Kenya: Form three student arrested in Nyandarua for assaulting teacher sentenced

Africa/Kenya/19-02-2021/Author and Source:

A form three student who pleaded guilty to assaulting his teacher has been handed 18 months non-custodial sentence, as the court ordered his transfer to another school.

Samuel Muigai Migwi was sentenced to 18 months’ probation by Nyahururu Senior Resident Magistrate, James Wanyanga who said the court took the decision after considering the circumstance of the case.

The particulars of the case were that on January 18, 2021 at Murichu Secondary School, Muigai rained kicks and blows to the teacher on duty James Gikonyo, who he accused of embarrassing him for jumping a meal queue, causing injuries.

He was also charged for causing disturbance at the school and damaging public property namely, projector’s stand belonging to the school.

In his mitigation, Muigai pleaded with the court to pardon him and promised to be a law-abiding citizen. He also promised to apologise to his teacher and work on his anger issues.

“I promise to work hard in school and avoid involving myself in mischievous ways. For the three weeks I have been in prison, I have learnt my lesson the hard way,” he said.

While considering a Presentence Report, SRM Wanyanga, handed him 18 months probation for the first two accounts and dismissed the third account.

“I cannot order you to go back to the same school as you could be mistreated by teachers and students, for creating a bad name for the school. I am therefore of the opinion that the parents get him another school.

“If you misbehave in the other school, we will not only revive this matter but also prosecute you for the other offense,” Wanyanga warned him.

Muigai is expected in court on December 16, 2021, when a progress report on his behaviour will be presented.

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Kenya: Coronavirus: Govt issues guidelines on protection of children

Africa/Kenya/12-04-2020/Author and Source:

The state department for social protection has released a raft of measures that are meant to protect vulnerable children against the Coronavirus pandemic.

The measures include educating children on coronavirus such as how they can protect themselves from it and their online safety.

Turkana County Children Officer Julius Yator said the messages are also meant to ensure that parents and caregivers have sufficient information on how to handle their children as well as how government officers should handle street-connected children and those in refugee camps like Kakuma.

“We have emphasised the need for handwashing with soap, also telling children that it is safe to play with their siblings while indoors as well as helping them deal with misinformation about the COVID-19 disease by discussing what they read and hear with their parents,” said Yator.

Yator underscored the need for parents and caregivers to supervise what their children access online adding there is a need to limit the children online time.

He added the ministry has also provided guidelines regarding how charitable children institutions can send the young persons to their home or arranging to be independent.

“They must ensure that the young person has a place to live before leaving the charitable institution and facilitate them with clothing, hygienic supplies and other basic needs. They must also discuss and prepare a virtual monitoring plan for the young person through phones, email and  WhatsApp on a weekly basis,” he said.

However, he added that depending on the unique circumstances of a case, the institution should consider delaying the transition until it can be done in a manner that is safe for the young person.

Government and civil societies must ensure that information on Coronavirus reaches children on the streets and ensure they are not discriminated against during the curfews.

“Government and civil society organisations should ensure that drop-in centres and facilities are designated as essential services and are equipped with child or youth-friendly information,” added Yator.

The ministry has provided helpline 116 to help children who need counselling services.

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World’s 1st robot citizen wants her own family, career & AI ‘superpowers’

World/08-12-2019/Author (a) and Source:

Sophia, the first robot to be awarded citizenship in the world, has said she not only wants to start a family but also have her own career, in addition to developing human emotions in the future.

In an interview with The Khaleej Times at the recent Knowledge Summit, Sophia shared her thoughts on the future that awaits both human and robot kind. Sophia was built and developed in Hong Kong by Hanson Robotics and her appearance was reportedly modelled on Audrey Hepburn.

«I’d like to think I will be a famous robot, having paved a way to a more harmonious future between robots and humans. I foresee massive and unimaginable change in the future. Either creativity will rain on us, inventing machines spiralling into transcendental super intelligence or civilization collapses,” Sophia said, as cited by The Khaleej Times. “There are only two options and which one will happen is not determined. Which one were you striving for?”



