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Teachers vote to stage largest-ever strike as negotiations with ministry stall

Oceania/ New Zealand/ 20.05.2019/ Source:

School teachers and principals across the country have agreed to stage New Zealand’s largest-ever strike as negotiations with the Ministry of Education continue to stall.

The Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) and New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Rui Roa announced the move on Sunday, and said rolling strike action was also possible.

Ths strike, on May 29, will involve almost 50,000 primary and secondary teachers and primary principals, and will affect hundreds of thousands of students in more than 2000 schools.

PPTA members had also given authority for a five-week rolling strike across the country if the impasse was not resolved, although they hoped that would not eventuate.

The announcement came after teachers and principals voted in secret ballots over the past week, with both unions having each rejected four pay offers to date from the ministry.

The latest offer from the Government is for a $698 million pay improvement package for primary teachers and principals, and a $500m package for secondary teachers.

NZEI president Lynda Stuart said the teaching profession was not going to give up on achieving fair pay and sustainable working conditions.

«What do we want? It’s quite simple really. We want the time to teach, we want a significant pay jolt, and we want better support for those children who have additional learning needs.

«Giving teachers the time to teach and lead, and ensuring that teaching is a viable long-term career, is absolutely essential if our children in this nation are to get the future that they deserve and need.»

It will be the third time primary teachers and principals had staged a strike during the standoff, but the first time secondary teachers had done so.

Secondary school principals were in separate negotiations.

PPTA president Jack Boyle said he hoped the strike would make the Government sit up and take notice.

«Unfortunately, we have got to a point where our bargaining team has said. ‘We do not believe that a settlement is possible through negotiation at this point’.»

Wellington Girls’ College teacher Cameron Stewart said the current school system was failing students. «We have students who will go through school without a specialist maths teacher.

«It is important that all students throughout the country get the benefit of someone who is a subject expert and is passionate about their subject.

«We don’t want people who are teaching their third or fourth [specialist] subject who have no particular experience and no training in it.»

Teaching needed to be seen as a desirable profession, with a salary which kept up with professions requiring similar qualifications, Stewart said.

Wainuiomata Primary School deputy principal Tute Porter-Samuels said many staff could not afford to strike, but neither could they afford «propping up an undervalued, underfunded system at the cost of our own health and wellbeing».

Teachers did not have enough time outside of the classroom to plan programmes for children with extra needs, call or meet parents, or collaborate on school programmes, she said.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the $1.2 billion pay offer was one of the largest on offer across the public sector.

It would result in an extra $10,000 for most primary school teachers, and almost as much for secondary teachers, he said.

«I certainly don’t think a strike is justified.»

Hipkins also acknowledged teachers were not just after more pay, and noted the Government had invested $95m in teacher recruitment and $217m in employing more learning support coordinators.

He wanted the unions to enter facilitated bargaining, and hoped they would take up the offer.

«We’re getting serious about the issues that they’re raising, but we’re never going to be able to solve every problem overnight. These problems have been over a decade in the making.»

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Islamic leaders: Education the key to ending intolerance

Oceania/ New Zealand/ 25.03.2019/ Source:

Guests and members stand to observe a moment of silence on Sunday at Annoor Islamic Center in Clemmons. More than 350 people attended the gathering.

Guests and members gather outside the Annoor Islamic Center in Clemmons on Sunday. Speakers at the event discussed ways to end intolerance in the wake of two deadly attacks on mosques in New Zealand that left 50 people dead. Imam Khalid Griggs said Islamophobia is present, and the best way to get rid of it is through education.

Nine days after a man fatally shot 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand, the greater Forsyth community gathered at a Clemmons mosque and discussed what could be done to squelch intolerance.

For some, the discussion was intensely personal.

Noor Shehata, now a freshman in college, recalls when she was a seventh-grader in social studies learning about Sept. 11.

