South African apartheid ended in 1994 – but this video footage suggests that segregation at one school in Johannesburg may be alive and well.
Last Thursday President Sebastián Piñera turned to technocrat Harald Beyer to help steer the Ministry of Education into safer waters, after Felipe Bulnes resigned for “personal reasons.” Beyer is the third person to assume the role of Education Minister since Piñera took office in March 2010 and succeeds Felipe Bulnes, who in turn took over the post from Joaquín Lavín amid fierce student protests last July.
Over the weekend, members of University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity were caught on video chanting racial slurs. That kicked of a controversy that has played out largely online – and provided new rules for how to handle a social crisis. Within 48 hours of the video being posted, the university’s president had joined a campus rally condemning the video, sent out a press release, held a press conference, evicted SAE members from the fraternity buildings and expelled two students.
An infographic is being used by some teachers in Baltimore schools as communities try to create learning opportunities in the classroom after the city’s riots. Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore received several visitors this week including members of the Baltimore Ravens American football team and rapper Wale in an effort to calm the unrest. Several Douglass students were involved in confrontations with police on Monday.
Just like the cueca (Chile’s national dance that will be on full display during Independence Day celebrations this weekend) Chilean politicians were running round in circles last week over controversial tax reform legislation to overhaul its protested education system. The bill, which will increase education-allocated government revenue by $1.23 billion, originally did not clear the Senate—where it was rejected on August 28 by a vote of 6 yeas, 19 nays and 7 abstentions. The legislation had included a welcomed increase of the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent. But it also included controversial measures, including a 2-to-5-percent tax decrease—compared to 2011—for the top income-earners in Chile as well as incentives for children in private subsidized schools.
Labour Day 2004. Columbia University’s green laws shimmer in the heady heat. David Banks, 51, looks sharp if a little tired; he has been on the Ivy League campus for four hours already. He steps outside, away from the assorted crowd of celebrities, suited men and parents to speak on the phone with a member of his staff. “Are they en route?” he asks concerned. Ten minutes later the matriculating class of 2004 have arrived. The sound of “America, The Beautiful” waltzes lazily from under the fingers of the pianist as 100 men file importantly into the hall. Next to each distinguished man is a fourteen year-old black boy from the Bronx. This isn’t any ordinary matriculation and these students not your typical Columbia freshmen.
Listen to an interview I did in January 2012 with PRI’s The World based in Boston about Education Minister Harald Beyer’s decision to remove the words “military dictatorship” from children’s history syllabus in Chile.