Arab News Education UAE News

UAE President orders settlement of student financial dues

The initiative covers students residing in the UAE and registered in UAE government schools, where all their outstanding dues for their studies until the 2023-2024 academic year will be settled… reports Asian Lite News

President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered the settlement of outstanding financial dues for UAE resident students registered in the country’s government schools for previous years of study, totaling AED155 million.

The initiative taken by H.H Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan epitomises the values of giving rooted in the UAE community and is part of his approach to provide support to students and enhance their drive to succeed in their studies.

The initiative covers students residing in the UAE and registered in UAE government schools, where all their outstanding dues for their studies until the 2023-2024 academic year will be settled, in coordination with the Emirates Schools Establishment.

ALSO READ :UAE supports electric vehicle engineers of the future

Arab News Saudi Arabia Singapore

Singapore’s Global Schools Foundation opening first school in Saudi

Under the patronage of Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC), Singapore’s prestigious Global Schools Foundation is opening its first school campus in the Saudi capital in September 2022…reports Asian Lite News

The One World International School (OWIS) will be the fourth school to be established in Riyadh under the RCRC’s International Schools Attraction Program, an initiative to bring international schools to the Saudi capital in partnership with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Investment and the Ministry of Education.

The international schools attracted by the program add diversity to Riyadh’s education system and represent globally recognised curricula, teaching and learning systems, offering experience-based best practices. The International Schools Attraction Program is part of the Kingdom’s Regional Headquarter (RHQ) Program, which incentivizes companies to set up their regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia. To date, 44 global companies have received licences to move their regional headquarters to the capital city.

Mazen Tammar, Head of Education Sector at the RCRC, said: “Attracting prestigious global institutions such as the OWIS is a big part of how Riyadh is creating a world-class education ecosystem. This is a significant milestone in improving educational opportunities for all Riyadh residents.

The Global Schools Foundation (GSF) currently operates 26 campuses in eight countries with a strength of over 25,000 students from 70 nationalities. Recognized as the world’s most awarded network of schools by the World Book of Records, London UK & Switzerland in 2021, GSF received 350 international awards in educational excellence, health and safety, social & emotional learning, and organisational excellence from world’s leading award bodies. The school offers comprehensive and holistic educational programs that include arts, sports, music, and languages. OWIS provides personalized teaching for various stages of development based on International Baccalaureate (IB), Primary Years Programme (PYP) and an American curriculum based on Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Atul Temurnikar, Chairman of the GSF, said: “OWIS believes in an all-inclusive education to help the next generation blossom into young adults with a global outlook. The school also adapted its education to meet the needs of the changing times. The Riyadh campus will reflect the OWIS’s inherent philosophy of commitment to quality education. It will also give students the right foundation to propel them to international success in the future.”

OWIS has received recognitions from renowned organizations such as the Asia Pacific Quality Organization for its innovative practices in international curricula. The Foundation has a track record in creating technology-enabled learning environments and providing diverse linguistic and cultural exposure to students in Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Cambodia, Thailand, India, United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia.

The school offers modern, state-of-the-art infrastructure within a digital environment, designed to impart 21st century learning abilities to make students inquisitive explorers, able to apply their education in real world experiences. Through sports and skills-based learning, students will be given the opportunity to hone inherent talents and acquire new proficiencies. The range of programs offered include coding, robotics, design and technology, and STEM-related studies.

ALSO READ: Bahrain and Saudi Arabia get UK electronic visa waiver status

OWIS students in Riyadh will gain exposure to peers, experts, and faculty from the GSF’s global education network through interschool, inter-campus and international activities to support in building strong student portfolios and global mindsets. GSF’s educational offering is underpinned by value-driven programs that builds emotional intelligence, encourages awareness, and equips students with the ability to flourish in culturally diverse environments.

Distinguished as one of the best education systems in the world by the OECD, Singapore’s education system has placed top-five in educational outcomes by both the Program for International Schools Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

Education Lite Blogs Music

Folk singer uses music to draw students back to school

Before schools reopened, teachers attended a training session and even paid door-to-door visits to persuade parents to send their children back to school, but the response was not satisfactory…reports Sreeja Ghosh

“I repeatedly say ‘shikhhai jatir merudanda’ (education is the spine of the nation) through my songs,” says kobiyaal, or folk singer, Ganesh Bhattacharya, on his unique way of encouraging students of rural West Bengal, who dropped out of school during the pandemic, to return to classes after their two-year gap.

