When considering the effects of the debt crisis on Greece, most people probably think of long queues outside banks and protests in the streets.
A less visible but perhaps further reaching outcome is that Greece’s education system has become one of the most unequal in the developed world.
Although education in Greece is free, public schools are suffering from spending cuts imposed as a condition of the bailout agreements.
In practice, over the last 30 years it has become increasingly necessary for students to pay for expensive private tuition to pass the famously difficult Panhellenic exams required to get to university.
But with unemployment rising and salaries falling, many poor and middle-class families are struggling to pay for this extra tuition.
A World Economic Forum report this month ranked Greece last of 30 advanced economies for education because of the close relationship between students’ performance and their parents’ income.
And a professor of law and economics at the University of Athens warns that losing talented students from poor backgrounds is a “national catastrophe” which could hinder Greece’s long-term economic recovery.
Greece’s education system was designed around the principle of equality.
Article 16 of the constitution
In families which own tablet computers, almost a third of children aged under five have their own device, according to a study by the universities of Sheffield and Edinburgh.
Children use their computers for more than an hour a day, researchers say.
The study showed YouTube was the most popular destination.
Jackie Marsh of the University of Sheffield said parents needed to check the appropriateness of what their infant children were using online.
The study revealed the widespread use of tablet computers among toddlers, averaging an hour and 19 minutes on weekdays and slightly longer at weekends.
Most were able to use touchscreens to control the computer and were using them to play games, watch television, films and online videos.
The Economic and Social Research Council-funded project examined computer use in 2,000 families with one or more tablet computers – and found that 31% of under-fives had their own device.
“It may seem surprising that in homes with a tablet, nearly a third of under-fives have their own device,” said Lydia Plowman of the University of Edinburgh.
“But when parents upgrade their tablet, many pass on their older model to their children. Budget models are also popular gifts.”
How do you get young adults back into education if they dropped out and had a negative experience of learning?
How do you show those who failed first time round that the door is still open? How do you get out-of-work youngsters to decide that it’s worth their while to get qualifications?
Reaching out to the educationally excluded isn’t some kind of philanthropic exercise. It’s a very practical and often intractable economic problem for many developed countries.
It is a worst-of-both-worlds position of having unemployed youngsters at the same time as having firms struggling to cope with a shortage of skilled staff.
Denmark is no exception. About 12% of the country’s 15 to 29-year-olds are counted as not in education, employment or training or “Neet”. At the same time there are “talent shortages” for a range of skilled jobs which means recruiting overseas.
But where are these young adults going to study?
Voksenuddannelsescenter Syd – or VUC Syd – is offering a different kind of model for such young learners.
This adult education centre, beside a fjord in Haderslev in southern Denmark, is based in a state-of-the-art, £25m building that seems to have gone to
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New apps developed for children come online every day and many of them are marketed or labeled as “educational” — but how can we tell which of these thousands of apps will actually help children learn? A comprehensive new report published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, integrates research from scientific disciplines like psychological science, linguistics, and neuroscience to provide an evidence-based guide that parents, educators, and app designers alike can use to evaluate the quality of so-called “educational” apps.
Since the iPad was introduced just five years ago, over 80,000 educational apps have become available in the Apple app store, which means apps are being developed far faster than the scientific community can evaluate them, say report authors Kathy Hirsh-Pasek (Temple University), Jennifer Zosh (Penn State University, Brandywine), Roberta Michnick Golinkoff (University of Delaware), James H. Gray (Sesame Workshop), Michael B. Robb (Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College), and Jordy Kaufman (Swinburne University of Technology).
The full report and accompanying commentary by communications researcher Ellen Wartella (Northwestern University) are available free to the public online.
While scientific research examining specific features of individual apps may be scarce, scientists have
A new study by researchers at the University of Colorado, New York University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill estimates the number of deaths that can be linked to differences in education, and finds that variation in the risk of death across education levels has widened considerably.
The findings, published July 8 in the journal PLOS ONE, suggest that lacking education may be as deadly as being a current rather than former smoker.
“In public health policy, we often focus on changing health behaviors such as diet, smoking, and drinking,” said Virginia Chang, associate professor of public health at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and College of Global Public Health, and associate professor of population health at NYU School of Medicine. “Education — which is a more fundamental, upstream driver of health behaviors and disparities — should also be a key element of U.S. health policy.”
Low levels of education are common. More than 10 percent of U.S. adults ages 25 to 34 do not have a high school degree, while more than a quarter have some college but no bachelor’s degree. Yet studies show that a higher level of education is a
If you had to choose the least likely location for the birthplace of a green education revolution, you might well pick the South Bronx in New York City.
Despite creeping gentrification, this is an area that is still synonymous with urban blight.
It is the most socially deprived district in the United States, with over 40% of residents living below the federal poverty line. It is officially the least healthy place to bring up children in New York State.
And yet this is where high school teacher Stephen Ritz hatched a food-growing project with his students that has been adopted in schools across the US and way beyond, picking up numerous awards on its way
When we say food-growing, we’re not talking mustard-and-cress sprouting on blotting paper in the corner of a science room. Mr Ritz’s Green Bronx Machine (GBM) project produces a harvest of fruit and vegetables.
They are cultivated in high-tech indoor tower gardens, creating vertical cornucopias, with edible walls of raspberries, columns of kale and cucumbers, barricades of blueberries and broccoli.
It has grown over 35,000 pounds (15,900kg) of food. Some of it feeds the students and the teachers; plenty is taken home, and more is sold in the community