Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 56

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka cancels school exams over paper shortage


Official sources said the move could effectively hold up tests for about two-thirds of the country’s 4.5 million students.

Education authorities said exams were postponed indefinitely due to an acute paper shortage as Sri Lanka contends with its worst financial crisis since independence in 1948 [File: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters]


Sri Lanka has cancelled exams for millions of school students in the Western Province as the country ran out of printing paper with Colombo short on dollars to finance imports, according to officials.

Education authorities said the term tests, scheduled a week from Monday, were postponed indefinitely due to an acute paper shortage as Sri Lanka contends with its worst financial crisis since independence in 1948.

“School principals cannot hold the tests as printers are unable to secure foreign exchange to import necessary paper and ink,” the Department of Education of the Western Province, home to nearly six million people, said.

Term tests for classes 9, 10 and 11 are part of a continuous assessment process to decide if students are promoted to the next grade at the end of the year.

A debilitating economic crisis brought on by a shortage of foreign exchange reserves to finance essential imports has seen the country run low on food, fuel and pharmaceuticals.

Full story at Aljazeera (March 2022)



2 female teachers killed at high school in Sweden, student arrested


Two teachers were killed by a student at a high school in southern Sweden, police said Tuesday. The student, 18, was arrested at the scene on Monday in Malmo, Sweden's third-largest city. The victims were two female teachers in their 50s, police said.

The suspect wasn't previously known to the police and had no criminal record and police didn't disclose how the teachers were killed. A motive hasn't been established.

People mourn outside Malmo Latin School, the day after two women died from "violence", according to police, in Malmo, Sweden March 22, 2022.


She said officers arrived and found the suspect and two victims on the third floor of the downtown Malmo Latin School 10 minutes after they were alerted, adding that the situation was then "under control."

Stenkula didn't confirm a report by the Aftonbladet newspaper, saying the male student himself called authorities to say he had killed two people, had put down his weapons and was on the third floor.

"For now it is far too early to comment on that," Malmo Police Chief Petra Stenkula told a news conference.

She said officers arrived and found the suspect and two victims on the third floor of the downtown Malmo Latin School 10 minutes after they were alerted, adding that the situation was then "under control."

Stenkula didn't confirm a report by the Aftonbladet newspaper, saying the male student himself called authorities to say he had killed two people, had put down his weapons and was on the third floor.

Agence France-Presse, citing Swedish media, said the suspect was armed with a knife and an axe.

After initial reports of screaming in the school, "we have had more information that pointed to a serious crime being committed and that violence was occurring in the school," police spokesman Nils Norling told AFP.

"The first police patrol on site was able to arrive at the school and arrest a male suspect. They were also able to see that there were two injured people inside the school," he said, speaking in front of the building.

Police made "seizures" and a forensic examination "will allow us to better understand what happened," Chief Stenkula said, adding authorities they "have no information" that there were more injured.

Full story at CBS News (March 2022)



‘Open the schools’: Afghan girls protest in Kabul for right to education


Two dozen girls and women react to Taliban’s decision to shut secondary schools to girls across Afghanistan

Afghan women and girls take part in a protest in front of the Ministry of Education in Kabul. Photograph: Ahmad Sahel Arman/AFP/Getty Images


By David Connett


Women and girls staged a protest near the Taliban’s ministry of education in Kabul on Saturday, calling on the group to reopen girls’ secondary schools in Afghanistan.

The protesters chanted: “Education is our right – open the doors of girls’ schools!” as armed Taliban members looked on. They held banners that said: “Education is our fundamental right, not a political plan” as they marched for a short distance. They dispersed when Taliban fighters arrived at the scene later.

The Taliban have been widely condemned for a last-minute U-turn last week ordering schools to close, just hours after teenage pupils began to arrive for the start of the new academic year. Since the Taliban took power, girls’ primary schools in most of the country, along with all boys’ schools, have remained open, but older girls have not been allowed back in the classroom.

The Taliban’s education ministry said girls’ secondary schools would restart on Wednesday last week, but the decision was overruled by the group’s central leadership, who said they would remain closed until a “comprehensive” and “Islamic” plan had been drawn up.

“Even the Prophet said everyone has the right to education, but the Taliban have snatched this right from us,” said one protester, Nawesa, at the demonstration, which was organised by two women’s rights groups.

“The Taliban can not oppress the women of Afghanistan,” said another, Laila Basim.

After the Taliban’s ban on girls’ education beyond the age of 11, women’s rights activist Mahbouba Seraj went on Afghanistan’s Tolo TV to ask: “How do we as a nation trust you with your words any more? What should we do to please you? Should we all die?”