“Village folk don’t understand formal languages, but they respond well to rural dialects and folklore. Since they also believe in mythological figures, I use a mythological theme in my songs that’s common in kobigaan. Through my poems, I convey how Kalidas was first insulted for not being educated but went on to gain knowledge,” adds Bhattacharya, who has spent the last three decades trying to revive kobigaan, which can be traced back to the 17th Century.

Kobigaan is a form of Bengali rural folk art that includes performances of songs and verbal duels among poets. It flourished during the 18th and 19th centuries, after which its popularity dwindled. Bhattacharya now uses its special connect with the rural population to raise awareness about social issues and highlight the importance of education among rural folk, in West Bengal’s Bankura district. The easy-to-follow poetry set to a rhythm makes it more appealing to his audiences, he said.

Getting students back a challenge

Kushnath Kundu, headmaster of Sree Chandanpur Prathamic Vidyalaya, a pre-primary school in Gangajalghati, Bankura said, “After the Covid-19 pandemic struck, many students from poor families became reluctant to attend school. A lot of parents also sent their children to work as labourers in nearby towns. And since the government sanction of paray pathshala (mohalla/neighbourhood classes), teachers have been finding it challenging to bring students back to school, as many of them are no longer interested in continuing with their education.”

Before schools reopened, teachers attended a training session and even paid door-to-door visits to persuade parents to send their children back to school, but the response was not satisfactory.

“We then decided to ask Ganesh Bhattacharya to raise awareness and encourage children to attend school once again, through his kobigaan. I believe it’s one of the easiest ways to communicate the value of education to rural people,” added Kundu.

The devoted kobiyaal was happy to oblige: “I strongly believe my kobigaan will instil the importance of education in students and their parents. So when Kushnath Kundu and other teachers requested me to perform, I agreed to the task without taking a single penny for such a good deed.”

Many found this tactic of encouraging students and parents in Gangajalghati quite unique and followed suit.

Biswanath Ghosh, headmaster of Dangapara Vidyalaya in Bankura, said, “I congratulate Ganesh Bhattacharya and Kushnath Kundu for this initiative. I really appreciate the way they presented the whole idea, and I now want kobiyaal Ganesh to perform at my school, too.”

Education seems to be a luxury’

Does kobigaan really raise awareness about the need for education? In a nutshell, yes.

“If we make such arrangements frequently, then it will definitely work,” Ghosh said. “In my school, there’s 100% attendance. But this scenario is not the same at every school.”

Ghosh further explained the reason behind the reluctance to return to school: “Most students here are so poor that they only attend school to have a mid-day meal. After Class 5, they are least interested in continuing with higher studies. There are many students who are the first generation of their family to even attend school. There’s no encouragement from the families either, which is why it’s more important to raise awareness among guardians. Many also lost their homes to heavy rain and flooding, so education seems to be a luxury for them.”

“The past two years completely distanced children from school and education,” the headmaster added. “Online classes are next to impossible as only one or two in 100 students can afford smartphones. Even then, there are connectivity problems. Parents would rather get their daughters married than send them to school. Kobiyaal Ganesh is taking the initiative to also spread awareness against child marriage and various related health issues.”

While schools appear to be receptive to this form of interaction, they were unable to share more information on the impact of Bhattacharya’s kobigaan initiative. Moreover, the overall sentiment was one that called for the need to improve students’ attendance further.

‘Storytelling has a long-lasting effect on learning’

Educationist Reetika Bhandari, a resource executive with the CBSE Centre of Excellence, believes that getting children excited about learning and teaching them is an accomplishment.

“The vision of the National Education Policy 2020 is to bring at least 2 crore students back to school to complete their studies and also to make education engaging and enjoyable for them,” said Bhandari, who is also a recipient of the Best Education Outreach 2021 Asia Pacific Excellence Award, the Mentor of the Year Award and the Guru Vashisht Utkrisht Samman.

