Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 5

In the United States, a Schedule II drug is one that has some accepted medical use, but at the same time a high potential for abuse that may lead to severe psychological and physical dependence. Cocaine, morphine and methadone are all Schedule II substances. Imagine, then, opening Twitter one morning to be greeted by tweets from across the nation by young people that quite plainly, without redaction or self-censorship, are speaking about their use of a specific Schedule II substance. More than that--they are openly joking about this drug, applying hashtags to it, posting photos of them eating and snorting it, and attempting to buy and sell it to anyone who’s interested. All apparently with no fear whatsoever of being noticed by law enforcement, let alone their friends and family, and despite the illegitimate possession and use of the substance being a felony that is punishable by jail time.

This is precisely what’s happening as I type this sentence, because right now college students across the country are taking their final exams and some of them (an estimated 6.5 million, in fact) are using mixed amphetamine salts to increase their chances of acing the tests. Sounds pretty serious, right?

Full story at

Thai university apologises for Hitler depiction in superhero mural

Edited by Hannah Strange

Thailand's premier university has apologised for displaying a billboard that showed Adolf Hitler alongside Superman and other superheroes, saying it was painted by ignorant students who didn't realise Hitler's image would offend anyone.

The billboard was up for two days before being removed on Saturday in response to criticism

The huge billboard was placed outside the art faculty of Chulalongkorn University as part of a tribute to this year's graduating class.

It said "Congratulations" in bold white letters and showed Hitler with his arm raised in a Nazi salute next to Batman, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk and Iron Man.

"(We) would like to formally express our sincere apology for our students' 'Superhero' mural," art school dean Suppakorn Disatapundhu said in a statement issued on Monday. "I can assure you we are taking this matter very seriously."

The billboard was up for two days before being removed on Saturday in response to criticism. Online photographs showed graduating students in their robes, mimicking Hitler's raised arm salute.

Dr Suppakorn said that freshman art students had painted the banner as part of a traditional send-off from incoming students to the graduating class, and it was one of dozens of banners and billboards across the campus during the university's commencement period.

Full story at The Telegraph (July 2013)

Taipei ranks best in quality of education survey in Taiwan

By Hsu Chi-wei, Tseng Ying-yu and Elaine Hou

Taipei has the best quality of education of any of Taiwan's 22 cities and counties, according to the results of a biennial survey conducted by a local magazine.

Taipei ranked first for the third consecutive time in the survey, first conducted in 2010, and was followed by Hsinchu City and the major metropolitan areas of Taichung and New Taipei, which tied for third, said CommonWealth Parenting.

Taoyuan County ranked fifth in the survey this year, while Keelung City finished last, said the magazine, which is published once every two months and focuses on education, lifetime learning and family lifestyles.

The highest ranked cities and counties obtained high scores due to long-term efforts to improve their educational infrastructures, including developing innovative curricula, according to the magazine's analysis.

Full story at The Central News Agency (July 2014)

Bringing Migrant Labourers Children Back to School

By Namrata Kilpady-Mishra

Nine-year-old, Sakshi Chauthmal from Jalna district in Maharashtra never got to attend school for the first five years of her life. Her parents used to migrate with the children to sugarcane farms near the Andhra Pradesh border in search of work.

Thanks to social protection schemes that links migrant labourers to government schemes and guarantee them income security, Sakshi along with 5,000 children have returned to school. The social protection schemes ensure that families settle down in one village and their children return to school for good.

UNICEF, through a network of local NGOs, helps vulnerable families gain vital information about relevant government schemes. It also trains gram sabhas (village assemblies) to help migrant labourers with the job card application process.

Full story at UNICEF India