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Posts from the ‘Education’ Category

14
Jun

Edna Adan Ismail, Honorary Doctor

Edna, awarded an honorary doctorate in the School of Health and Social Care, was the first Somali woman to study in the UK, and the first to work as a qualified nurse

Edna Adan Ismail (Nursing, 1956), who has been awarded an honorary doctorate in the School of Health and Social Care, was the first Somali woman to study in the UK, and the first to work as a qualified nurse. She is also Somaliland’s first female politician, and has built her own teaching hospital and university, with the aim of raising standards of healthcare and education in her homeland.

Growing up

“When I was growing up in British Somaliland, girls didn’t go to school. My parents were both literate, though, and our house was full of books. My father invited the local boys to come and sit on our veranda after school, and hired a tutor to help them with their homework. That’s where I first began to decipher the mysteries of reading and writing. Eventually I was sent to school in Djibouti, in French Somaliland, where my aunt was a teacher.

“My mother’s female friends were worried that if I got an education, no one would want to marry me. They couldn’t understand why I wasn’t happy to stay at home and learn to cook like the other girls. I wanted to get educated, and I wanted to run and play and climb trees like the boys. I proved them all wrong in the end, as I did all those things and still ended up marrying the man who had been the president of Somaliland!

Healthcare from an early age

“From an early age, I worked alongside my father in his hospital. I’d go in and help him during the school holidays, or whenever he needed an extra pair of hands. There were no bandages, so one of my jobs would be to cut sheets into strips, boil them, iron them and roll them up. If he had to go away, he’d leave me notes: make sure they feed this child properly, or remove those sutures. I’d listen to his frustrations too, about the lack of materials and poor facilities. I promised myself that one day I would create the kind of hospital my father would have loved to work in.

“I came to London to study pre-nursing at the Borough Polytechnic in 1954. I had a scholarship paid for by the British government. I’d never travelled further than Djibouti before but I’d seen films and pictures of London and knew what it looked like, although the sheer size and number of people came as a surprise. My first home was in digs in Balham. The family had children around my age, and one of the daughters taught me how to ride the buses and get around. I’m still in touch with them today.

Specialisation

“Midwifery was not my first choice of specialisation. I really wanted to specialise in surgery. It was the one time I remember my father really questioning one of my decisions. He said, yes, surgery is great. But what are you going to do for the women back home in Somaliland who need you at the most vulnerable time in their lives? And I thought, after all the opportunities I’ve had and the freedom I’ve enjoyed, I should think about giving something back. I did Part 1 and fell in love with midwifery.

“There was never any question in my mind that I would come back to Somaliland. I was very clear that the knowledge and experience I was gaining in England was for the benefit of the people here. When I came back, there was a definite air of optimism. The British had left, and Somaliland was independent. Still, the infrastructure was virtually non-existent and no one knew what to do with a female nurse, nor how to pay one – I worked for 22 months without a salary.

Getting into politics

“Becoming the First Lady gave me an opportunity to be a role model. The assumption was that I would give up working, but I didn’t. Many people thought I was doing a great disservice to my husband, but he was always very supportive. It was around this time – in the late 1960s – that I started training auxiliaries in the hospital to take better care of the women. From there, I started inviting girls who’d been my pupils back when I was a schoolteacher to come in and help me. Their families didn’t want them to get involved with the patients. But slowly, slowly, they began to get interested and excited by the possibilities. Of that first group, five got scholarships to study in England, and three came back to work here. That’s really how nursing in this country got started.

“How do you build a hospital in a country with no infrastructure? You just get up and do it. The Edna Adan Maternity Hospital is actually my second hospital – the first, in Mogadishu in neighbouring Somalia, fell into the hands of the warlords during the civil war. The fact that there was no infrastructure, and that so many people doubted me, just made me more determined. I put everything I had into it – all my savings from my years working with WHO, and the proceeds from selling my jewellery and my car – plus donations from the local community and from the diaspora worldwide. I always kept that picture in my mind of the woman who is smelly, who is bleeding, who doesn’t have anywhere else to go. That’s the person I want to help.

“I was co-opted into becoming a politician. When I was first asked to become the Minister for Social Affairs, I said no. My hospital had only been open for five months, and I felt like a mother with a new baby. Then the new president got his wife on the case and she used the magic words, remember, you’ll be opening the door for other women. So I agreed to split my time 50/50. There were no buildings, so we turned a floor of the hospital into the Ministry. From there, I went on to become Foreign Minister.

