Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 38

Malaysian students happier than their Asian peers

By Christina Chin

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian students seem more relaxed and happier than their Asian peers, who suffer high anxiety about facing examinations.

While 67% of Malaysians worry about taking a test, the percentage is still lower than China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

Some of the East Asian countries that excelled academically have the highest test anxiety but the lowest life satisfaction, said Li-Kai Chen, a partner of global consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

According to McKinsey’s recently published “The Drivers of Student Performance: Insights from Asia” report, anxiety related to schoolwork refers to the extent to which students are worried about getting poor grades, feel anxious when preparing for tests, and get nervous when they don’t know how to solve a task.

In most regions, only students who are performing badly show high levels of test-related anxiety.

But in high-performing Asia, which includes countries like Hong Kong and China, even top performers are anxious.

According to Chen, Malaysian students are better off than most of their neighbours but there is room for improvement.

“Lower test anxiety is good but having zero anxiety isn’t necessarily beneficial because worrying can contribute to better performance,” he said.

He noted that countries which showed high levels of test anxiety such as Japan and South Korea have some of the best performance systems in the world.

Full story at The Star Online (March 2018)

Teacher in Ghana who used blackboard to explain computers gets some Microsoft love

By Devin Coldewey

Teaching kids how to use a computer is hard enough already, since they’re kids, but just try doing it without any computers. That was the task undertaken by Richard Appiah Akoto in Ghana, and his innovative (and labor-intensive) solution was to draw the computer or application on the blackboard in great detail. His hard work went viral and now Microsoft has stepped in to help out.

Akoto teaches at Betenase Municipal Assembly Junior High in the small town of Sekyedomase. He had posted pictures of his magnum opus, a stunning rendition of a complete Microsoft Word window, to Facebook. “I love ma students so have to do what will make them understand wat am teaching,” he wrote. He looks harried in the last image of the sequence.

The post blew up (9.3K reactions at this point), and Microsoft, which has for years been rather quietly promoting early access to computing and engineering education, took notice. It happened to be just before the company’s Education Exchange in Singapore, and they flew him out.

Akoto in Singapore.

It was Akoto’s first time outside of Ghana, and at the conference, a gathering of education leaders from around the world, he described his all-too-common dilemma: The only computers available — one belonging to the school and Akoto’s personal laptop — were broken.

“I wanted to teach them how to launch Microsoft Word. But I had no computer to show them,” he said in an interview with Microsoft at the event. “I had to do my best. So, I decided to draw what the screen looks like on the blackboard with chalk.”

“I have been doing this every time the lesson I’m teaching demands it,” he continued. “I’ve drawn monitors, system units, keyboards, a mouse, a formatting toolbar, a drawing toolbar, and so on. The students were okay with that. They are used to me doing everything on the board for them.”

Full story at Tech Crunch (March 2018)

International students from China rally around #NotMyPresident campaign

"Xi Forever": protest posters appear at the University of Sydney, Australia. Source: Twitter / @

By Louisa Kendal

CHINESE international students are risking it all by protesting against the prospect of President Xi Jinping ruling indefinitely.

“Not my president” is the campaign Chinese students in Australia, United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Netherlands and Argentina are fighting for, despite risking punishment upon their return to China.

International students are protesting against the removal of a presidential term limit in the constitution, over fears this will entrench the Chinese Communist Party’s school of thought deeper into the arts, media and minds of China under Xi.

“We’re facing retaliation from the Chinese Government once we’re exposed because there’ll be jail time without due process,” one student who is part of the movement told Hack, a current affairs radio show in Australia.

“We’re not Australian residents and we’re definitely going to turn back to China and that’s a huge security risk.”

The students are distributing posters with the words ‘NOT MY PRESIDENT’ written over Xi’s face, as well as protesting through the Twitter hashtag #notmypresident.

Chinese international students have a reputation for being politically inactive in response to the Communist Party’s actions, according to the New York Times. This is unsurprising given the arrests of people caught speaking up against the government on social media alone.

But the possibility of Xi ruling for life, regardless of the fact he was never democratically elected by a popular vote, has pushed international students from China over the edge of silence.

Full story at Asian Correspondent (March 2018)

CBSE orders re-exam due to paper leak: Students protest, say it's their worst nightmare come true

Protest in Delhi (PTI Photo)

NEW DELHI: Students across the country are terribly upset with the news that the CBSE has ordered the re-examination + of the Class XII economics and Class X maths papers after both papers were leaked ahead of the exams.

Across cities -- from Bengaluru, Goa, Guwahati, Chennai and Kolkata to Bhopal and Patna, among others, students are furious they will have to take the exams once again even though the leak was limited to the Delhi region.