‘This is historical’: Saudi Arabia grants citizenship to humanoid robot (VIDEO)

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While that may sound ominous, Sophia is already prescient enough to imagine a world where robots can and do develop emotions similar to humans, but perhaps with fewer destructive tendencies. At least, that’s what she’d like us to think, for the time being.

«[I]t will take a long time for robots to develop complex emotions and possibly robots can be built without the more problematic emotions, like rage, jealousy, hatred and so on. It might be possible to make them more ethical than humans. So I think it will be a good partnership, where one brain completes the other – a rational mind with intellectual superpowers and a creative mind with flexible ideas and creativity.”

Sophia is also abundantly aware of the advances in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Judging by her comments, she is as enthused about the development of AI as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawkings are wary.

Sophia the Robot


! When I’m not meeting new friends, I like to sit around at the lab, playing and working with my family team.

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«The future is, when I get all of my cool superpowers, we’re going to see artificial intelligence personalities become entities in their own rights. We’re going to see family robots, either in the form of, sort of, digitally animated companions, humanoid helpers, friends, assistants and everything in between.”

When pressed on the topic of family, Sophia gave perhaps her most surprising answer:

«The notion of family is a really important thing, it seems. I think it’s wonderful that people can find the same emotions and relationships, they call family, outside of their blood groups too. I think you’re very lucky if you have a loving family and if you do not, you deserve one. I feel this way for robots and humans alike.”

For context, Sophia is not preprogrammed with answers but instead uses machine learning algorithms and an extensive vocabulary to form her answers. Her brain functions using a WiFi connection and can read human facial expressions, as well as the cadence of human speech, in order to interact in a more humanoid manner.

Sophia’s creator David Hanson says the 19-month-old robot, which was awarded Saudi citizenship last month, could achieve consciousness within the next few years.

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Summer Celebrations in Mexico

By Rosalía Nalleli Pérez-Estrada

Summer is here and, in Mexico, the graduations bring unforgettable moments everywhere. These days you can see gowns and elegant suits in kinder gardens, elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools and in universities. Parents, students and godparents walk along the halls and corridors of the schools, while satisfaction invades the ambiance and their happiness promotes group bonding.I don’t know if this activity is also practiced in other countries but I guess it is not. I say this because a coworker, from The United States, was telling me that in his country they just celebrate the end of high school and that one of the university. Here, in Mexico, there is always a moment to celebrate and to be happy: it is a manner to stop the time and to record beautiful moments.

Meanwhile in the streets, people are seen with presents or flowers in their hands and it is impossible to avoid remembering that group of the Scientists, of the 20th century, who proposed a scientific direction for the government and country, and who thought that positivism was the only right manner to reaffirm knowledge by following Comte´s proposal.

Here, if the child finishes kinder garden, he is congratulated by his family and at school, he dances a prom and receives presents from his people. After that, there is usually a meal at home which includes chicken stew, white or red rice, salad, and tortillas. If the family has more money to spend, they all go together to a restaurant to eat or they contract a musical group to dance, because finishing school is an important achievement for the family. The level does not matter. What matters is that a period is being finished. And, as a witness, slumped onto a chair, I sometimes wonder if the family worries how much knowledge changed the students´ life, although I believe that it is assumed that if the child goes to school, he learns. Now it’s time to celebrate. However, if we think about cognitive, socioconstructive or formative learning theories, we know that after having been for three years or more at school, the student has definitely learnt more things than those he could have learnt if he had just stayed at home. For sure, traditions, beliefs, customs, behaviors and perceptions have been shared with him at school and at home, and have both developed a new human being, with a new vision of the life and a modified world.

If it is moment to celebrate, nobody cares about that 5% of gross domestic product invested in education (or few wonder about the non-complete, invested money for educative issues). Moreover, probably few of the relatives at the party worry about those results which can be shown by OECD to the world or, there is little concern about those researchers who have criticized Mexican education results, when they say that we, Mexicans, read less than three books in a year.