“As an educationist, I’ve always believed that activities like dance, street plays, kobigaan and puppet shows, when integrated with the usual curriculum, can bring wonderful results,” she added. “Storytelling and dramatic techniques have a long-lasting effect on children’s learning, and this has been proven scientifically. Storytelling activates parts of the brain that allow the listener to turn the stories into their own ideas and experiences due to the release of certain hormones. This process is called neural coupling. So through such recitations of folktales and poetry, we can make education enjoyable.”

The kobigaan effect: more girls at school

On the impact of kobigaan on promoting education, headmaster Kundu said there’s been a mixed response from parents, as many of them are more eager to send their children to work rather than school.

“While many parents have shown gratitude towards the reopening of schools, and kobigaan did improve their response, teacher feel that attendance needs to be higher,” he said, adding that the attendance and academic performance of school girls was higher in comparison.

On the other hand, headmaster Ghosh said: “Attendance in my school has always been good. It was almost 100 per cent before the pandemic, and it hasn’t reduced since then.

Jagat Pathor, the father of a Class 3 student at Sree Chandanpur Prathamic Vidyalaya, appreciates the kobigaan initiative.

“I really like the way they chose to inspire students,” he said. “In these two years, we had no facilities for online classes. I have a small business, but I can’t afford the latest smartphones, and a strong internet connection in villages is not possible. So we are happy they are back to school.”

Kobiyaal Bhattarcharya is hopeful

“At least people are recognising my work and asking me to spread awareness. Results may take some time, but I believe my hard work will definitely help reform society. Due to the pandemic, our education system is suffering. So I perform at schools to boost attendance. Even parents are appreciating it.”

The government supports kobigaan through different awareness programmes like science fairs and Bishwa Bongo Sahitya O Sanskriti Mela but has allotted a nominal stipend of Rs 1000 for performers of this folk art. While there are many kobiyaal who continue to perform, Bhattacharya claims he’s the only one of them putting in the effort to revive its glory.

“No one is bothered to patronise this dying art form. It needs stronger support and more funds toward research,” he concluded.


-Top News Abu Dhabi Arab News

School normalcy resumes in Abu Dhabi

Unvaccinated students aged 16 and above can now return to school upon providing a negative PCR test result every seven days…reports Asian Lite News

Teachers, students and parents throughout Abu Dhabi are eyeing a major step to education normalcy after the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) relaxed a slew of school-related COVID-19 prevention protocols.

ADEK announced in a circular sent to all private and Charter Schools that all students must return to in-classroom learning. Only weeks after ADEK removed physical distancing requirements in outdoor open areas for the current term, physical distancing requirements will be lifted inside classrooms in time for the new term.

Complementing ADEK’s unwavering efforts to ensure the ongoing health and safety of the education sector and wider Abu Dhabi community, the updated protocols follow widespread compliance with precautionary measures across the emirate’s school community – with the proactive collective response enabling the safe return to education ecosystem normalcy.

All students must return to in-classroom learning for the new term, although students can be exempted if they present an attested ‘high risk’ medical report that confirms their inability to attend school in-person. Schools will also be given the option to lift physical distancing requirements in classrooms, with students in grades 1-12 required to wear face masks. This new step will enable schools to return to full capacity and empower all Abu Dhabi students to resume in-classroom education.

The full return to in-classroom education excludes students exempted on medical grounds, students showing COVID-19 symptoms, or when the school shifts to distance learning due to closure requirements.

Unvaccinated students aged 16 and above can now return to school upon providing a negative PCR test result every seven days.

However, all students must present a 96-hours negative COVID-19 test result on the first day of their return to school. Free tests are available at SEHA Drive Through Centers and private medical centers, and parents have been advised to contact the centers to confirm the availability of a free test for students. Students aged below 12 may opt for a free Saliva test at dedicated centers detailed on ADEK website.

Following their return, routine PCR test requirements mandate all vaccinated students aged 16+, teachers and staff to undergo PCR tests every 14 days, and show their green status on Al Hosn App to enter schools; same testing routine and requirements apply for the same categories with medical exemption validated on Al Hosn App. PCR test validity remain 30 days for students aged under 16. Al Hosn Green Pass requirements will apply to all school visitors, while unvaccinated visitors will be required to present a negative PCR test result recorded within the last 48 hours.

Following the latest announcement made by relevant government entities, students, teachers and staff who come in close contact with a confirmed positive case, will be required to test on day 1 and day 7 or when they start showing symptoms. Earlier in March quarantine requirements were removed for the same categories.

