mfioretti: india* + education*

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  1. “I haven’t brought it up… if she asks me something, I’ll answer, but I thought this would be a better way to introduce her” to sex, said one mother, referring to her 12-year-old daughter who was attending the workshop.

    In India, 47% of girls are married before the age of 18, according to UNICEF, and 28.5% of women report a first birth before age 18, the United Nations Population Fund said in a 2013 report.

    Despite this, sex education is not a part of the school curriculum in most parts of India. Last June, the then-health minister Harsh Vardhan came under fire from local media because of a statement on his website saying that “so-called ‘sex education’” in schools should be banned.

    According to news reports, Dr. Vardhan later clarified that the statement referred to a 2007 Adolescence Education Program launched by the previous Congress-led government to provide students with better information about sexual and reproductive health.

    The controversy the program generated led to its patchy implementation across Indian states, and most schools offer lessons in abstinence — or nothing at all — as the only form of sex education.

    Sex education is being outsourced to non-profit or private organizations because the Indian government is “abdicating its responsibility,”
    http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2015/01/30/indsex
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2015-01-30)
    Voting 0
  2. Questa è la lettera aperta di Tiziano Terzani datata ottobre 2001, in risposta all’articolo “La rabbia e l’orgoglio” di Oriana Fallaci, che la scrittrice aveva pubblicato all’indomani dell’attacco alle Torri Gemelle dell’11 settembre.

    è evidente che al fondo di tutti i problemi odierni degli americani e nostri nel Medio Oriente c’è, a parte la questione israeliano-palestinese, la ossessiva preoccupazione occidentale di far restare nelle mani di regimi “amici”, qualunque essi fossero, le riserve petrolifere della regione. Questa è stata la trappola. L’occasione per uscirne è ora. Perchè non rivediamo la nostra dipendenza economica dal petrolio? Perchè non studiamo davvero, come avremmo potuto già fare da una ventina d’anni, tutte le possibili fonti alternative di energia? Ci eviteremmo così d’essere coinvolti nel Golfo con regimi non meno repressivi ed odiosi dei talebani; ci eviteremmo i sempre più disastrosi “contraccolpi” che ci verranno sferrati dagli oppositori a quei regimi, e potremmo comunque contribuire a mantenere un migliore equilibrio ecologico sul pianeta. Magari salviamo così anche l’Alaska che proprio un paio di mesi fa è stata aperta ai trivellatori, guarda caso dal presidente Bush, le cui radici politiche – tutti lo sanno – sono fra i petrolieri.

    A proposito del petrolio, Oriana, sono certo che anche tu avrai notato come, con tutto quel che si sta scrivendo e dicendo sull’Afghanistan, pochissimi fanno notare che il grande interesse per questo paese è legato al fatto d’essere il passaggio obbligato di qualsiasi conduttura intesa a portare le immense risorse di metano e petrolio dell’Asia Centrale (vale a dire di quelle repubbliche ex-sovietiche ora tutte, improvvisamente, alleate con gli Stati Uniti) verso il Pakistan, l’India e da lì nei paesi del Sud Est Asiatico. Il tutto senza dover passare dall’Iran. Nessuno in questi giorni ha ricordato che, ancora nel 1997, due delegazioni degli “orribili” talebani sono state ricevute a Washington (anche al Dipartimento di Stato) per trattare di questa faccenda e che una grande azienda petrolifera americana, la Unocal, con la consulenza niente di meno che di Henry Kissinger, si è impegnata col Turkmenistan a costruire quell’oleodotto attraverso l’Afghanistan.

    E dunque possibile che, dietro i discorsi sulla necessità di proteggere la libertà e la democrazia, l’imminente attacco contro l’Afghanistan nasconda anche altre considerazioni meno altisonanti, ma non meno determinanti. E per questo che nell’America stessa alcuni intellettuali cominciano a preoccuparsi che la combinazione fra gli interessi dell’industria petrolifera con quelli dell’industria bellica – combinazione ora prominentemente rappresentata nella compagine al potere a Washington – finisca per determinare in un unico senso le future scelte politiche americane nel mondo e per limitare all’interno del paese, in ragione dell’emergenza anti-terrorismo, i margini di quelle straordinarie libertà che rendono l’America così particolare. Il fatto che un giornalista televisivo americano sia stato redarguito dal pulpito della Casa Bianca per essersi chiesto se l’aggettivo “codardi”, usato da Bush, fosse appropriato per i terroristi-suicidi, così come la censura di certi programmi e l’allontanamento da alcuni giornali, di collaboratori giudicati non ortodossi, hanno aumentato queste preoccupazioni.

