World news

‘White guilt on its own won’t fix racism’: decolonising Britain’s schools | Education

The medley of jubilant black, brown and white faces cheering the destruction of Edward Colston’s statue has had many rethinking. Discussing even. Britain, a nation not keen on making much of a fuss, is having to talk about slavery. For too long we would rather have dunked our digestives into mugs of tea and not bothered with dredging up our past. But what if we had all learned at school that the history of our great British brew is inseparable…

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Split classes, outdoor lessons: what Denmark can teach England about reopening schools after Covid-19 | Education

In the week leading up to the reopening of Denmark’s schools a month ago, Dorte Lange spent a lot of time on Skype. The vice-president of the Danish Union of Teachers was responsible for detailed negotiations with the education minister, the health authorities and other teaching unions. The aim was to make sure that everyone was happy with the safety measures put in place to ensure an orderly return of younger pupils to classrooms on 15 April. “As unions, we…

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Patient, amusing, inspirational… teachers have always made a difference | World news

I was eavesdropping on my son’s remote A-level history lesson, and liked what I heard. It was all about Henry VII, who ruthlessly sought new ways to pay for a heavily indebted state (sound familiar, Rishi Sunak?). Actually I wasn’t listening to the detail so much as to the teacher himself – patient, amusing, bringing everyone into the game, even the naughty ones who were almost certainly painting their nails or watching silly videos of Matt Lucas pretending to be…

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Indian students trapped in UK by coronavirus ‘actually starving’ | Education

Thousands of Indian students unable to leave the UK because of the coronavirus lockdown are relying on food donations from charities because they can no longer afford to eat. Student groups representing the students, from across the UK, have been coordinating emergency food drops with local community groups and charities. Many of the young people have lost their part-time jobs and can no longer afford even basic living costs. The Indian National Students’ Association, one of the largest student groups,…

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Harvard to donate remainder of Jeffrey Epstein gift to victim groups | Education

Harvard University announced on Friday that it will donate the remaining $210,000 of a $9.1m gift from the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to groups that support victims of sex trafficking and assault. Lawrence Bacow, Harvard’s president, confirmed the decision in a statement, saying a full review of Epstein’s donations determined that money he gave between 1998 and 2008 was spent “to support a variety of research and faculty activities”. While the review found that no gifts were received from Epstein…

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European schools get ready to reopen despite concern about pupils spreading Covid-19 | World news

More countries across Europe are preparing to reopen schools in the coming weeks despite conflicting advice from scientifist, some of whom caution against underestimating children’s potential to spread the coronavirus. Some schools and nurseries in Denmark and Norway have already reopened, and grandparents in Switzerland are allowed to hug grandchildren under 10, following a ruling by the health ministry’s head of infectious diseases that it is safe to do so. France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, has gone against the advice of…

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Schools across England will reopen in phases, says education secretary | Education

Schools across England that have been closed for almost six weeks as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown will reopen in phases, with headteachers given as much notice as possible, the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, has said. The secretary of state would not give a date for reopening, but ruled out schools opening during the summer holidays as a way of helping pupils who have missed out on education to catch up. Questioned by the education select committee on Wednesday,…

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As the lockdown bites, it’s women who are taking the strain | Gaby Hinsliff | Opinion

Flicking through our slowly emptying family calendar, a relic of a more innocent age jumps out. “Back to school”, it says in thick black pen, across the beginning of next week. Well, dream on. Across Europe schools are now tentatively beginning to reopen, at least in countries such as Denmark which locked down earlier than we did; German schools too are likely to start returning from early May. But in Britain, it might be half term before that can be…

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Stop spending millions on for-profit schools abroad, campaigners tell UK | Education

The UK’s decision to spend tens of millions of pounds funding private schools overseas has been called into question following a decision by the World Bank to halt its investment in the sector. The bank’s private-sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, announced last week that it is to freeze direct investments in for-profit pre-primary, primary and secondary schools. “This landmark decision by the IFC illustrates the emerging understanding that for-profit commercial schools may do more harm than good,” said Magdalena…

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Doctors have been whistleblowers throughout history. They’ve also been silenced | Education

Dr Li Wenliang was an astute observer. Back in December, the Chinese opthamologist noticed that there were a series of patients who had upper respiratory infections in Wuhan that seemed similar to prior Sars outbreaks. He alerted colleagues on WeChat but was quickly criminalized by the state for spreading “false rumours”. It wasn’t until after the young doctor’s death from Covid-19, the same disease he had identified, that the Chinese authorities cleared him of wrongdoing. Just a few weeks later,…

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Cambridge University assigns white academic to look at slavery links | Education

The equal rights campaigner and former Labour politician Trevor Phillips has criticised the University of Cambridge’s “bizarre” decision to appoint a white academic as head of a study into the institution’s historical links with slavery. Prof Martin Millett of Fitzwilliam College is to oversee the two-year research project, which will investigate ways in which the university “contributed to or benefited from the Atlantic slave trade and other forms of coerced labour during the colonial era” in an effort to “acknowledge…

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Students try to flee UK by chartered plane for ‘safer’ China | Education

A group of Chinese students who tried to charter a plane home are among thousands attempting to leave the UK because they believe they will be safer in China, universities say. With many international students left behind on deserted campuses – now mostly running a skeleton service – academics have been pitching in to call students and reassure them they aren’t alone. But universities report that Chinese students, who make up a third of non-European international students in the UK,…

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‘I’m full of dread’: Doctors, nurses and cleaners on risking their lives for their job | World news

The accident and emergency doctor Gus Khan, Greater LondonI have been treating coronavirus patients for the past month. A few weeks ago, when we were seeing the odd patient who had come back from China or Italy, we were being very cautious. We put on aprons and gowns and took all the right precautions. Then all of a sudden that stopped. We have been given flimsy aprons and were told surgical masks were OK rather than the N95 masks we…

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Covid-19 reveals the alarming truth that many children can’t wash their hands at school | Laura McInerney | Education

Global crises often bring surprises for schools. The first world war flagged up the high number of young soldiers who couldn’t read or write. In the second world war, middle-class country families despaired when evacuated children showed up malnourished and riven with lice. In the aftermath of both, politicians determined to make life better: focusing schools more on literacy and introducing daily milk and school nurses. Pandemics, like wars, temporarily change our way of life. Change happens fast. Schools may…

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Universities having to adapt fast to the coronavirus crisis | Education

UK universities are racing to ensure that the coronavirus does not prevent final-year students from completing their degrees. But experts say a sudden shift to online learning is a “huge challenge” for both institutions and students. All universities have been treating the coronavirus as a major emergency for some weeks. Last week the London School of Economics, University College London, Durham University, Manchester Metropolitan and Loughborough became the first to close down class teaching and move online. Oxford University’s term…

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After just half a day of home-schooling, I am officially in awe of all teachers | Emma Brockes | Opinion

We are doing a writing exercise at the kitchen table, about 90 minutes into home-schooling. So far, it’s gone quite well. I’ve drawn a grid with alphabetised headers and I’m dictating words for my five-year-old to write down. There was a brief dispute about which pen to use – she picked up a permanent marker, then wouldn’t accept, in spite of my reasoning, that it was 100% the wrong pen – but now we’re on track. I’ve totally got this,…

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