection Board demanded that several Swedish schools cease their policies of using surveillance cameras to spy on students. The ruling is based on an investigation that indicated several schools were employing cameras in ways that were blatantly illegal. The schools were told they could not use surveillance cameras while school was in session. There is increasing fear that cameras create disturb the feelings of many people including teachers.

If the theory of surveillance cameras is to improve school safety, one must raise question as to whether the fear of violence in schools is greatly exaggerated. Millions of children daily attend school for over 150 days a year, but only a handful ever are physically hurt. The recent shooting of ten students in Finland is the type of hysteria which quickly frightens people into actions that have nothing to do with safety in schools.

Creationism In The Classroom? Yes, Says UK Scientist

A leading British scientist has called for teaching creationism in the classroom because at least ten percent of students enter education with such beliefs. Professor Michal Reiss, director of education at the Royal Society, called for discussions about this concept, but not teaching it as a subject. “I’m trying to make it less likely that students will ignore science, that they will detach from it, because it makes them f eel that they can not continue with science because it conflicts with their beliefs.” He argues there are an increasing number of Muslim students who have been raised in fundamentalist homes in which they are taught the Earth is only a few thousand years old and was created by God.

Professor Lewis Wolpert of University College London, responded: “Creationism is based on faith and has nothing to do with science, and it should not be taught in science classes.” Of course, the entire idea of creationism is based on ignorance and lacks any scientific validity, but Michael Reiss raises the question as to whether it should be confronted in schools. Perhaps, instead of science classes it should be discussed in history since it does represent a modern manifestation of ignorance, much as cultural discrimination.

Education On Two Cents A Day

Girls attending s tate-run schools in India’s financial capital of Mumbai are being paid 1 rupee(two cents) for each day of attendance in school. The project seeks to deal with low attendance rates of female students and to empower Indian girls by providing them a financial foundation in life. The scheme has yet to uncover a single girl among the 220,000 who daily attend school who has attained a perfect attendance record. A school principal, Baig Noorjahan, insisted the payment was not sufficient and urged it be raised to at least 5 rupees daily. He also noted that school attendance for boys was even worse that for girls. Of course, there are other issues such as the reality that millions of Indian children have not even enrolled in schools.

India has made dramatic changes due to its economic explosion, but the reality is millions of poor boys and girls are left behind. There are an insufficient number of teachers, not enough school buildings, and most lack basic educational equipment.

In essence, the concept of paying poor children to attend school makes sense, particularly, if it provides families with sufficient money to provide for the maintainance of children in necessary school equipment, books and clothes.