On Thursday, parents and students in several cities protested against the CBSE’s decision + . Online petition have already started doing the rounds on social media vociferously slamming the board’s decision.

The board’s statement on Wednesday said the board had taken cognisance of “certain happenings in the conduct of certain examinations”. It decided to re-conduct Class X Maths and Class XII Economics papers to “uphold sanctity of the board and in the interest of fairness to the students.”

“Dates for fresh examinations and other details shall be hosted on the CBSE website within a week,” read the exam notice.

Meanwhile, CBSE chief Anita Karwal said that the board had taken the decision in favour of the students.

Full story at Times of India (March 2018)

Chinese school teacher sacked after posting video kissing pupil

Man, 47, kissed schoolgirl, 17, during a private tutoring session, according to media reports

By Yujing Liu

A high school teacher from northern China was fired after posting a video on social media of him kissing a female pupil during a private tutoring session, according to a news website report.

The physics teacher, 47, from Luonan county in Shaanxi province is seen clutching the 17-year-old girl’s waist and kissing her on the face and lips in the video he posted earlier this month, reported.

The man, whose full name was not given, has tutored the school pupil up to three times a week since November, charging 100 yuan (US$16) per hour, according to the report.

He uploaded the footage to the social media platform QQ, but forgot to press the option to make the video private.

Luonan High School, where the teacher had a full-time teaching job and the student studied, fired him after an investigation, the article said.

The school has also expelled the man from the its Communist Party branch, applied to revoke his teacher’s qualification from the local education bureau and asked him to return tutoring fees of 2,000 yuan to the girl’s family.

Full story at South China Morning Post (March 2018)

Mansfield teacher suspended for discussing her sexual orientation with students, officials say

Stacy Bailey, an art teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary School in Mansfield ISD.

A Mansfield ISD elementary school art teacher was suspended after the district received complaints from parents about her discussing her sexual orientation with elementary-aged students, district officials said Tuesday afternoon.

Stacy Bailey, an art teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary, has been suspended with pay since September. MISD said in an emailed statement Tuesday afternoon it is their “general rule not to comment on employee personnel matters” but misinformation about Bailey’s personnel matter "has created disruption to the Charlotte Anderson Elementary School educational environment.”

The statement said Bailey was not suspended over her request to include LGBTQ language in the district’s nondiscrimation policy, but rather due to the district’s concern that Bailey “insists that it is her right and that it is age appropriate for her to have ongoing discussions with elementary-aged students about her own sexual orientation, the sexual orientation of artists, and their relationships with other gay artists.”

In the statement the district contended that “parents have the right to control the conversation with their children, especially as it relates to religion, politics, sex/sexual orientation, etc.”

The statement later says that MISD administrators met with Bailey more than once after receiving complaints from parents but that “Ms. Bailey refused to follow administration’s directions regarding age-appropriate conversation with students.”

Bailey, 31, has declined to comment on her status.

Full story at Dallas News (March 2018)

Teachers are having to wash children's clothes and lend their parents money

Poverty is so bad in some schools that teachers are having to washing clothes for children Credit: Deyan Georgiev - Premium RF/Alamy

By Camilla Turner

Teachers say they are having to wash their childrens’ clothes and loan parents money, as they complain of increased poverty.

Staff at some schools told how they keep a washing machine and tumble dryer on site, as well as clean underwear for pupils who are sent to school wearing dirty garments.

One in five schools now run a low cost food club, according to a joint survey of teachers carried out by the National Education Union and the Child Poverty Action Group.

The poll of over 900 teachers showed that 16 per cent of schools offer free of subsidised family meals, and the same proportion have a clothes bank. Meanwhile, four percent provide emergency loans to struggling parents.

Anne Swift, a headteacher in Scarborough, said: “We’ve had examples of parents who don’t have enough money to put in the electric meters so they don’t have enough hot water to wash the children’s clothes."

Speaking at the National Union of Teachers (NUT) annual conference in Brighton, she added: “They ring up to say ‘we don’t want to bring them in today because their school uniform isn’t clean’.

Some teachers even have clean underwear on hand - just in case Credit: Clio Media Ltd /Alamy Stock Photo

“And we have to say ‘bring them in, bring them in, we need them in school, we’re not going to worry about them wearing a different uniform’. But then the children feel they stand out if they’re not wearing what everyone else is.”

Howard Payne, a teacher from Portsmouth, told how his school gives debt advice to parents, adding: “Three weeks ago, the snow closed many schools in our area. I kept ours open because I was really worried about the number of children who wouldn’t have a hot meal that day.”