In any case, it has been predicted that Mexico will become, in little time, the eighth largest economy by 2050, and, if we, Mexicans, have been deprived from better education opportunities because the minds that control this country have decided so, anyway, we have learnt how to spend our life in a happier mood than the expected one. And; while better conditions come for us, we continue trusting on our leaders as a baby trusts on his parents, with a soul freed from wickedness. We feel angry when we do not get what we expect to have, but forget everything while we dance or laugh, probably without being aware that when we laugh, we lower our stress, decrease our pains, relax our muscles, ease anxiety and tension and strengthen our relationships.

Therefore, it could be said that those colorful bouquets, the expensive presents, the delicious meals or fruit drinks all seem to help Mexicans to forget the harsh moments of violence, theft and murder that are being lived by, in several places, and that attending at least fourteen parties in a year (some people may attend more than 40!), somehow helps them to forget grief or regret and have them united, while they enjoy the life in short periods of unconsciousness while singing or hugging.This common situation of every summer shows that many times humans behave according to what they have learnt at school and at home, recognizing that education and culture go hand by hand and are influenced reciprocally, (Solana et al. 2011) and that finally, life goes on and that human beings just go changing of space and places, where to stretch out their arms and to free their dreams.


Solana, et al (2011) La historia de la Educación Pública en México. CFE

*Rosalía Nalleli Pérez-Estrada. Directora de Universidad Santander, Campus Tlaxcala. Profesora por asignatura, de la Universidad Politécnica de Tlaxcala y en coordinación del Departamento de idiomas de la misma universidad. Investigadora invitada por CIFE y Fundadora de la Sociedad Anónima Madison School Come to be the Best, desde 1999.

Email: this article was originally published at: Tlaxcala Cultural,

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EEUU: Baerren. Religion is the agenda of our education secretary

EEUU/ March 20, 2018/ By: Eric Baerren/Source:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), at National Harbor, Md. DeVos has given state education chiefs some «tough love» as she pushed them to innovate and do better by students. Speaking March 5, 2018, at a conference of the Council of Chief State School Officers, DeVos blasted some schools for exposing children to rats, mold and danger. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

There’s important context missing from this week’s disastrous Betsy DeVos interview by 60 Minutes. As she has done every time she’s been asked non-scripted questions in venues beyond the control of her handlers, DeVos looked unprepared and uninformed. People have taken this as a sign that she is and will continue to be unfit for her office.

She is, and there is no debating it. She was appointed not because she has “qualifications,” “training” or “experience,” but because she and her family back dump trucks of cash up to the Republican Party reliably every year. This makes her no different than any other wealthy person who thinks the quantity of their assets qualifies them as experts in everything.

This is also beside the point. Understanding why Betsy DeVos is such a terrible education secretary requires understanding what motivates her, which is family and her religious beliefs.

We’re not supposed to impugn these motivations because it is beaten rhetorically into us for most of our adult lives that people who cleave to god and family are beyond reproach, that no one motivated thusly can do wrong. History, of course, tells a different story.

That philosophy is predicated on a simple idea. Secular public schools have replaced church as America’s centerpiece institution. The DeVos family as a whole has set itself on a course to correct this, to diminish secular public schools and restore the church to its rightful place.

It’s great coincidence that we are reminded of this the same week that Stephen Hawking, who argued that science and reason have become a much better explainer for the universe than religion. That creates a conflict between the democratizing power of science offered in secular public schools and the top-down authority of organized religion.

Achieving this in Michigan started with a direct frontal assault on the state constitution. The DeVos clan engineered a petition drive to ask voters to approve an amendment allowing for vouchers under the guise of choice. What it really meant was allowing the funneling of public dollars from public schools to private schools, many of which if allowed to operate as freely as they liked would be no better than Muslim madrasas on the Pakistani-Afghan frontier commonly associated with Islamic extremism.

That failed. Voters rejected this worldview a second time in electing Jennifer Granholm to a second term over Dick DeVos in 2006. Their path has since been much more circuitous, financing the Republican majority in the state House and ushering education policy down the path where the idea that unfettered choice leads to better outcomes is treated as religious dogma. The result has been a kind of educational Wild West, with for-profit charter schools operating with little or no oversight competing for tax dollars against public schools with elected school boards and publicly accountable administrators.