“Now we have 200 staff, and I’ve established a university too, with 1500 students. We offer courses in nursing, midwifery, public health, nutrition, veterinary health, pharmacy, laboratory and medicine– it’s very comprehensive. This is my way of helping us develop and keep the talent we so desperately need in the country, and stopping our young people falling prey to human trafficking and terrorism. My next target is teacher training. We need to professionalise teaching here, and make sure our children are getting a proper education.

On taking time off

“I was born with a strong desire to fix things. Why should I have downtime? When I need to recharge my batteries, I go out to my family’s camel farms and feed the newborn calves – that’s very therapeutic. But I don’t take much time off.”

I’m 81 this year, and I don’t have time to waste. There are still so many things I want to do. Holidays can wait.

– Edna Adan Ismail

Sources: LSBU (London South Bank University )
10
Jun

Silvana Corso: Training teachers in inclusive education tools in Argentina and around world. — World Education Blog

Silvana is one of many champions being highlighted by the GEM Report in the run up to the launch of its 2020 publication on inclusion and education: All means all, due out 23 June. In their own way, and in multiple countries around the world, these champions are fighting for learner diversity to be celebrated, rather […]

Silvana Corso: Training teachers in inclusive education tools in Argentina and around world. — World Education Blog
5
May

Back to school, back to normality? Dilemmas in high-income countries — World Education Blog

There seemed no doubt when schools closed earlier this year that closures were a necessary response to the pandemic. The question is whether that reasoning has sufficiently subsided for the opening of school doors to be again acceptable. If groups of 10 people or more are being banned from assembling, how can classrooms of 15 […]

Back to school, back to normality? Dilemmas in high-income countries — World Education Blog
3
May

What does artificial intelligence do in medicine? — The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology – europeansting.com

This article was written for The European Sting by our guest writer, Mr. Jakub Kufel medical student at Silesia Medical University, Poland. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writer’s views and not necessarily The European Sting’s position on the issue. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a general concept that assumes the use of a computer to model […]

What does artificial intelligence do in medicine? — The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology – europeansting.com
21
Apr

How will Covid-19 affect the internationalization of higher education? — World Education Blog

University costs. It didn’t take long after universities closed their doors in the United States, for instance, for students to start advocating to get their money back. Twitter is awash with professors concerned about the impact that shutting universities is going to have on their institutions in the long-term. University is one of the biggest […]

How will Covid-19 affect the internationalization of higher education? — World Education Blog
16
Apr

Charlotte, a teacher from Marseille: “We’re being asked to do a completely different job from before.” — World Education Blog

The onset of Covid-19 means that teachers like me are suddenly being asked to do completely different jobs. While we were in the classroom engaging with children before, now we’re at home and trying to engage with their parents. I work in a very underprivileged school in Marseille. I now find that part of our […]

Charlotte, a teacher from Marseille: “We’re being asked to do a completely different job from before.” — World Education Blog
25
Oct

Empowering a new generation of scientists and innovators

On any given day, the teachers at Dr. C.F. Cannon in Durham Region, a diverse community east of Toronto, have their work cut out for them as they strive to prepare students for the world into which they will one day graduate.

The 375 kids who attend the elementary school, from kindergarten to grade 8, face a future dominated by what’s known as STEM — science, technology, engineering and math. From artificial intelligence and robotics to green power generation and food sustainability, an estimated 75 per cent of all new jobs will be related to these critical fields in just 10 years.

At C.F. Cannon, however, the push to instill STEM fundamentals means so much more than inspiring the next Stephen Hawking or Roberta Bondar.

Though they are young, many students here already know what it is to feel the chronic stress and strain of economic hardship and hunger. Many families in Durham Region struggle to make ends meet — a daily reality that threatens to follow kids well into their adult lives and, without intervention, trap them in a cycle of intergenerational poverty.

STEM learning is an important means to a better, friendlier future. Studies suggest that early exposure to math and science is the best indicator of future STEM interest in high school and beyond, with the added benefit of teaching children essential skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration. Post-secondary STEM graduates also typically enjoy higher-than-average employment rates and earnings, especially those with a background in engineering and computer science, according to Statistics Canada.

“We just need to light those sparks and open the world of STEM that is around them,” says Melissa Sparkman, school principal at C.F. Cannon.

That’s where the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation comes in. With an unprecedented $120 million commitment from TELUS, the newly launched foundation seeks to address social and economic challenges facing Canada’s disadvantaged youth by connecting them to the people, resources and services they need to thrive.

“At TELUS, we believe that the challenges faced by vulnerable Canadian youth are unacceptable, which is why we are increasing our support of this important group,” says Darren Entwistle, president and CEO of TELUS. “The potential of these young people is boundless, and it is our responsibility to support and nurture them.”