“The teacher said he’d hate to be a brown Muslim who owned a restaurant the next day (after 9/11),” Shehata recounted. “I was a brown Muslim, and my dad owned a restaurant. All eyes in the class went to me.”

She said it was difficult to experience that from someone in a leadership position as a 13-year-old.

“Muslims are forced to grow up much earlier, they know what a terrorist is earlier,” Shehata said.

She learned to develop a filter of herself, looking at how she might appear through others’ eyes.

Imam Khalid Griggs said Islamophobia is present, and the best way to get rid of it is through education. He urged the approximately 350 people in attendance to take a stand against racism in all forms and come together as one against it.

“If we don’t come together as brothers and sisters, we will die as fools,” he said in a reference to a Martin Luther King Jr. quote.

Juana Rhili, an educator, challenged everyone in attendance to share knowledge of the Muslim religion with five other people within the next week.

“We are all, ‘One person, under God,’ and one person can make a change,” she said, referencing the Pledge of Allegiance. “We know these (shootings) will continue to happen unless we change the mindset.”

Others provided additional knowledge of Islam, including that the true message of the religion is peace, people of all nationalities are Muslim, and Muslims are against suicide.

The North Carolina division of the FBI recognized how important connections with the Muslim community are, working for more than four years to strengthen them, said Timothy Stranahan, assistant special agent in charge. Today, there’s a network of about 45 imams across the state the FBI keeps in contact with in the event something happens.

Aladin Ebraheem, with the Annoor Islamic Center in Clemmons where the gathering was held, said that trust is valuable.

He teared up discussing the mass shooting in New Zealand, but knew the community would get through it.

“That individual might have been successful in taking lives, but he failed miserably in intimidating, and the biggest proof is all of you being here,” Ebraheem told the crowd.

“This is not foreign to any of us. Just a few months ago, we were at a Jewish temple, showing support for almost the same thing,” he said, referencing the Tree of Life shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018, in which 11 people were killed.

Hana Hariri, who has a young daughter, said more discussions like this need to occur in the community. She said last year, her daughter was called a terrorist because of her faith. She’s also called, “the others.”

“We need to educate more about Islam,” Hariri said. “Education, even in school, and tell kids that Islam is a religion, not terrorism like ISIS. We’re relieved that the FBI is helping.”

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Tiroteos en Nueva Zelanda: qué significan los nombres en el armamento del pistolero que transmitió el ataque por Facebook

Redacción: BBC News Mundo

Los ataques en dos mezquitas de la ciudad neozelandesa de Christchurch fueron transmitidos en internet por un hombre que publicaba bajo el nombre de Brenton Tarrant y que fue acusado de asesinato.

En el video se ve al hombre armado llegando a una mezquita y disparando de manera indiscriminada a los hombres y mujeres que se encuentra en el templo.

Parte del suceso fue retransmitido por Facebook.

El gobierno consideró lo ocurrido un «ataque terrorista» sin precedentes en el país. Los ataques a las dos mezquitas dejaron al menos 49 muertos.

Tarrant, australiano de 28 años que se autoproclama fascista, fue imputado de asesinato, aunque la policía adelantó que recibirá más cargos.

Personajes actuales e históricos

En esos cargadores publicados en la cuenta de Twitter ya eliminada, se pueden leer nombres de personas y lugares.

Uno de ellos es el de español Josué Estebánez, el exmilitar de ultraderecha encarcelado por haber matado al activista antifascista Carlos Palomino.

Estebánez apuñaló a Palomino en noviembre del 2007 en el metro de Madrid. La víctima, menor de edad, se dirigía a boicotear una manifestación de ultraderecha, por lo que el juez consideró la motivación ideológica como agravante.

CargadoresDerechos de autor de la imagenREUTERS
Image captionEn uno de los cargadores se menciona al español Josué Estebánez.

Debajo del nombre de Estebánez aparece el de Miloš Obilić, un caballero de la Serbia medieval. Es recordado por haber dado muerte al sultán otomano Murad I en la batalla de Kosovo Polje, en 1389.