ALSO READ: US’s ultimatum to Taliban over reopening girls schools

The updated protocols also remove classroom and bubble closure requirements, with a three-day school-level closure only taking place if 15% of its student body test positive at the same time. Following the completion of closure period, close contact students must adhere to the testing schedule, while students who tested positive continue their distance learning till the completion of their isolation procedures.

ADEK confirmed its inspection and compliance teams will continue regular visits to private and Charter Schools across the emirate to ensure the health and safety of all students. In coordination with all relevant authorities, ADEK also confirmed its commitment to continue monitoring all schools’ adherence to health and safety precautions.

The new updated protocols complement the latest relaxation of precautionary measures that came into effect earlier in March 2022. Those measures allowed for mask removal in outdoor areas, and removal of quarantine for contacts of positive cases. The updated protocols also allowed the return of all sport activities for students aged 16 and above on school premises. School trips were permitted for students in all age groups, while adhering to precautionary measures in place at the venue of the school trip.

-Top News Dubai UAE News

Digital School goes global into five countries

In coordination with local authorities and national education systems, The Digital School is working in its first year in five countries including Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Mauritania and Colombia, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the first operational phase of The Digital School in five countries including Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Mauritania and Colombia.

In the first year, more than 20,000 students will be enrolled, as part of a vision to increase the number of students to one million students within the next five years.

The announcement was made during a special event held at Expo 2020 Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed said: “Our goal is to bring digital learning to new horizons as it is the education of the future and the future of education.”

Commenting on the initiative’s goal of providing learning opportunities for refugees, displaced persons and students in disadvantaged areas in different countries around the world, Sheikh Mohammed added: “In line with international standards in its educational and knowledge content, The Digital School articulates our belief that education is a right for all and that equal educational opportunities are the basis of comprehensive and sustainable development.”

He also noted that the Digital School seeks to enhance the future of education, ensure continuous innovation, and promote digital learning as a strategic investment for the future.

The event highlighted the objectives of The Digital School in its first year to reach students in five countries, train 500 teachers, set up 120 learning centers, and provide world-class educational content in three languages: Arabic, French and Spanish.

The Digital School is the first comprehensive digital school, providing distance education in a smart and flexible format, so students can join wherever they are, with a focus on the less fortunate, the disadvantaged and refugees in Arab nations and across the globe.

It provides digital study and supporting materials that are compatible with the Arab and international curricula, and offers an opportunity to interact with a number of licensed teachers and their colleagues through virtual classrooms.

It operates through the widest international and national partnerships of its kind within a knowledge alliance that seeks to mobilize efforts and resources to provide opportunities for quality education to millions of students around the world.

The Digital School aims to reach one million male and female students in the first five years, focusing primarily on students in disadvantaged communities and underprivileged groups.

In coordination with local authorities and national education systems, The Digital School is working in its first year in five countries including Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Mauritania and Colombia. It adopts the latest technology applications, artificial intelligence and educational tools to fulfill the educational needs of the students benefiting from the initiative.

Presented initially in three languages – Arabic, French and Spanish – with materials matching the nationally approved curricula in the beneficiary countries and communities through a modern digital education platform, The Digital School provides lessons in mathematics, science, Arabic, computer, and others through virtual and comprehensive classrooms. It offers an interactive learning environment that contributes to student empowerment and enhances communication between students and educators through advanced tools to assess performance, promote self-learning, and ensure an interactive simulation of each student’s needs.

The Digital School works to be at the heart of new changes in this vital field, by utilizing the latest technologies and artificial intelligence applications and building international partnerships with more than 30 educational, technical and development institutions around the world through the establishment of the Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning.

ALSO READ: UAE’s non-oil foreign trade records 27% growth

The Digital School is supported by the Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning, the first of its kind initiative that works to unify efforts in the field of the future of digital education globally.

It has also signed agreements of support and strategic cooperation. The school has concluded agreements with leading charity, humanitarian and knowledge institutions, such as the Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation in Dubai, which allocated a sustainable endowment whose proceeds will help disseminate education through The Digital School; the Emirates Red Crescent Authority to establish 1,000 learning centers affiliated to Digital School within the next five years; a strategic cooperation agreement with Arizona State University as a strategic partner in the training and capacity building of teachers; and Microsoft to collaborate in providing and developing modern digital education solutions for The Digital School.