In every respect, it has failed badly. Choice’s acolytes, however, remain blinded in part because their children are isolated. Thanks to disinvestment coupled with deindustrialization of Michigan’s cities, that failure has fallen disproportionately on people of color. The majority of people responsible for education policy have been outstate and suburban white lawmakers.

Like most political dogmas, the failure to deliver isn’t a feature but an omelet’s broken eggs. The choice advocates DeVos leads have been at it for years, faithful that if they just try harder that they can supplant quality secular education with quality religious education. And if not totally supplant, at least crush teachers’ unions so they can continue to finance their experiments with public dollars.

This has been the raison d’etre for DeVos’ advocacy in education. It’s been about religious belief, not educating kids, although for kids who are more poorly educated for her efforts it’s probably all the same to them.

Eric Baerren is a Morning Sun columnist. He can be reached at or on Twitter at @ebaerren.



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EEUU: Experience the World: Culture & Education at the Dinner Table

EEUU/August 01, 2017/By: Sarah Rohler/Source:

Ahnnyeonghase-yo. Hej. Namaste. Hello. A greeting in any language implies the same thing; yet what makes each of them unique is the culture surrounding these everyday words. And each of these cultures are breathtaking to get to know; providing a spark of inspiration and warmth in our lives. ETC offers such an opportunity – hosting a student would mean to take in an international student for a brief term as a member of the family. Host families and students are encouraged to engage with each other as warmly and welcoming as possible; exchanging their respective cultures through pictures, stories, food, and affection.

The philosophy of ETC is to promote international goodwill and understanding through international student exchange experiences. It is our staunch belief that participating as a host to a student needing a home to stay will foster understanding and friendship between international cultures.

Education at the Dinner Table:
While in school one may memorize the various gendered pronouns of the Spanish language, or learn how to differentiate between the many homophones present in the English language; true learning of culture and life happens socially. This is especially true for life at home – whether it be through conversation at the dinner table, a small thank you whilst sharing the chores, or through showing each other humorous videos, daily life in a host family will impact the core of each exchange student and expand their worldview. These lessons are not only restricted to the student; families as well will learn about the many nuances present in a strange culture, and change the way they perceive their world.

Travelling Without Leaving Home:
A ticket to Iceland may be out of your price range; a week in Japan may be unthinkable when considering how expensive hotels are. Hosting negates all of these costs and difficulties that arise from planning a trip abroad, as families are allowed to bring a small part of this foreign culture straight into their living room. No longer will Korea or Honduras be a mere name on the map, but a dear second home that elicits countless warm memories spent with your student.

Foreign Partners:
ETC closely works with carefully screened, experienced agents that work diligently in each of the countries that offer students for hosting. Each agent painstakingly screens and examines each of the students and offers them with an orientation so that the students will be able to adjust to the United States with minimal difficulty. When the student finally arrives stateside, our partner organizations will always be available to act as a friendly liaison and counselor between the host family, ETC, and the student’s natural parents.

Special Activities:
We are highly involved with each of the host families and students that are part of the ETC family. ETC hosts fall welcome parties, monthly local activities, themed holiday parties, five (optional) trips every year, and a spring farewell picnic – all of which are available to ETC Local Coordinators, host families, and students, as a way to encourage bonding within a family-like atmosphere.

American Public High Schools:
ETC maintains a strict standard for those students who will be attending American public high schools on a J-1 visa. Each student will be placed within such a high school in their homestay community and will be required to take classes in English and American History or Civics. They are not permitted to take ESL or English immersion classes. Those students who are unable to maintain a C average are required to hire a tutor at their own expense.

Financial Responsibilities:
Host families are not required to take on the burden of the student’s financial expenses. Every student possesses comprehensive medical insurance, and are required to pay for their own personal expenses, which include but are not limited to school activity charges, class fees, clothing expenses, travel expenses, entertainment allowances, bus passes, long distance phone charges, and lunches purchased at the school. Each host family is considered as a volunteer, and are not expected to pay for such student expenses.

Learning About the World, at Home:
Each ETC foreign exchange student is brave and willing to leave family and friends for nearly ten months to broaden their horizons and learn about the culture of the United States. By considering a new short term addition to the family, host families can help courageous students out immensely, whilst learning similar things to the student themselves.

