Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 49

Help pours in for Chinese student who lived on 30 cents a day

Wu Huayan ate only rice and chillies in order to save money to help her ill brother (Feng Video)

Well-wishers have donated almost a million yuan to a Chinese student who was hospitalised after living on 2 yuan ($0.30, £0.20) a day for five years.

The case of Wu Huayan shocked Chinese people after it hit the headlines earlier this week.

The 24-year old woman became seriously malnourished while struggling to study and support her sick brother.

Ms Wu's story also sparked anger at authorities for failing to recognise her plight and help her much earlier.

After the story was reported, donations began pouring in for the college student in the city of Guiyang - reportedly totalling some 800,000 yuan ($114,000, £88,000).

Full story at BBC News (November 2019)

At least 80 Hong Kong teachers have been arrested over anti-government protests, as education chief reveals at least four have resigned or been suspended

• Education minister Kevin Yeung urges city’s schools to suspend teachers out of concern for students’ safety

• Bureau also reveals that 123 teachers have been investigated over allegations of misconduct related to the civil unrest

Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung reveals the Education Bureau’s latest figures during a press conference. Photo: Winson Wong

By Chan Ho-him

About 80 teachers in Hong Kong have been arrested over their involvement in anti-government protests, while at least four have resigned or have been suspended the education minister revealed on Friday.

Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung also urged schools to suspend teachers arrested for serious offences, out of concern for students’ safety.

Yeung revealed the latest fallout of the ongoing civil unrest, which has seen students make up nearly 40 per cent of the 6,000 people arrested.

According to the Education Bureau, there were 123 complaints of protest-related misconduct against teachers between mid-June and late November.

Students from Yau Tsim Mong and Sham Shui Po take part in a protest rally in Tsim Sha Tsui. Photo: Dickson Lee

While Yeung said 80 teachers and teaching assistants had been arrested so far, the bureau did not say how many of those had also been the subject of a complaint.

The bureau also revealed four teachers had resigned or had been suspended by their schools, including a teacher charged with possessing a weapon, and a government-school teacher accused of making bias teaching materials. The bureau failed to provide details on the two other cases.

Among the 123 complaints, investigations had been completed in 74 cases, with wrongdoing confirmed in 13 of those, and dismissed in another 30. The remaining 31 cases were initially substantiated, but some are still being reviewed or waiting for explanations from the teachers involved.

Full story at South China Morning Post (December 2019)

WATCH: Malaysian student, 22, gives honest speech about burnout at US university – and netizens are bursting with pride

Lisa added that she had auditioned for the position of commencement speaker to highlight her difficulties in achieving success. University of Wisconsin-Madison

By Rachel Genevieve Chia

A Malaysian graduate has become the newest pride of the country after her commencement speech at an American university went viral online earlier this week.

Geology major Lisa Kamal, 22, was chosen by senior class officers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison to give the keynote speech at its Winter Commencement ceremony on Monday (Dec 16) – and it’s since been watched over 300,000 times on social media.

Lisa, the winner of the “On To the Future” award from the Geological Society of America and the school’s first undergraduate to take a graduate-level course in electron microprobe analysis under a prestigious Hilldale Undergraduate Research Fellowship, also organises and performs plays, dances and songs for the Malaysian Students Association.

But these activites took a toll on the all-rounder, who suffered from anxiety and burnout and had to undergo mental health counselling from her sophomore year, she told the university’s news portal.

Lisa added that she had auditioned for the position of commencement speaker to highlight her difficulties in achieving success.

She said in her speech to a crowd of 7,000: “In my second year in college, I suffered burnout to the point of losing motivation to finish this degree. I’d overwhelmed myself past my breaking point with things that would look good on my resume, but I stopped feeling passion for anything I did or learned.”

Full story at Business Insider (December 2019)

Religious leader sells meth to students, claims it’s halal

MADURA, Indonesia (ANN): A religious leader in Indonesia was arrested for selling methamphetamine to students, claiming it was halal or permissible under Islamic law.

Ahmad Marzuki, from Madura, Northeast Java, sold the substance to his pupils at an Islamic boarding school, as per Vice Indonesia/Vice yesterday, Jan 29. He told them that the illegal drug would increase their drive to study and recite the Quran.

Authorities began hunting for Marzuki, who is also an avid user of the drug, after learning of his actions. However, Marzuki managed tol evade arrest for two months after police started looking for him.

Despite being a fugitive, the religious leader still taught at other Islamic boarding schools in Surabaya and Mojokerto cities. Authorities finally captured Marzuki on Jan. 20 when he attended a funeral in Madura, as per local news site via Vice.

Officers located Marzuki at his home, alongside two people who were using methamphetamine. The police also found a small quantity of the substance and other drug paraphernalia in his house.

Full story at The Star (January 2020)

In Japan, University of Tokyo fires AI professor over ‘will not hire Chinese’ tweet

• Artificial intelligence researcher Shohei Ohsawa also said ‘lower-class citizens who do not understand Japanese’ were speaking out against him

• His dismissal has sparked heated debate on Twitter, where users are alleging the university’s campus is ‘full of Chinese spies’

The University of Tokyo says Shohei Ohsawa “grossly damaged” its honour and reputation. Photo: Shutterstock

The University of Tokyo has sacked an associate professor over a series of anti-Chinese comments he posted on Twitter last year, triggering a heated debate online.