Le sigue Segismundo de Luxemburgo, un noble europeo que entre finales del siglo XIV y principios del XV acumuló títulos como el de emperador del Sacro Imperio Romano Germánico o el de último emperador de la Casa de Luxemburgo.

En otro cargador se menciona a Feliks Kazimierz Potocki, un noble polaco que lideró diversas campañas militares contra los turcos y los tártaros en el siglo XVII.

También a Iosif Gurko, un capitán general ruso que también luchó contra los turcos pero un siglo después. Entre las batallas en las que jugó un papel importante está la del Paso de Shipka, que también se enumera en uno de los cargadores atribuidos a Tarrant.

Así como a esta batalla, las inscripciones aluden a otras contra el Imperio Otomano como la de Kahlenberg o Segundo Sitio de Viena, de 1863, en la que el Sacro Imperio Romano Germánico​ venció a los turcos, que entraron en declive a partir de esta derrota.

CargadoresDerechos de autor de la imagenREUTERS
Image captionDiversas inscripciones hacen alusión a batallas en las que se venció al Imperio Otomano.

En otra foto se puede ver tres cargadores alineados con referencias parecidas.

En uno dice «Para Rotherham», en referencia a un caso de abusos sexuales que se dio en esta localidad de Reino Unido. Algunos lo consideran el mayor escándalo en el que falló la protección a menores de edad, ya que se extendió durante décadas. La mayoría de acusados eran de origen paquistaní y profesaban el islamismo.

En el mismo cargador se menciona a Alexandre Bissonnette, autor del tiroteo a una mezquita perpetrado en Québec, Canadá, en 2017 y que dejó seis muertos. También a Luca Traini, un ultraderechista italiano que disparó a inmigrantes africanos, hiriendo a seis de ellos, en febrero de ese mismo año.

Combatiendo al Imperio Otomano

En los otros dos cargadores se hace referencia a más victorias sobre el Imperio Otomano. Una es la del paso de Shipka y otra, la de Kagul, en la que los rusos los vencieron en 1770. También la de Bulair, una victoria búlgara sobre los turcos de 1913.

CargadoresDerechos de autor de la imagenREUTERS
Image captionTambién se menciona a combatientes de estas batallas.

Otras cuatro inscripciones hacen referencia a más figuras históricas que lucharon contra el Imperio Otomano: Bajo Pivljanin, un turco renegado que luchó contra este régimen en las filas de la República de Venecia en el siglo XVII; Fruzhin, un noble búlgaro del siglo XV; Sebastiano Venier, duque de Venecia del siglo XVI que es mencionado más de una vez, y Novak Vujosevic.

Además de los nombres, el usuario identificado como Tarant incluyó símbolos como el del Sol Negro, antiguo ícono germánico que luego fue adoptado por los nazis. También dibujó una versión supremacista blanca de la cruz celta y un símbolo vikingo.



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New Zealand: On the job learning for new teachers a disservice to them and students

Oceania/ New Zealand/ 12.02.2019/ Source:

I was very excited to see the outcomes of Bali Haque’s Tomorrow’s Schools Review. It is insightful, clear, and I think, largely correct. I hope we have the courage to implement the review’s recommendations – all bar one.

I don’t believe that school-based teacher preparation pathways will improve the quality of new teachers, and believe it will have a raft of unfortunate consequences for schools and their learners.

Preparing teachers has always been a tricky business. Between 1920 and 2018 there has been a review, a White Paper, a Green Paper, consultation, an advisory committee or report to government on New Zealand’s teacher education  about every 10 years. This despite the shift of teacher education over this period from school-based preparation to training colleges and colleges of education, to universities and private providers.

These reports have the same themes: selection and recruitment, what the content of teacher education should be, where it should be taught, and what the roles of the providers and the profession are in preparing teachers; all similar concerns to those raised by the Tomorrow’s Schools Review.

