Germany and Refugees: The Challenges Ahead

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Willkommensklasse in Berlin / Westfälische Nachrichten

It is now projected that over 1 million refugees will make their way to Germany by the end of this year. What will the future look like for those who manage to stay?

So far, German language learning has been a keystone to integration programs. The requirement to enroll in schools varies across German states, but usually comes into effect 3 months after asylum applications are submitted.  Students of all levels join Willkomensklassen, where language acquisition is the main focus. The expectation is that these separate courses will enable refugee children to later join standard classes the next year.

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Connecting Farmers Around the World

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Woman farming in Peru (Bartosz Hadyniak via Getty Images)

 

The rise of the SMS, or short message services, has enabled people to instantaneously connect with each other. An astonishing 6 billion people worldwide now have access to cellphones—it’s safe to say that they have quickly become the global norm. We are now beginning to see the use of text messages rapidly expanding beyond casual conversations and evolving to become much more valuable. Continue reading

Beyond Letting Girls Learn

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Earlier this week the Atlantic featured an article by first lady Michelle Obama calling out to the world to make a stand for girls’ education. In her article she acknowledges how crucial financial investments are to expanding the opportunities available to girls around the world. As part of the Obama Administration’s Let Girls Learn campaign, Michelle Obama plans to tour the Middle East stressing the importance of investments in women’s education. However, Obama is also using her high-profile to promote girls’ education by engaging with people to look beyond schools for change and to challenge and overrule the laws and practices that perpetuate gender discrimination and oppression.

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South Africa’s Language Riddle

sa kids for webWith the fall of apartheid South Africa being just over 20 years ago, democratic South Africa continues to face challenges to encourage the growth of its African languages. South Africa has 11 officially recognized languages, first languages to about 98% of South Africans, but of those languages only two rule supreme in the country’s academia: English and Afrikaans.

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