COP21: Include African Women

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Edna Kaptoyo and Priscilla Achakpa discuss the importance of African women’s voices at COP21. See full video here.

In the video above, Priscilla Achakpa of Nigeria and Edna Kaptoyo of Kenya discuss the importance of African women’s involvement in the Paris Climate Change Conference given the disproportionate effect that climate change has on women in developing countries. Achakpa and Kaptoyo explain that in rural communities, women are the main source of labor in a family. This means that the woman is responsible for collecting water and firewood for the household, along with completing other agricultural and household tasks. When lakes dry up as a result of climate change, it is women who are expected to walk to the extra distance to the next available water source. This can prove to be a dangerous and grueling task.

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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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“They Realized that we are Indeed Capable of Studying:” The SDGs and Educating People with Disabilities

Sustainable Development Goal Number 4 Source: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/focussdgs.html

Sustainable Development Goal Number 4
Source: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/focussdgs.html

The theme for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, celebrated on Thursday, December 3rd, was “Inclusion Matters: Access and Empowerment for People of all Abilities.” This Day is aimed at creating awareness about disability issues aimed at developing an “inclusive and accessible society for all.” This year, the Day was also celebrated against the backdrop of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) [discussed in an earlier post]. According to Charlotte Vuyiswa McClain-Nhlapothe Disability Advisor for the World Bank Group, one of the achievements of the SDGs is that they have at least 11 references to disability. Continue reading

Blending or Ending Learning?

“In ten minutes or less, students can enter someone else’s world, through a film or photo essay, and live their experience. That is a beautiful thing.” – Cleary Vaughan-Lee (Education Director, Global Oneness Project)

Technology is occupying an increasingly pervasive role in the world of education by expanding the immediacy and personalization of student contact with the rest of the world. Within the field of education, this has sparked huge debates pertaining to student experience in traditional and online classrooms. One of the most often discussed resolution to this problem is blended learning, which combines traditional face-to-face instruction with web-based online learning. Continue reading

The Fulbright Experience: What International Education Week means to an International Student*

Two weeks ago, I attended the Fulbright Pakistan Fall Seminar 2015, at the University of Kentucky. The seminar began with the organiser saying, “2:15 means 2:15, this is the U.S., not Pakistan.” We were told during numerous sessions that our primary goal was to make American friends and to not be “disruptive” in classrooms. Continue reading

“Oh! The Places You’ll Go!”: A Critical Look at the Growing Demand for Study Abroad

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On October 1, 2015, University World News reported that the number of students studying abroad from the United States will increase by at least 77,000 students annually over the next five years as a result of the support provided to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Generation Study Abroad Initiative. By 2020, IIE hopes this number will increase to 600,000 students studying abroad each year.

As the number of students studying abroad increases, the institutions facilitating these programs must also increase their awareness of what effect study abroad programs may have, what potential exists for improvement of this growing educational option, and start asking harder questions about the experience, such as for whom this opportunity is really open. Particularly in an increasingly globalized world where the skills gained from studying abroad are increasingly marketable, is the study abroad experience becoming a status symbol contributing to the growing wealth distribution gap?

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