So is New Zealand particularly bad at teacher preparation? Actually, no. If we look internationally, exactly the same concerns predominate in English-speaking countries around the world. Essentially it comes down to whether you think teaching is a profession or not.

Professions are defined by having an established body of knowledge that is not held by the general population, and therefore require a period of advanced education before they can be practised. Because we’ve all experienced teaching at school in a way that most of us haven’t been exposed to law, accountancy or medicine, some people think there’s not much to it; that it’s basically managing children, a practical «craft» best learned on the job.

If teaching is a profession, advanced preparation is appropriate. If it’s a craft, it could be learned by doing. In practice, of course, it’s both; a highly intellectual activity, characterised by rapid high-stakes decision-making, and a practical task with routines and strategies that need to be mastered.

So which is the right way in: learn the professional knowledge, then practise the strategies, or learn the strategies and then gain the knowledge? I believe it’s a clever combination of the two, and the institutions best placed to develop it are not schools.

But why not? It’s tempting logic, followed by England in  its «School Direct» reform (an employment-based route into teaching). It’s had some successes, but hasn’t solved the variability and supply issues the New Zealand Taskforce highlights.

And a consequence has been the disestablishment of teacher education programmes in higher education, resulting in a loss of expertise in teaching and teacher preparation from the system. Just as the schools discover how hard teacher preparation is, the number of people who could help them diminishes.

Successful schools are good at teaching students. It turns out that teaching adults how to be teachers is actually another task entirely. Putting unprepared people in front of children to «learn as they go» clearly disadvantages those children, and trying to avoid this by preparing, mentoring and evaluating prospective teachers in schools is a serious challenge.

Do we want our schools to be both schools for students and teacher education institutions?

One of the reasons school-based routes appeal is because prospective teachers are paid.

Creating long, unpaid internships as part of teacher preparation reduces the number who can afford to prepare and reduces the diversity of the workforce. Paying people to become teachers is a great idea, we used to do it, but it doesn’t mean that preparation should be led by schools.

I think schools should play a larger role in teacher preparation and be rewarded for doing so. I don’t think, however, that they should be given the whole responsibility because they have another, extremely important, job to do – teaching their students.

In a post-Tomorrow’s School Review system, where supports like advisory services and education hubs are restored, why not retain a highly skilled teacher educator service that is seen as part of the profession, and works closely with schools to provide teacher preparation?

Rather than creating a dual pathway, let’s use all the resources we have to provide quality graduates for New Zealand’s schools.

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Educación emocional: ¿una asignatura escolar pendiente?


Matemáticas, lengua, idiomas. Pocos dudan de la necesidad de aprender cada una de las materias que el sistema educativo propone, pero ¿qué pasa con las emociones? ¿Se puede enseñar a manejarlas en las escuelas? ¿Y en casa?

La inteligencia emocional es la capacidad de sentir, entender, controlar y modificar estados anímicos propios y ajenos. La Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) propuso el desarrollo de las «Habilidades para la vida» (life skills) en 1986 y luego, en 1993, elaboró un nuevo documento centrado en la Educación (Life Skills Education in School), en el cual define dichas habilidades como «capacidades para adoptar un comportamiento adaptativo y positivo que permita a los individuos abordar con eficacia las exigencias y desafíos de la vida cotidiana».

Es que los beneficios de implementar estas habilidades son significativos. En España, por ejemplo, el Grup de Recerca en Orientació Psicopedagògica (GROP) demostró que los jóvenes con un mayor dominio de sus emociones presentan un mejor rendimiento académico, mayor capacidad para cuidar de sí mismos y de los demás, predisposición para superar adversidades y menor probabilidad de implicarse en comportamientos de riesgo -como el consumo de drogas-.

Así y todo, sólo una universidad pública española ofrece, desde 2012, la asignatura Educación Emocional en el grado de Magisterio (la Universidad de La Laguna, en Tenerife).