Shohei Ohsawa, an artificial intelligence (AI) researcher, “grossly damaged the honour and reputation” of the state-run university, it said in a Wednesday statement.

The 32-year-old, who runs blockchain and AI development company Daisy Co, tweeted between November and December that his firm “will not hire Chinese”.

“I will not bother to hold an interview if [I learn the applicant is] Chinese. I will eliminate the applicant in document screening,” he wrote, adding: “Workers with low performance levels deserve to be discriminated against in the context of capitalism.”

Ohsawa had also tweeted that “lower-class citizens who do not understand Japanese” were speaking out against him.

Full story at South China Morning Post (January 2020)

Coronavirus: Hong Kong government to extend school closures until March 16, and keep civil servants at home for another week

• Classes to be suspended beyond original return date of March 2

• Major Primary Six exam for secondary school placements also cancelled

The Hong Kong government has extended the closure of the city’s schools to March 16. Photo: Sam Tsang

By Chan Ho-him and Gary Cheung

Hong Kong schools will remain closed until March 16 at the earliest and an important exam for primary school pupils has been cancelled, the education minister said on Thursday, as the city battles to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The government also announced that civil servants would continue to work from home for another week, meaning most of its 176,000 staff would be out of the office until February 23.

Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said there had been little choice but to extend the suspension of classes for two extra weeks at the city’s kindergartens, primary and secondary schools.

The Primary Six exam for secondary school placements was also cancelled, while kindergartens would receive a special subsidy to help with cleaning costs, Yeung added.

Full story at South China Morning Post (February 2020)

Utah lawmakers propose $1,000 bonus for teachers, tax credits for classroom supplies

West High School teacher Val Gates cheers for a student who answered a question during a game of Jeopardy on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Marjorie Cortez

SALT LAKE CITY — A state lawmaker has proposed that the Utah Legislature give every licensed schoolteacher in the state a $1,000 bonus.

Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, pitched the idea to the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee Thursday.

When Hall’s constituents talk to him about “this excess in the Education Fund, always the response is, ‘OK, why don’t we give that back to the teachers?’” To do so would cost nearly $33.3 million.

“It’s crazy that in order to give a $1,000 bonus, it costs $33 million,” Hall said.

Utah Education Association President Heidi Matthews said at the start of the legislative session that leaders of the appropriations subcommittee challenged educators and others to come up with requests for one-time allocations that would make a meaningful difference in public education.

Hall’s take on that was a $1,000 bonus for teachers, she said.

A bonus alone will not address Utah’s acute teacher shortage or so-called teacher exodus, Matthews said.

“But it will go a long way to send a message that the Legislature cares, that you understand the increasing demands in our classrooms and the many roles that teachers must fill from nurse to counselor to nutritionist to referee to advocate and, oh yeah, teaching children to learn and thrive.”

Full story at Deseret News (February 2020)

A match made at Montco: Man proposes in classroom where he met fiance

By Diane VanDyke

BLUE BELL — Sometimes love starts with a simple smile and some laughter.

Montgomery County Community College alumni Rebecca "Becca" Martin and Nick Vergara, both of Quakertown, first met when Martin was taking an Introduction to Audio class.

Vergara briefly stopped in to ask the professor a question before class and made a comment to Martin.

“I said something stupid, and she laughed. I’m not that funny, so it was probably a pity laugh,” he said.

After that moment, though, he continued to stop by and talk to her, and soon they started dating.

What started with a casual comment blossomed into a relationship that grew stronger every day, as they completed their education at MCCC and then graduated from Temple University. Recently, the couple became engaged — in the very classroom where they met at MCCC's Central Campus in Blue Bell.

Full story at The Reporter Online (February 2020)

Australian politician calls Malaysian student’s eviction in Perth over Covid-19 fears ‘disgraceful’

Workers in protective suits examine specimens inside a laboratory following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 6, 2020. A Malaysian student studying in Perth was evicted over fears of the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak earlier this week. — Reuters pic

Jerry Choong

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has called an incident in which a Malaysian student was evicted over fears of the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak “disgraceful and un-Australian”.

National broadcaster ABC Australia reported earlier this week that the student studying in Perth had flown to Malaysia on January 24 for the Chinese New Year holidays but discovered her landlord had evicted her upon her return on February 4.

The student, who only wants to be known as Helen, did not travel to China during this time.

When she arrived at her accommodation at around 4am on February 4, she discovered the locks to the main door had been changed and a note taped to it addressing her.

In it, the landlord claimed the house was in lockdown due to the coronavirus, and that Helen’s failure to stay in contact with him during her absence meant she was no longer welcome in the house. Her belongings were left outside the house to be collected.

When contacted by ABC Australia, McGowan expressed his dismay over the incident.

Full story at Malay Mail (February 2020)