The foundation builds on the many achievements of the TELUS Community Boards. Since 2005, the boards have enabled even the smallest grassroots charities on the front lines of social need in our communities to receive funding grants that are used to help youth build digital literacy skills, provide basic health care and mental health support to the homeless and open up essential educational opportunities.

That’s welcome news to Scientists in School, a Toronto-based social enterprise charity that delivers investigative, STEM-based workshops to hundreds of thousands of school-age children, K-8, across Alberta and Ontario, including those in Durham Region. The organization relies on funding from TELUS to operate.

“We want these youth to be able to make decisions informed by evidence-based reasoning and thinking,” says Cindy Adams, the organization’s executive director, of the mandate. “But we make it fun at the same time. The kids get to be scientists and engineers.”

Two young children working on a science experiment. STEM education is an important means to a better, friendlier future, with early exposure to math and science proving the best indicator of future STEM interest in high school and beyond.

Ultimately, the organization seeks to boost kids’ confidence in their ability to understand and embrace STEM studies — particularly young women, who remain less likely to choose a career in STEM areas, and more particularly in engineering, mathematics and computer science, according to federal data.

Of course, igniting a life-long appreciation for STEM’s real-life — and life-changing — applications is also critical in the fight against complex global issues like climate change, serious health issues such as Ebola and life-threatening issues like food shortages.

“The next generation has the promise to solve these challenges,” says Adams.

Scientists in School has long partnered with TELUS to help fund its workshops, which offer hands-on instruction in everything from photosynthesis and the physics of gears and pulley systems to global ecosystems and the microscopic world of cells — all of them taught by real-life scientists and innovators. Through its Community Boards, TELUS has donated $200,000 since 2006 in support of the organization. A portion of that money is earmarked to fund presentations in under-resourced schools like C.F. Cannon.

Adams says corporate donations from TELUS and others make it possible for Scientists in School to close the access gap between rich and poor to specialized STEM education, and allow dozens of schools (to a total of 80 in 2019) to receive their workshops free of charge. To date, TELUS funding has been used to support 12 schools in Ontario through the organization’s “adopt-a-school” program, providing 480 complimentary workshops to schools serving low-income communities and reaching 12,960 young scientists, according to the charity.

“Without our donors, this work wouldn’t be possible,” says Adams. “Working together we will close the educational success opportunity gap.”

That gratitude is shared by the staff at C.F. Cannon, which has worked with Scientists in School for the past three years. As an adopted school, C.F. Cannon is able to deliver the enriched workshops without any additional fees twice a year to children in Grades 4-8. Principal Melissa Sparkman is so impressed with the programming, the school now pays to deliver workshops to the younger kids.

“We need to have our kids be curious about learning, be creative and look to problem-solve, and this is just such a great opportunity,” says Sparkman. “We know that when kids are engaged in learning, they are more successful in school.”

Teacher Shannon Van Pelt can attest to how the discovery-based structure of the workshops is able to “ignite the kids’ enthusiasm” for the sciences, having witnessed several firsthand.

As an educator, she says, “it verifies for me that the kids were listening and absorbing the learning in the classroom when I see them applying their knowledge in the workshops.”

More importantly, though, she sees a shift in how the kids view STEM education. The transformation is almost magical.

“They start to notice different things happening, and they realize that, basically, science is everywhere — it’s in the doorknobs to the classroom, and in their homes and in the plants,” she says.

“They start to become empowered as scientists.”

This story was provided by TELUS for commercial purposes.

by Leigh Taveroff :

15
Sep

Hungarian university suspends education programmes for refugees and asylum seekers — World Education Blog

Two weeks ago the Central European University (CEU) announced it was being forced to suspend its education programmes for refugees and asylum seekers because of new tax legislation that came into effect on August 24. The law implies a 25% levy on “all programmes, actions and activities which directly or indirectly aim to promote immigration” including […]

via Hungarian university suspends education programmes for refugees and asylum seekers — World Education Blog

8
Sep

100 million young people are still illiterate — World Education Blog

This International Literacy Day there’s plenty to celebrate – the number of young people aged 15-24 with no literacy skills worldwide has fallen by 27% since 2000, a fact we hope to see reflected in plummeting adult literacy rates over time too. But this still leaves 100 million youth unable to read. How did so […]

via 100 million young people are still illiterate — World Education Blog

19
Aug

A teacher hero – making home-made desks for refugee children with disabilities — World Education BlogK

Rahman Hamdan is a teacher in an UNRWA school in Gaza who has made desks and chairs for children with disabilities. Often, physical barriers are enough for a child living with a disability to be turned away or to feel excluded from education. In this UNWRA school, with no funds available to buy his children […]

via A teacher hero – making home-made desks for refugee children with disabilities — World Education Blog

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