Furthermore, The Digital School has signed strategic memoranda of understanding with many institutions and entities concerned with the future of digital education and innovation, including the Mobile Learning Alliance, the World Food Program, Dubai Cares, and Amazon.

In addition to increase the number of beneficiaries to one million students over the next five years, The Digital School aims to train 1,500 teachers in the next three years.

Arab News Dubai News

UAE resumes in-person education

Schools in the UAE resumed in-person learning on Monday, after two weeks of using an online learning system as a precautionary measure, coinciding with the International Day of Education, which falls on 24th January…reports Asian Lite News

The country is implementing the gradual return to in-person schooling over two groups, with the first returning to schools today while the second will return on 31st January.

The first group includes nursery students, Grade 1 students, Grade 12 or 13 students in the British system, students scheduled to take international and major exams and higher education students.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE has proven it has one of the best and most flexible education systems in the world. It is capable of overcoming emergencies, due to its adopted medical protocols, the successes of its medical sector during the pandemic and its use of digital technologies to ensure the continuity of education.

Today the world is celebrating the fourth International Day of Education, under the theme, “Changing Course, Transforming Education”. The statement of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on the occasion stressed the importance of providing good and fair education to all. Nearly 258 million children and young people are not enrolled in education while 617 million young people cannot read or write.

In terms of foreign aid, the UAE is keen to prioritise education, stressing during the United Nations (UN) Security Council’s open discussion, titled, “Children and Armed Conflict”, held in September 2020, that its total donations to support education projects globally amounted to US$1.55 billion, including US$284.4 million for areas affected by crises.

Since 2017, the UAE has cooperated with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners to support the education of 20 million children in 59 countries.

The UAE is among the first countries to employ advanced technologies to overcome conditions hindering education and the spread of knowledge regionally and internationally. Under this framework, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the Digital School as one of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) and the first accredited Arab digital e-school. He also inaugurated the Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning.

ALSO READ: UAE ranks first on Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking

The UAE is helping to promote education globally by establishing schools and universities, and providing grants and funds that will help provide education to different communities. MBRGI have, therefore, reached out to 45.5 million people worldwide while the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is continuing to finance dozens of international development projects in the educational sector.

In February 2018, the UAE pledged to provide financial contributions amounting to AED367 million (US$100 million) to the Global Partnership for Education, to improve learning outcomes for 870 million children in 89 developing countries.

ALSO READ: UAE classes to resume next week

In terms of refugees, who are among those suffering the most in terms of lack of educational opportunities, the UAE is exerting significant efforts, in cooperation with its regional and international partners, to offer them adequate education and teach them the skills they need to ensure their long-term future.

The UAE’s initiatives and material and in-kind assistance to relevant international organisations and the governments of countries housing refugees have helped alleviate the crisis related to the lack of educational opportunities for refugees. For example, the value of Emirati educational aid provided in response to the Syrian crisis was around AED190.1 million (US$51.8 million) from 2012 to January 2019.

-Top News Dubai UAE News

UAE classes to resume next week

UAE Education Ministry on Wednesday announced the gradual return of in-class learning in the country over two groups…reports Asian Lite News

The first group will return on 24th January while the second group will return on 31st January, said Hazza Al Mansouri, Official Spokesman of the UAE’s Education Sector.

Dr. Farida Al Hosani, Official Spokesperson of the UAE Health Sector, stressed the importance of adhering to relevant precautionary measures while noting the country’s leadership priorities the community’s health and safety.

Dr. Al Hosani affirmed that the health sector is continuing to achieve collective immunity, by providing vaccines to all eligible segments of the population. She stated that 100 percent of the population has received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose while 93.19 percent are fully vaccinated.

“The UAE has been keen to provide approved vaccines at a very early stage free of charge in all health establishments around the country, to achieve collective immunity and protect people’s health,” she stressed.

“Studies have shown that booster shots significantly reduce infections and complications. We urge individuals over 18 to take booster shots, especially the elderly and those with chronic diseases,” she said. The health crisis has demonstrated that adhering to the precautionary measures is key to protecting the population, along with vaccination campaigns, she added.

Al Mansouri explained the updated procedures and directives of the Ministry of Education, in line with developments to the pandemic.

