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Education for all

Five bloggers, five countries, one dialogue

Thank you!

Five bloggers from Iraq, Germany, Kenya, Argentina and Russia spent two months blogging about their educational paths, the education systems in their countries and the degree to which those systems fulfil the goal of equal opportunity. DW would like to thank the authors for their interesting entries and lively discussions. We wish each of the bloggers all the best in their future endeavors!

Date

July 20, 2012 | 11:54 am

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Final reflections

Out for a ride with time to think

The morning sun shines into my room, and birds are chirping. The two-month holiday at the language school where I’m working has just started. It’s a bit difficult to believe that the time for the last entry for this blog has already come. I still have lots of thoughts to share with our readers!

Lately I’ve been riding my bike in the countryside in the evenings – it’s a good chance to relax after a very full year and to improve my skills in photography. Along the way, I think a lot about the enormous difference between rural and urban areas in my country, and between their inhabitants’ mentalities. What’s difficult to explain is that many Russians would like to move outside the city and buy nice houses there, but most villagers prefer the idea of finding a job in the city (or at least sending their children to get educated there). Of course that’s due to the financial divide between these areas, but we need to make this division less extreme.

Date

July 12, 2012 | 10:00 am

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Last but not least…

Much still to learn...

It may be a wrap for this blog, but it is definitely not a wrap for the issues we have talked about. The convergence of more than 2,000 participants from over 100 nations who attended the three-day DW Global Media Forum to discuss “Culture. Education. Media – Shaping a Sustainable Future” was testimony for me that this discussion just got started at another level.

For me as a media professional with a background in education, it was interesting to see around 500 colleagues in media, including bloggers, meeting with policymakers, businesspeople, academics and representatives of civil society organizations to share their experiences and ideas.

Date

July 11, 2012 | 10:00 am

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Looking back on the blog

Hellgurd, Emmy, Gaby from DW, Kathrin and me

Reading Pavel’s last entry as well as the one where he discussed the value of a degree, I’ve been thinking, too, about the value of studying foreign languages. It’s not just about new grammar and vocabulary, or being able to translate from one language to another. From my view, the value of doing so has more to do with learning how to express your ideas in a different culture – through a different perspective and perhaps in a context that helps everyone broaden their views. At the Global Media Forum, I met a number of people who serve as good examples of what I mean.

Date

July 10, 2012 | 11:00 am

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We must be open to reform

Election posters support preserving the Gymnasium in Germany

Today I’m writing my last post for this blog. For two months we’ve been blogging about education in our home countries. I’ve learned a lot about education in other parts of the world, but also about the German system.

When talking about these subjects, I recognize a certain pattern: Often an education system’s performance is only evaluated by looking at the numbers of students who go on to get higher degrees or earn better marks – in other words, those who seem more prepared for the job market. But there is another factor that makes the educational system tremendously valuable to a society. And this factor is related to the discussion with my friend Katharina that I posted: Pre-schools and schools offer a very important opportunity to bring the members of a society closer together. Yet, Germany doesn’t fully seize this opportunity. On the contrary, the three-tiered school tracking system in many German states furthers the division of our society.

Date

July 9, 2012 | 5:15 pm

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Rekindling old questions in Berlin

My friend Vira and me

After visiting Bonn for the DW Global Media Forum, I spent two days in Berlin with my friends. It had been almost exactly two years since I last saw them. It was a little bit like being back home.

I went back to the student housing unit I had lived in for a year and, suddenly, I stepped back into the conversations we used to have. I have missed them dearly. My friends stayed at the ECLA, and they are now moving into the fourth year of the BA program, in which they have to work on a project for a full year. Vira told me she is going to do her project on an artist who takes on the relationship between the capitalist market and art. We had good conversations about the creative process and the struggles we both have when facing it.

Date

July 7, 2012 | 10:00 am

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Ranking Russian universities: why bother?

Does education suffer far from the urban centers and elite universities?

This week I expect to get my diploma – one more step in my higher education which began in 2006. I’ve been thinking a lot about what these years have meant, especially in terms of my decision to leave my original university and study somewhere else.

Several weeks ago I read an interesting column in a daily business newspaper where famous and respected economist Konstantin Sonin touched upon university ratings. The professor’s argument astonished me because he compared the Russian higher education system with its foreign counterparts and went on to say ranking Russian universities at all has basically no point!

Date

July 6, 2012 | 10:16 am

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Interview: Meeting disabled students’ needs

My friend Katharina at the head of the line

During the Global Media Forum (GMF), I met the students Hendrik and Isabelle who go to a school for physically impaired students. They participated in an exchange program between their school and a Tunisian school. Right now, Germany is talking a lot about the issue of education for the disabled because two years ago the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities went into effect – including in Germany. It stipulates that disabled children should attend so-called regular schools and should no longer be left out on the basis of their handicaps. As it stands now, the non-disabled have little contact with disabled students. Personally, I just have contact to an uncle of mine, who attended a regular school years ago, but today lives in a facility for the disabled and works in a factory with other workers with handicaps.

Date

July 4, 2012 | 12:56 pm

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Education in Kenya needs to go international

Many cultures and colors: one goal

Traveling over long distances can be exhausting, but sometimes it can be also rewarding depending on the comfort of the flight and the route. As I returned home from the Global Media Forum, I had over four hours to wait for my flight from Germany to Nairobi. I took advantage of those long hours to read some newspapers.

Even though I was not looking for articles on education, all the newspapers I read touched on this topic, reminding me that it is an issue that affects all areas of our life. Articles in a German publication and in a publication from the Gulf region that I read took up the same questions of culture and education.

Date

July 2, 2012 | 1:55 pm

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Degrees and educational milestones

My English exam certificate

The week seems to have gone great! I’ve read the entries by Kathrin and Emmy from the Global Media Forum, which I find quite interesting. In spite of the red tape that prevented me from visiting the conference and meeting my fellow bloggers, several positive things relating to education happened to me, as well, this week. They brought about a storm of emotions, but they also gave some food for thought.

First of all, shortly before the launch of our education blog, a group of my adult students and I took part in an international English exam. And I’m really glad to hear that most of my students passed it successfully and got their certificates from Europe this week!


Date

June 30, 2012 | 3:58 pm

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