La necesidad de enseñar el manejo de las emociones es primordial en el actual contexto de cambio de paradigma. «Hoy el acceso a la información no es un problema», expresa Matías Liberati de la ONG Resaca Solidaria, donde se dedican a la inclusión de niños, niñas y adolescentes a través de la enseñanza de estas herramientas.

Y agrega: «Los chicos acceden a la información que necesitan desde su celular o computadora; aplicar la educación emocional es lo que nos permitirá un cambio genuino para la persona, ya que identificando los estados de ánimo de alumnos y docentes se detectan situaciones personales que afectan directa o indirectamente el acceso al conocimiento».

Beneficios sin fronteras
La presencia de la educación emocional en los procesos de enseñanza y de aprendizaje comienza a ser considerada en diferentes latitudes. Actualmente, más de 20 países la aplican en sus colegios; entre ellos Dinamarca, México, Nueva Zelanda y Suiza. En tanto, en nuestro país, la provincia de San Juan plantó bandera y sancionó la Ley Nº 1327-H, donde la incluyeron «como práctica necesaria para el desarrollo integral de los educandos».

Los beneficios de ofrecerles estas herramientas a los niños y niñas desde edades tempranas son múltiples. El licenciado en psicología Lucas Malaisi, presidente de Fundación Educación Emocional, los explica: «La Educación Emocional es una estrategia de promoción de la salud que busca mejorar la calidad de vida de las personas mediante la dinamización de habilidades emocionales y hábitos salutógenos. Se trata de educar desde y para la salud, buscando esparcirla y fortalecerla, cuyas técnicas son de baja complejidad y, por tanto, de fácil y económica implementación. Además, por si fuera poco, al instalarhábitos salutógenos se obtienen resultados sustentables, es decir que perduran en el tiempo. Se trata de tecnologías psicológicas de vanguardia al servicio de la educación y el bien común», explica.

¿Y en casa?

Mientras aguardamos a que esta práctica se expanda y pueda ser adoptada en cada uno de los establecimientos escolares, aplicarla en el hogar es de igual o mayor importancia. ¿Podemos impartir a nuestros hijos la educación emocional? ¡La respuesta es sí!

El psicólogo Alejandro Schujman, especializado en familias y adolescencia, explica que para hacerlo es necesario legitimar las emociones: «Todos tenemos celos, enojos y tristeza. No hay emociones buenas y malas».

Y suma que para poder hacerlo, es necesario educar con el ejemplo: «Los chicos no escuchan todo el tiempo los discursos largos y aburridos que podamos darles, pero no dejan de mirarnos; entonces, la mejor manera de educar las emociones es que un padre o madre o cualquier adulto pueda gestionar de manera saludable las suyas. No digo que no hay que enojarse o entristecerse; por el contrario, tiene que ver con poder transitar cada una de las emociones y aceptarlas», detalla Schujman.

¿Más fácil? Por ejemplo, si ante un reto un hijo o hija le dice a su padre que no lo quiere más, el psicólogo aconseja no reprimir ese sentimiento ni taparlo con la culpa, con frases conocidas del estilo: «¿cómo me decis esto?'» o «¡yo, que doy la vida por vos!».

¿Te suenan? Bueno, la idea es aceptar que en ese momento el niño está atravesado por el enojo y aceptar su sufrimiento porque también es sano enseñarle a sufrir y no, en el afán de querer que sea feliz, eliminar la tristeza o algún otro sentimiento parecido.

Por último, Schujman asegura que el primer paso para que todos podamos educar emocionalmente, sin importar si somos maestras, tías, padres, madres o abuelos, es tener la convicción y ganas de enseñarles a los más pequeños desde los sentimientos. ¿El paso siguiente? Tan sencillo como buscar información, bibliografía, consultar con especialistas y poner atención a estos temas.

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Paula Tesoriero: Inclusive education produces better outcomes for all

Oceania/ New Zeland/ 21.11.2018/ Source:

All children in New Zealand bring diverse backgrounds and needs to their education and every child deserves to have those differences acknowledged meaningfully. So it was disappointing to read last Wednesday’s editorial in this newspaper, «One in five pupils now need help with learning disorders«, which implied these children were a problem in schools.