“Under the framework of monitoring the current situation and facilitating the safe resumption of schools, a gradual return to in-class learning has been decided, as the first group will return on 24th January,” Al Mansouri said.

“This first group will include nursery students, first-grade students, 12th-grade students or 13th-grade in the British education system. Students who will undergo international and major examinations. The first group will also comprise higher education establishments’ students,” he added.

The green pass system will be implemented for this group, he said and added that the second group, which will comprise the remaining school levels and grades, will return to schools on 31st January.

ALSO READ: Back to schools? Remember these to have a good and safe time

The Ministry of Education has also implemented several preventive measures to ensure the smooth return of in-person education, and all students must show a negative PCR test result not older than 96 hours, as well as undergo a PCR test every two weeks, he explained.

Parents must also use the green pass system on the Al Hosn app before entering educational establishments, as well as show a negative PCR test result not older than 96 hours, he stressed. School trips will be suspended until further notice, while sports and cultural activities in schools will continue with the application of relevant precautionary measures.

The remote learning option will be available for parents who want their children to continue education remotely until the situation in the country is re-evaluated, Al Mansouri said. School administrations will contact parents directly and provide them with information on the learning system and the health situation, he added.

He urged parents to undergo PCR tests early to avoid overcrowding the testing facilities. He noted that these guidelines are subject to updates according to the requirements of health authorities and the monitoring of the current health situation.

Africa News News World

Violence impacts over 7L children due to school closures in Cameroon

Over 700,000 children have been impacted by school closures due to violence in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon, according to a recent analysis by the United Nations humanitarian arm, UNOCHA…reports Asian Lite News

Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, and the Director of Education Cannot Wait, Yasmine Sherif, on Thursday called for an end to attacks on education in Cameroon during their joint visit to the country this week.

“This is among the most complex humanitarian crises in the world today. Children and youth are having to flee their homes and schools, are threatened with violence and kidnapping, and are being forced into early childhood marriage and recruited into armed groups,” said Yasmine Sherif.

“We call for urgent support from donors to respond to this forgotten crisis. We call for the respect of human rights and adherence to the principles of international humanitarian law and the Safe Schools Declaration — and for partners to redouble efforts so all children and adolescents can get back to the safety, protection and hope that quality learning environments provide.”

Two out of three schools are closed in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon, according to UNOCHA.

On November 24, four children and one teacher were killed in an attack in Ekondo Titi in Cameroon’s South-West region.

A recent lockdown imposed by a non-state armed group, from September 15 to October 2, limited access to basic services, including health and education.

During the period, OCHA reported a series of attacks in the North-West. Eight students were kidnapped, and a girl’s fingers were chopped off after she tried to attend school.

Five public school principals were also kidnapped, including one who was killed.

During the lockdown, all schools and community learning spaces were closed, except for some schools in a few urban areas which operated at less than 60 per cent capacity.

About 200,000 people did not receive food due to the interruption of humanitarian activities.

The lockdown and insecurity have forced UN agencies and aid organisations — including the Norwegian Refugee Council — to temporarily suspend the delivery of lifesaving aid to people in need in both the North-West and South-West regions.

“Putting a schoolbag on your back should not make you a target. Yet children here risk their lives every day just showing up for school. Cameroon’s education mega-emergency needs international attention, not deadly silence by the outside world,” said Jan Egeland.

“Cameroon is one of the world’s most forgotten crises and has ranked in the top two of the Norwegian Refugee Council’s list of neglected displacement crises three years in a row. Until the international community steps up its support and diplomatic engagement, children will continue to bear the brunt of the violence.

Nine out of 10 regions of Cameroon continue to be impacted by one of three complex humanitarian crises: the crisis in the North-West and South-West, conflict in the Far North, and a refugee crisis involving people who have fled the Central African Republic.

Over one million children need urgent education support because of these combined crises.

To address these multiple emergencies, made even worse by COVID-19 and climate change impacts, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) — the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises — is working closely with UN agencies, the Norwegian Refugee Council and civil society education partners to build a multi-year resilience programme in Cameroon.

ALSO READ: Africa’s Covid-19 cases surpass 8.65 mn

ECW is contributing $25 million over three years and calls for other donors to fill the gap which is estimated at $50 million. When fully funded, the programme will provide approximately 250,000 children and adolescents with access to safe and protective learning environments in the most-affected areas.

