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Facebook targeting 14 African countries with satellite internet initiative, says Eutelsat CEO – – RFI

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Source: Facebook targeting 14 African countries with satellite internet initiative, says Eutelsat CEO – – RFI

The head of French satellite company Eutelsat has told RFI that its partnership with Facebook to improve internet access will target 14 African countries. Eutelsat CEO Michel de Rosen said on Thursday that the initiative will partner with local providers to roll out satellite connectivity making the internet more accessible.

Eutelsat expects the system to be operational by the end of 2016, according to de Rosen. It will be made available in 14 countries: Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Ibrahim Index: Democracy in Africa remains stagnant as Zimbabwe makes progress | Africa | DW.COM | 05.10.2015

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Mauritius has retained its top slot as the leading democracy in Africa, while Somalia lagged at the furthest end, according to the 2015 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG).

Source: Ibrahim Index: Democracy in Africa remains stagnant as Zimbabwe makes progress | Africa | DW.COM | 05.10.2015

Young and dyslexic? You’ve got it going on | Benjamin Zephaniah | Comment is free | The Guardian

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As a child I suffered, but learned to turn dyslexia to my advantage, to see the world more creatively. We are the architects, we are the designers

Source: Young and dyslexic? You’ve got it going on | Benjamin Zephaniah | Comment is free | The Guardian

I’m of the generation where teachers didn’t know what dyslexia was. The big problem with the education system then was that there was no compassion, no understanding and no humanity. I don’t look back and feel angry with the teachers. The ones who wanted to have an individual approach weren’t allowed to. The idea of being kind and thoughtful and listening to problems just wasn’t done: the past is a different kind of country…

Lack of computers in schools may be a blessing – OECD report

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Intense computer use in class linked to ‘significantly poorer student performance’

Source: Lack of computers in schools may be a blessing – OECD report

Ireland has one of the lowest rates of internet use in schools in the world but, ironically, it may be doing students more good than harm, according to a global study published on Tuesday.

The report by the educational wing of the OECD into the impact of computer and internet use on test scores shows there is “no appreciable improvements in student achievement in reading, mathematics or science in the countries that had invested heavily in ICT [Information and Communications Technology] for education”.

Ireland is ranked fifth from the bottom for use of ICT in schools, and fourth from the bottom for the use of ICT for schoolwork at home, the report shows. Irish teenagers spend on average 16 minutes on the internet at school during weekdays compared to an OECD average of 25 minutes, and a high of 58 minutes in Australia…

Schools that ban mobile phones see better academic results | Education | The Guardian

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Schools that ban mobile phones see better academic results | Education | The Guardian.

“It is a question that keeps some parents awake at night. Should children be allowed to take mobile phones to school? Now economists claim to have an answer. For parents who want to boost their children’s academic prospects, it is no.

The effect of banning mobile phones from school premises adds up to the equivalent of an extra week’s schooling over a pupil’s academic year, according to research by Louis-Philippe Beland and Richard Murphy, published by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics.

“Ill Communication: The Impact of Mobile Phones on Student Performance” found that after schools banned mobile phones, the test scores of students aged 16 improved by 6.4%. The economists reckon that this is the “equivalent of adding five days to the school year”.

The findings will feed into the ongoing debate about children’s access to mobile phones…”

Will the world’s hungry benefit from falling oil prices? – TRFN | Reuters

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Will the world’s hungry benefit from falling oil prices? – TRFN | Reuters.

ROME, Jan 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A slump in global oil prices has brought cheaper food to many of the world’s poorest, but from the slums of Manila to the fields of Malawi, the benefits are not universal.

Globally, 805 million people still face chronic hunger, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation. While the poorest in cities may see a reduction in food bills, those in rural areas, not integrated into world food markets, may not.

The price of oil dropped by half last year, the second-biggest annual decline ever, hitting a five-and-a half-year low. Oil prices have a knock-on effect on the price of food, which fell for a third straight year in 2014.

“For many poor people who spend a lot of their budget on food, this is good news,” said Shenggen Fan, director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute. “There is a high correlation between oil and food prices.”…

When it comes to dealing with bullying, calmness is the key – Independent.ie

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When it comes to dealing with bullying, calmness is the key – Independent.ie.

Our instinct, as parents, is to fix the problem immediately, and we interrogate our child with hundreds of questions. We need all the information we can get in as short a time as possible so we can plough ahead with solving this problem. After all, that’s our job, isn’t it? To solve problems, and protect our children.

We must fight that urge, says Aine Lynch, and focus on giving our child our full attention. Bullying is a disempowering position to be in, and when a child has told you the news, the last thing they need is for you to go on is a solo crusade; it’s important to involve them in any decisions made on dealing with the situation. Sharing their story can also help them put it in perspective and maybe even help solve the issue. “The child has a unique and valuable knowledge of the situation, and is therefore in a better position to suggest what might and might not help”, says Lynch, “it’s our job as parents to teach and support our child to manage difficult situations in life – if parents take over the situation it is less likely that a child will learn coping skills in life that will help them deal with every difficult turn.”…

What ISIS Could Teach the West – NYTimes.com

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What ISIS Could Teach the West – NYTimes.com.

 

“…the extremists recognized a basic truth: Their greatest strategic threat comes not from a drone but from a girl with a book. We need to recognize, and act on, that truth as well.

 

For similar reasons, the financiers of extremism have invested heavily in fundamentalist indoctrination. They have built Wahhabi madrassas in poor Muslim countries like Pakistan, Niger and Mali, offering free meals, as well as scholarships for the best students to study in the gulf.

 

Shouldn’t we try to compete?

 

Shouldn’t we use weapons in the short run, but try to gain strategic advantage by focusing on education and on empowering women to build stable societies less vulnerable to extremist manipulation?… Girls’ education seems to have more impact than boys’ education, partly because educated women have markedly fewer children. The result is lower birthrates and less of a youth bulge in the population, which highly correlates to civil conflict.

 

I support judicious airstrikes in the short term against the Islamic State, but that should be only one part of a policy combating extremism. And a starting point should be to ensure that the three million Syrian refugees mostly in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon — especially girls — can get schooling…”

 

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