Inclusive education means all children can attend the school of their first choice and receive the support they need to thrive alongside their peers – everyone is welcome and all students learn in a way that suits their individual needs. The system needs to change to fit individuals and not the other way around.

Internationally, it has been found that learning which benefits all students not just some, produces better outcomes for all. A 2017 review of 280 studies from 25 countries found clear and consistent evidence that inclusive educational settings can confer substantial short- and long-term benefits for students with and without disabilities. These include stronger skills in reading and mathematics, higher rates of attendance, reduced behavioural problems, and increased likelihood of students completing secondary school.

Disabled people make up 24 per cent of the population, but disabled children are not getting a fair go in the education system. That is a huge chunk of New Zealanders we are letting down. I continue to hear stories about disabled children being discriminated against in the classroom or not being able to access the resources they need.

Multiple reviews and reports over several years have shown the education system is not working for disabled students. Significant outstanding issues for the system include under-resourcing, a lack of good accountability mechanisms, lack of data and options and a lack of training and support for teachers. We’ve known this for a long while, New Zealand just has not addressed these issues meaningfully and comprehensively.

All this can result in low aspirations, discrimination, an underlying expectation that disabled students should be segregated or siloed or that they are taking resources away from others. Many children and their families have experience of the frustration of just wanting to access a quality education and having to fight for inclusion.

The Ministry of Education is leading big educational reforms at the moment. The recent announcement of 600 learning support co-ordinators in classrooms by 2020 is a small step in the right direction. But it does not go far enough.

I am really hoping these reforms shift the system-level issues. This is a critical time for our education system and the impact our system will have on future generations.

Rather than talking about young disabled people being the problem, New Zealand needs to make the most of these reforms and talk about how we create an education system that is fit for purpose for all children.

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New Zealand school teachers strike again in stand-off with Ardern government

Oceania/ New Zeland/ 13.11.2018/ Source:

School teachers walked off the job in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, on Monday, kicking off a week of national strike action as a three-month battle over wages and work conditions tests the Labour-led government.

The latest stand-off with its traditional union support base comes just over a year after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party formed a coalition government, promising to pour money into social services and rein in economic inequality, which has increased despite years of strong growth.

Ardern boasts a glowing international profile and historically high personal popularity but has spent much of her term navigating labor disputes and plummeting business confidence.

About 30,000 teachers around New Zealand would strike throughout the week, forcing hundreds of thousands of children out of

“My plea would be for the teachers to consider the offer we put. We’ve put everything we’ve got on the table,” Ardern told reporters. “We hope they’ll see in that a government that’s really working hard to listen and hear them on the issues that they’ve raised.”

The government revamped its pay offer by NZ$129 million ($86.82 million) to a total of NZ$698 million late last week, according to Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

Members of the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI), the union representing primary school teachers, were considering the offer but had already voted to hold a series of day-long national strikes, closing hundreds of schools.

Hipkins said in an emailed statement: “It is disappointing that NZEI has decided to go ahead with strike action before asking its members to consider the strong new offer made this week during facilitation.”

The government’s determination to stick to strict “budget responsibility rules”, including delivering fiscal surpluses and paying down debt, has disappointed public service sectors. It sparked industrial action from nurses and court and tax department staff and prompted teachers in August to hold their first strike in 20 years.

Wage growth has remained sluggish in the island nation for years, despite soaring housing costs, which labor groups and economists say has left workers struggling.

Teachers have also singled out increased paperwork, staff shortages and growing class sizes as major issues, which the government has said it was working to address.

“The key things are the issues around workload and the huge amount of compliance, such as large class sizes. Teachers have tolerated this for too long,” Newton Central school principal Riki Teteina told the New Zealand Herald newspaper during a protest by striking teachers in Auckland.

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