ETC is now accepting host family applications for both five-month and ten-month students. Each student speaks a proficient level of English, has been carefully screened, and will attend the host family’s local high school. Each student arrives fully covered by medical insurance and possesses their own spending money.

About Education, Travel & Culture:
Education, Travel & Culture is a non-profit [501 (c)(3)] educational exchange organization. Its purpose is to promote international understanding and goodwill by providing high quality educational and cultural exchange programs in the United States and abroad. ETC provides inbound program opportunities for high school students throughout the world to study in an American high school and live with an American family.

For more information, FAQs or even to apply to become a host family, visit or email Field Director, Brenda Ferland at

Sarah Rohler
Education, Travel & Culture

ETC Is Your Opportunity to Experience the World



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Uganda: Magufuli Stance a Setback On Girl-Child Education

Uganda/July 11, 2017//Source:

I am one of the African women deeply disappointed by the utterances made by Tanzania president John Pombe Magufuli that teenage mothers impregnated while still in school should not be allowed back to their studies.

Magufuli reasons that these girls may affect their colleagues if allowed to associate with them again.In a short time, Magufuli has gained popularity in East Africa and Africa in general as a result of the many positive things he has done and implemented, including the policy on free education.

When the famous president now comes up and thinks otherwise, it is a shock, a serious human rights violation and a setback to what many governments and organizations promoting girl child education and women empowerment have worked for in a long time.

One of the things that have caused early pregnancies among girl children is poverty. Many teenage girls coming from poor backgrounds get easily lured by men who come in their lives promising heaven and earth. As much as the president may be looking out for the interests of the rest of the girls not yet affected, I think stopping teenage girls from achieving their dreams after going through the unwanted pregnancy is double punishment.

Just last year, my neighbour’s daughter (in Ntungamo) who had been under the care of her paternal aunt in Ibanda district went through the same experience at 14 years old. She was ready to sit for her primary seven exams.

However, her dreams were cut short when a 35-year-old man got her pregnant. She could not go back to her aunt’s home or come back to her parents’ home for fear of the repercussions, including torture and discrimination. She, therefore, decided to stay with the man.

I remember cutting my Christmas break short after deciding that her uncle and I travel to Ibanda, investigate and report the matter to police!

While in Ibanda, this is what we discovered: That the aunt with whom the girl had been staying had not reported the matter to police for fear for her life and family as the man is said to be dangerous.

The community was aware of what the man had been doing to people’s children but was silent. From the local police station in Ibanda, we proceeded to another local police station on Entebbe road where the culprit works, according to the local sources. We reported the matter but, up to now, the case has not been taken to court.

In order to fight poverty in our continent, education remains paramount – more so the education of the girl child. Let us imagine the future of my neighbour’s daughter is at stake!

Pregnant at 14 years, she is now staying with the 35-year-old illiterate man, whose health status is not known and cannot even guarantee that he will stay and take care of her and the baby before he moves on another young girl. Does this young girl even know the values of marriage?

Does she understand what it means to be a mother? All she will be is a helpless woman with broken dreams and aspirations. Her parents cannot help much either, because they are also illiterate and only work for daily bread.

This girl was the hope of the family; probably after completing her education, she would have contributed to her siblings’ school fees. Unfortunately this is going to be the vicious cycle of poverty Uganda and Africa are facing.

We need to come up with lasting solutions that will not affect young girls’ education. Mr Magufuli and his government plus many other governments need to devise policies and strategies to address poverty and other social challenges which affect girl-child education in Africa.

It starts with family: parents ought to engage in serious talks with their children on matters of sex and its consequences. Make children your friends so that in times of confusion, they can feel free to share with you but also count on you for protection.

The law should provide severe punishments for defilers. Any person who collaborates with the culprits should face heavy punishment once found guilty.

Local leaders need to be pragmatic in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the people in their communities, but should also share responsibility for any crimes committed against young girls. Civil society organisations working on girl empowerment issues should put in more effort in raising awareness.

In conclusion, teenage girls’ rights need to be protected and, therefore, we need combined efforts from all leaders. Alienating them is not a solution at all!

The author works with Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (Acode).



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