Turkey’s deep internal divisions revealed themselves again this week, this time in educational institutions. Meanwhile in neighbouring Syria, teachers and pupils struggle on in the face of a conflict that shows no signs of ending. Big stories from Around the World – taking a look at what’s going on in education and e-learning everywhere, from the remote highlands of Guatemala to the rural villages of India.
SYRIA: Schools are reopening in the war-torn country’s second city. Aleppo‘s Saif al Dawla neighbourhood lies at one of the most active frontiers of the civil war. Nevertheless, a school here is welcoming pupils, most of whom have already lost a whole year of education (AHRAMONLINE)
EU: Vice President Kroes and Commissioner Vassilou spoke in Brussels last week to launch a new initiative, ‘Opening up Education’ – making the 21st-century classroom a reality. Read their speeches here (EUROPA)
TURKEY: controversial legislation lifting the ban on the wearing of religious garments in (amongst others) educational institutions, has been enshrined this week – eroding the stringent separation of religion and state introduced by the founder of modern Turkey, Atatürk, and provoking accusations of “Islamicisation” from secularists (MIDDLE EAST ONLINE)
GUATEMALA/AUSTRALIA: in 2012, a Mayan town declared Internet access to be a right – and now the government is extending wi-fi connectivity across its whole region. This Australian writer compares the situation to that on her side of the Pacific (PRO BONO)
INDIA: Mata Amritanandamayi – the revered spiritual leader who has hugged an estimated 32m people worldwide – celebrated her 60th birthday this Friday. To mark the occasion, welfare programmes were announced across the subcontinent – including the Amrita RITE, or “Rural India Tablet Education” initiative (THE HINDU)
and in other news…
AMERICA: the Catcher in the Rye, Ulysses and Huckleberry Finn have a surprising new companion. A list published for anti-censorship event Banned Books Week (22nd – 28th September) has revealed 2012’s most challenged books in US schools, shops and libraries. Beating Fifty Shades of Grey to the top of the list: the Captain Underpants series (BANNED BOOKS WEEK)