    un giorno la politica dovrà ricongiungersi con l’etica se vorremo vivere in un mondo migliore: migliore in Asia come in Africa, a Timbuctu come a Firenze. A proposito, Oriana. Anche a me ogni volta che, come ora, ci passo, questa città mi fa male e mi intristisce. Tutto è cambiato, tutto è involgarito. Ma la colpa non è dell’Islam o degli immigrati che ci si sono installati. Non son loro che han fatto di Firenze una città bottegaia, prostituita al turismo! E successo dappertutto. Firenze era bella quando era più piccola e più povera. Ora è un obbrobrio, ma non perchè i musulmani si attendano in Piazza del Duomo, perchè i filippini si riuniscono il giovedì in Piazza Santa Maria Novella e gli albanesi ogni giorno attorno alla stazione. E così perchè anche Firenze s’é “globalizzata”, perchè non ha resistito all’assalto di quella forza che, fino ad ieri, pareva irresistibile: la forza del mercato. Nel giro di due anni da una bella strada del centro in cui mi piaceva andare a spasso è scomparsa una libreria storica, un vecchio bar, una tradizionalissima farmacia ed un negozio di musica. Per far posto a che? A tanti negozi di moda. Credimi, anch’io non mi ci ritrovo più. Per questo sto, anch’io ritirato, in una sorta di baita nell’Himalaya indiana dinanzi alle più divine montagne del mondo. Passo ore, da solo, a guardarle, lì maestose ed immobili, simbolo della più grande stabilità, eppure anche loro, col passare delle ore, continuamente diverse e impermanenti come tutto in questo mondo.
    http://www.matteogracis.it/sull-islam-non-aveva-ragione-la-fallaci
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  3. Students are often keen to exercise their rights but recently there has been an interesting twist - some in India are talking about their right to cheat in university exams. 'It is our democratic right!' a thin, addled-looking man named Pratap Singh once said to me as he stood, chai in hand, outside his university in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. 'Cheating is our birthright.' Corruption in the university exam system is common in this part of India. The rich can bribe their way to examination success. There's even a whole subset of the youth population who are brokers between desperate students and avaricious administrators. Then there's another class of student altogether, who are so well known locally - so renowned for their political links - invigilators dare not touch them. I've heard that these local thugs sometimes leave daggers on their desk in the exam hall. It's a sign to invigilators: 'Leave me alone... or else.' So if those with money or political influence can cheat, poorer students ask, why shouldn't they?
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29950843
    Voting 0
  4. Skewed interpretation of data leads to screwed policies. If there is any state in India which badly needs to have a Ministry for men welfare and development, it is Kerala going by feminists logic.

    No one denies female foeticide / infanticide are evils which needs to be eradicated. But just because the sex ratio isn’t perfectly 1:1 doesn’t mean the society is regressive and women need more/special privileges to increase the number to make the society perfectly Fisherian. Fact is nothing can change what nature wishes. 1000:900 / 1000:1100 is perfectly okay sex ratio to have and it will automatically balance itself if not for infanticide. In India 1000:900 will work best until older men marry younger women as they will be borrowing females from future. If the ratio reverses, women will have to marry younger men or marry outside the region. Will a Congress PM / anyone other than Narendra Modi as PM automagically change the sex ratio? Have they done it in the past? Then why is it even a factor?
    http://sundakka.wordpress.com/2014/02...-as-gujarat/comment-page-1/#comment-3
    Voting 0
  5. Nearly 400m people live in cities in India and during the next 40 years that number will more than double. Not only is the proportion of India’s total female population that is economically active is among the lowest in the world, but urban areas do even worse. Data from the 2011 census shows only half as many urban women work as their rural counterparts.


    Some discrepancy may arise because many women are involved in home-based work and are part of the informal sector, where their contribution tends to be under-reported. “Better enumeration will help, but measurement is not the only reason participation rates are so low in India, especially in urban areas,” Sher Verick, a senior fellow at the International Labour Organisation, said.
    Patriarchy rules

    According to Verick, the two main factors keeping women at home are social customs and very low education levels among women.

    Breaking such customs is hard. Preet Rustagi, joint director of Institute for Human Development in Delhi, said: “To a certain extent, men control women’s lives. And women have internalised this as the norm. In such situations, the little work they do is the result of compulsion, such as when the household income is not enough, rather than choice.”
    Few states – including Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – do worse than India when it comes to women’s participation in the workforce. Others such as Somalia, Bahrain and Malaysia do much better. Among the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) which are comparable emerging economies, India has the lowest female participation rate, with only 29% of women over the age of 15 working.
    http://theconversation.com/indias-urb...onversationedu+%28The+Conversation%29
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  6. An Indian physicist puts a PC with a high speed internet connection in a wall in the slums and watches what happens. Based on the results, he talks about issues of digital divide, computer education and kids, the dynamics of the third world getting online.
    http://www.greenstar.org/butterflies/Hole-in-the-Wall.htm
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2013-02-26)
    Voting 0
  7. many (or even most) people find it difficult to interpret visually-represented data – even when this is displayed in relatively simple bar charts and line graphs. Learning how to decode visually represented information is a skill that needs to be developed like any other. With these fresh insights into the challenges that people face, hopefully the School of Data can work to address basic data literacy skills, and improve people’s ability to both present and interpret visual data.
    http://schoolofdata.org/2012/08/23/school-of-data-live-in-india
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2012-10-12)
    Voting 0
  8. The Book Bus visited ZIGS this week and donated three boxes of books for our library. We are delighted to work in partnership with this wonderful organisation which is committed to raising literacy levels across Zambia, Malawi,Ecuador and most recently India. The books donated will be a wonderful addition to our new library.
    http://zigszambia.blogspot.it/2012/09/the-book-bus.html?spref=fb
    Voting 0
  9. When Aakashes began to arrive at IIT Rajasthan for testing, the problems were immediately evident. A third of the devices didn't start at all. Most of those that did either failed the basic drop test, overheated quickly, or saw their screens freeze until the battery ran out. A peek inside the box revealed circuitry and imported components held together by electrical tape.

    Readers comments: This project was doomed to fail from the beginning. India which has no global competence in hardware, delivering a working tablet for Indian masses at $35 is a dream. What must be underlined is that Akaash was designed to derail OLPC.
    http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/167/aakash-tablet-india-tech-industry
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  10. The 2,000-odd Akshaya e-literacy centres spread across Kerala, launched to provide computer education to at least one member in all families in the state, have become effective centres that help the public to avail a multitude of government as well as private services under one roof.

    The services available to citizens range from e-filing of tax returns, computer training programme of international standards, UID registration, and inding skilled labourers for construction or maintenance work.

    Akshaya registered 15 lakh families in 45 days in the comprehensive health insurance scheme run by Health Insurance Agency of Kerala (CHIAK). Other firms that took up this task could initially register only 20 lakh families in one year.
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/in...utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
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