Full story at The Guardian (March 2022)



International medical students risk “losing everything” after fleeing Ukraine


By Helen Packer


Otumudia Dennis, a second year medical student from Nigeria, was living and studying in Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine when the bombing began. On February 28, he fled the city, journeying by train to Lviv, then to Uzhhorod, before finally arriving in Hungary.

International medical students have been left with nowhere to go after fleeing Ukraine Photo: Pexels


“It was a horrible journey,” Dennis said, “but I’m alive.”

Now that he is safely away from the war, Dennis, like many others in his position, is keen to continue his studies. “I’m trying not to be too depressed and traumatised,” he said, as he desperately searches for universities that will admit him.

Dennis is one of the 76,000 international students who were living in Ukraine before the war. Medical degrees at Ukrainian universities are particularly popular among international students because they offer a quality education without breaking the bank.

“This whole equation of good education, achievable minimum high school [grade], and affordable prices can hardly be achieved elsewhere,” said Rahma Hassan, an Egyptian medical student who had been studying in Ukraine until the outbreak of war.

A few days before the Russian invasion, as rumours swirled and the Ukrainian population grew increasingly nervous, Rahma travelled back to Egypt, abandoning both her studies and her home for the past four years.

“The situation happened all of a sudden. No-one was actually predicting it, we didn’t think it would really happen,” she said. “So we just had to flee. We didn’t have any transcripts or any evidence that we were studying in a certain faculty at a certain university.”

Thousands of students like Rahma and Dennis are now left with nowhere to go and no evidence that they ever even studied medicine.

Full story at The Pie News (March 2022)

Teachers at Catholic school ‘threatened with sack’ over strike action after gay author visit scrapped


Sources have told i that at a meeting of John Fisher’s governing body on Wednesday 20 April, new governors appointed by Southwark Archdiocese discussed the idea of sacking staff who strike

Teachers are set to go on strike at John Fisher School in Croydon on Thursday 28 April (Photo: Google)


By By Will Hazell


Governors appointed by the Catholic Church to a state school in London discussed the idea of sacking teachers who are going on strike over the decision to ban a gay author from visiting, i can reveal.

John Fisher School in Croydon has been thrown into further turmoil amid a power struggle on the school board, with claims that governors installed by Southwark Archdiocese did not follow correct procedure in an attempt to oust the current chair.

In March, the diocese intervened to cancel a talk by Simon James Green, whose books for young adults feature gay characters.

The school’s leadership team and governing body had wanted the event to go ahead, which resulted in the diocese removing a number of John Fisher’s ‘foundation governors’ – the governors appointed by the Church – and imposing an interim executive board.

The board was disbanded after just a few days after the diocese was warned it was unlawful, but four members who had sat on it have since been installed on John Fisher’s governing body as part of a new set of seven foundation governors.

On Thursday, members of the National Education Union at the school are starting three weeks of strike action in protest at the cancellation of Mr Green’s visit and the sacking of the governors.

Mediation by the Acas arbitration service began at the school on Wednesday 27 April, but so far there does not appear to have been a breakthrough.

Full story at i News (April 2022)



‘Very concerned’: Campus professors react to April 21 lockdown


By Denise Cruz


Campus professors had varied responses to the shelter-in-place order imposed April 21, with some students expressing concerns over safety and alleged lack of empathy


Amid the April 21 lockdown following a UC Berkeley student’s alleged threats of violence against campus staff, professors responded in varying ways.

Overall, there was no uniform response from professors in reaction to the order. Some professors completely abided by the campuswide UCPD alert that canceled classes for the rest of the day, while others searched for alternatives to outright canceling.

“My class is taught in a hybrid manner with lectures via Zoom,” said associate professor of agriculture, society and environment Kathryn De Master. “I still canceled our lecture because I didn’t want students to be unsafe going to campus to use Wi-Fi, for example.”

Others, such as assistant adjunct public policy professor Larry Rosenthal, opted for other alternatives. For example, moving lectures to Zoom and holding virtual classes instead to bypass the cancellation of in-person classes.

Many students, such as ASUC Senator-elect Manny Cisneros, took to platforms such as Twitter and Reddit to voice their concerns about these allegedly “tone deaf” responses and professors’ alleged lack of empathy.

Those who were on campus during the lockdown itself also had varying experiences.

Campus freshman Jessie Fisher, who works as a copy editor at The Daily Californian, was in class with civil and environmental engineering professor Robert Kayen at the Valley Life Sciences Building. She recounted that students were tasked to keep him updated on the emergency situation, and Kayen paused to secure the classroom before continuing on.

Full story at The Daily Californian (May 2022)