The programme builds on the impact from ECW’s ongoing First Emergency Response in Cameroon.

Announced in May, the investment is designed to ensure refugee children fleeing from the Central African Republic receive access to quality, protective learning environments.

India News Kerala News

Kerala schools reopen after 20 months

Schools in Kerala reopened on Monday after remaining closed for 20 months due to the Covid pandemic…reports Asian Lite News

Since attending offline classes is not compulsory, only a million of the 4.2 million students returned to the classrooms.

Schools have been directed to strictly follow the bio-bubble model besides other Covid protocols.

Kerala schools reopen after 20 months

The state level inauguration of a ‘back to school’ programme was inaugurated by Kerala Education Minister V.Sivankutty at the Cotton School Girl’s School in the capital city.

Similar inaugurations were seen in the other 13 districts of the state a well, while some schools held their own functions to welcome students.

Sivankutty said since the Covid threat is not fully over, all mandatory protocols have to be strictly complied with.

“For around two weeks, it will be a readjustment to the school and classrooms. We will be observing how things are and have regular meetings to discuss and debate on how situation can be improved, even while caution is maintained. For the time being everything will be under a close watch.”

Across the state one common thing was school students were definitely happy to be back.

“We had started to get bored of the online mode of study so are happy to be back- though our smiles hidden behind the masks. Now we wait for the classrooms to be full, as at the moment, it’s only half or less than that,” said a group of students in the capital city.

In a rare sight, state Agriculture Minister P. Prasad came to drop her daughter at a state-run school in the state capital.

“I’m here as a parent of my daughter Aruna of grade 5. We all are happy that children are back as children. The government has ensured that things are in place as the schools reopen after the long break,” said Prasad.

A teacher in Pathanamthitta district said she could not wait to get back to the classroom and be with her students.

“It’s probably the first time we are having a celebration like this, as Monday also marks Kerala’s 65th birthday. All of us are really excited and happy to be back,” she said.

Popular comedian and character actor Jagdeesh said that his grand-daughter is attending her class in the state capital.

“We have come to know that of the 25 students in her class, only nine parents have given their consent for physical classes.”

ALSO READ: Imagining Your Future: Online school kit for students launched

For the time being, in many schools students of each class have been divided into different bio-bubble groups and each group will have to come to school either twice or thrice in a week.

Even though its mandatory for all teachers and non-teaching staff to be vaccinated, according to the latest figures, as many as 2,282 teachers in the state are yet to get vaccinated.

In a Kozhikode district school, a robot welcomed every student with sanitiser and a balloon.

However, while most of the schools have reopened, 25 schools in Kuttanad area in Alappuzha district could not, owing to heavy rain.

“We were all ready to return, but then our teacher called up asking us to wait as all the classes are submerged. We are sad,” said a student who is impatient to return to school.

Meanwhile, the tailoring shops witnessed a heavy rush with students continously walking in either to get new uniforms stitched or get the old ones altered.

-Top News Dubai UAE News

Imagining Your Future: Online school kit for students launched

An online school kit that encourages students to participate in nationwide celebrations through creative decorations and arts and crafts…reports Asian Lite News

In line with The Year of the 50th celebrations, the UAE Golden Jubilee Committee has launched ‘Imagining Your Future’, an online school kit that encourages students to participate in the nationwide celebrations through creative decorations and arts and crafts.

All students and schools in the UAE are encouraged to download the free school kit, which includes printable stickers, decorations, postcards, stencils and desk tags from

Imagining Your Future: Online school kit for students launched

The free school kit also includes a postcard which the students can use to write a letter to their future selves detailing their plans for the next 50 years. The postcards can then be presented to the students as a nostalgic keepsake upon graduation.

This e-school kit serves as a resourceful tool that aims to inspire the younger generation to creatively learn about the values that have guided the journey of the UAE in the last 50 years and expand their knowledge about the country they call home.

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Schools, educators and parents alike are encouraged to participate in the nationwide celebration of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee and make use of these kits – which include decorative hanging elements that represent objects unique to the UAE – to educate young minds about the country’s history and culture.

‘Imaging Your Future’ is the latest initiative by the UAE Golden Jubilee Committee, which governs year-long initiatives, activities and grand celebrations for all those who call the UAE home.