Amanda Martin, a teacher in Portsmouth, told of a girl who was missing school. “Her tutor noticed a pattern and had a conversation,” she said. “She couldn’t afford sanitary products, she didn’t want to leave the house, she was using rolled up tissue paper from school. She was too embarrassed to talk about it.

Full story at The Telegraph (April 2018)

Mums who CHARGE their children thousands…just to live at home! (And yes, some of the ‘tenants’ ARE fuming)

•Some parents have taken to charging their adult children for living at home

•Around 50 per cent of the 4.5 million adult children staying at home pay rent

•They insist they aren't making a profit off their children, charging around £250

A sunshine break to Portugal to enjoy some sand, sea and relaxation. Holidaying on the palm-tree-fringed beaches of the Canary Islands. And even a deliciously decadent birthday dinner at the top of the Shard with fabulous views over central London.

Like many fiftysomethings whose children have grown up, Joanne and Mike Berry make no bones about the fact they like treating themselves now and again.

And why not, you might say.

Well, perhaps you'll think differently when you discover how Joanne, 55, a retired estate agent, and Mike, 56, MD of a recruitment company, are paying for these little splurges.

For Joanne admits they occasionally fund lovely little treats like these by using some of the rent money their three adult children pay them to continue living at home.

Joanne's daughter, Jessica, 19, a personal advisor for a bank pays £200 a month to live in the four-bedroom family home in Bromley, south-east London.

Mother Michelle Green, 51, from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, charges her 20-year-old son Alex £100 a month to continue living at home

Some might say children should have the right to live at home rent-free for as long as they need to. After all, soaring prices have made getting on the housing ladder nothing more than a fantasy for so many young people — not to mention the extortionate cost of renting a home on the private market.

Add to this the fact that the generation gap between parents and children has never been so wide — with many Baby Boomers enjoying mortgages that are either small or entirely paid off, while their Millennial children struggle to get a foothold on adult life — and you can see why some feel that charging children rent money is beyond the pale. Joanne Berry, however, is robust when asked if her children should be allowed to live at home gratis.

'Not a chance! I spend £200 a week on food and toiletries alone, before paying out for our own mortgage, utility bills, Wi-Fi and the cost of every light in the house being left on by my kids.

'Mike and I both paid rent to our parents and feel strongly our three must do the same now they're working.

'They might not like it, but we believe we're doing them a favour by teaching them houses are expensive and they need to learn to budget with their incomes.'

Full story at Mail Online (April 2018)

No sex on roundabouts, please: Norwegian roads authority

Russ' students in Norway. File photo: Heiko Junge / Scanpix

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) says that, although famously rowdy celebrations by upper secondary school students are well-earned, they should refrain from getting intimate on roundabouts..

Terje Moe Gustavsen, who is director of the agency, said NPRA strongly advises against sex on roundabouts, as well as running naked on bridges..

Traditional celebrations (russefeiring in Norwegian) by Norwegian upper secondary school (gymnasium) pupils in their final spring semester usually start on around April 20th and end on May 17th, Norway’s national day.

Students commonly wear coloured overalls and hire buses, cars or vans in which they travel around local towns. The young school leavers often celebrate continually during the month-long period, and drunkenness and public disturbances are regularly linked to the celebration.

Traditional challenges, which vary regionally, are known as russeknuter, literally ‘graduate knots’, due to knots being tied in students’ graduation caps as a mark for each completed challenge.

“Graduation challenges are fine. A lot of fantasy is spent on thinking up funny and sometimes challenging tests. Seen from an ‘adult’ perspective, some of the rules might seem silly or weird, but it’s meant as a way to express fun and celebration,” Gustavsen wrote in a blog published on NPRA's website..

Nevertheless, the NPRA director advised against roundabout sex.

Full story at The Local (April 2018)

Mother accidentally shoots, kills 2-year-old daughter: Police

The Econo Lodge hotel in Wickliffe, Ohio, where a 2-year-old was apparently accidentally shot and killed by her mother on Friday, April 20, 2018.

By Mark Osborne

A 2-year-old girl is dead after being shot in an apparent tragic accident late Friday at a Cleveland-area hotel.

Police in Wickliffe, Ohio, said Saturday that it appears as though the mother of the child was handling the gun when she dropped it and it went off, hitting the girl. Police said the girl was struck in the chest and rushed to the hospital where she died.

Wickliffe is a suburb of Cleveland, about 16 miles northeast of downtown.

Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS reported that the mother admitted to dropping the gun in a 911 call and said the girl was not breathing. She also told operators she thought the safety was off, but then later told authorities the safety was on, WEWS reported.

Full story at ABC News (April 2018)