"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear". - Buddha

Happy World Teachers Day!

Happy World Teachers Day!
 
As a vocational teacher myself, I am proud to have one of the most important professions in the world.
 
Teachers hold a lot of power in terms of being catalysts for change in the world.
 
Teachers are those who teach all other professions.
 
Teachers make a difference.
 
What would the world look like without teaching professionals?
 
Only those who can learn everything by themselves need no teachers.
 
Teachers do not only teach specific subjects.
 
Teachers also teach manners, ethics, and morals and aim to integrate students into societies.
 
More often than not, teachers succeed in this. Sometimes, unfortunately not.
 
Nevertheless, teachers should not be blamed or given the whole responsibility of matters concerning parenting or the lack thereof, nor blamed for general problems in a country, region or society.
 
Teachers are not parents, although many teachers take on the responsibility when there is a lack of parenting. For many students worldwide, school or an educational institution is their only home/hope.
 
Never forget that as a teacher. Never forget that as a student. Never forget that as a citizen (of the world).
 
Remember to give thanks to all your teachers who made a difference in your life.
 
Stop blaming and putting all responsibility on your teachers, and start taking responsibility for your own behavior and for your own learning.
 
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. – Buddha
Anne-Maria Yritys, October 5th 2019

What Are The Consequences of Illiteracy & Lack of Education?

Precisely one year ago I wrote an article about education, a topic close to my heart, that I would like to share with my global network on social media.
 
This is dedicated especially to those who know how to read, who enjoy reading or who would like to improve their reading skills. Reading is actually a skill that too many people in the world lack either completely due to illiteracy, or through various forms of dyslexia.
 
According to Unesco, at least 750 million people (more than half of them are women) worldwide are illiterate. Furthermore, it is estimated that an average of 20% of world population have some form of dyslexia. It is not tied to family origin: the King of Sweden Carl Gustaf and his eldest daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, are both dyslexic.
 
Dyslexia is of course no reason to stop reading or writing. It may just make reading and writing a bit more challenging or time-consuming.
 
Thus, this article is also dedicated to those who enjoy learning, in general, including learning foreign languages (I have been learning nine different languages beside my mother tongue Finnish, some of which I speak fluently, others less), learning about different cultures, learning about history, learning through traveling, and of course learning through life experiences. Dyslexics included.
 
It is an article about the possible consequences of when education is not being valued in a country, and about how dangerous it is when the wrong people get to run a country. In this case these were communists, but in the contemporary world a democracy can be torn down by any elitistic group of people who fail to understand the importance and the true meaning of DEMOCRACY.
Anne-Maria Yritys. MBA & Vocational Teacher. 27.8.2018.
Link to article:
 
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Tasan vuosi sitten kirjoitin artikkelin koulutuksesta, aihe joka on lähellä sydäntäni. Haluaisin jakaa tämän kirjoituksen globaalille verkostolleni sosiaalisessa mediassa.
 
Artikkeli on omistettu etenkin ihmisille jotka osaavat lukea, jotka pitävät lukemisesta tai jotka haluavat parantaa lukutaitoaan. Lukeminen on valitettavasti taito joka puuttuu liian monelta ihmiseltä maailmassa: joko he ovat täysin lukutaidottomia, tai sitten heillä on jonkinasteinen lukihäiriö.
 
Unescon mukaan ainakin 750 miljoonaa ihmistä (yli puolet heistä on naisia) maailmassa on lukutaidottomia. Lisäksi noin 20% maailman väestöstä kärsii jonkinasteisesta lukihäiriöstä. Lukihäiriöllä ei ole mitään tekemistä sosiaalisen statuksen kanssa, eikä sitä tarvitse hävetä. Esimerkiksi Ruotsin kuningas Carl Gustaf ja hänen vanhin tyttärensä, kruununprinsessa Victoria, kärsivät molemmat lukihäiriöstä.
 
Lukihäiriö ei tietenkään ole syy lopettaa lukemista tai kirjoittamista. Se saattaa vain hankaloittaa tai hidastaa lukemista ja kirjoittamista.
 
Siten tämä artikkeli on myös omistettu niille, jotka ylipäätään pitävät oppimisesta, ml. vieraiden kielten oppimisesta (olen itse opiskellut yhdeksää vierasta kieltä äidinkieleni suomen lisäksi, joista osaa puhun melko sujuvasti, toisia vähemmän sujuvasti), vieraiden kulttuurien oppimista, historian oppimista, oppimista matkustamisen kautta ja tietenkin oppimista elämänkokemusten kautta. Mukaan lukien lukihäiriöiset.
 
Artikkeli kertoo mahdollisista seurauksista kun maassa ei arvosteta koulutusta, ja kuinka vaarallista voi olla kun väärät ihmiset päästetään valtaan ja johtamaan maata. Tässä historiallisessa esimerkissä kyseessä olivat kommunistit, mutta nykymaailmassa demokratian vaaraksi ovat kaikenlaiset elitistiset ryhmittymät jotka eivät ymmärrä DEMOKRATIAN tärkeyttä tai DEMOKRATIAN todellista merkitystä.
 
Anne-Maria Yritys. MBA & AmO. 27.8.2018.
Linkki artikkeliin:
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För exakt ett år sedan skrev jag en artikel om utbildning, en fråga som jag ställer stor vikt på. Jag skulle vilja dela denna artikel med mitt globala nätverk via sociala medier.
 
Artikeln är tillägnad speciellt för människor som kan läsa, som tycker om att läsa eller som vill förbättra sin läsförmåga. Läsning är tyvärr en kunskap som alltför många människor i världen saknar: antingen är de analfabeta eller så lider de av någon sorts dyslexi.
Enligt Unesco är minst 750 miljoner människor (över hälften av dem är kvinnor) i världen analfabeter. Dessutom lider cirka 20% av världens befolkning av någon slags dyslexi. Dyslexi har ingenting med social status att göra och det är ingenting att skämmas för. Till exempel Sveriges kung Carl Gustaf och hans äldsta dotter, kronprincessan Victoria, har bägge två dyslexi.
Dyslexi är naturligtvis ingen orsak att sluta läsa eller skriva. Det kan bara komplicera eller sakta ner läsning och skrivning.  
Denna artikel är också tillägnad åt dem som överhuvudtaget tycker om att lära sig nya saker, bl.a. främdspråk, (Personligen har jag lärt mig nio olika språk vid sidan om mitt modersmål finska. En del av dessa språk behärskar jag flytande, andra mindre flytande), lära sig om andra kulturer, historia, lära sig genom resor och förstås lära sig genom livserfarenheter. Inklusive dyslektiker. 
 
Artikeln handlar om möjliga konsekvenser i ett land där utbildning inte uppskattas, och hur farligt det kan vara när fel människor får makt och leder ett land. I detta historiska exempel handlade det om kommunister, men i nuvarande världen blir demokratin hotad av flera slags elitistiska grupperingar som inte förstår vikten eller den verkliga betydelsen av DEMOKRATI.
 
Anne-Maria Yritys. MBA & Yrkeslärare. 27.8.2018.
Länken till artikeln:

UN Millenium Development Goals 2000: II. Achievement of Universal Primary Education

“We will ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.” (UN Millennium Declaration)

One third of the total world population are children. In 2010, 90 % of all children in development countries were attending primary school. In 2011, the amount of children of primary school age out of school had dropped to 57 million from 102 million. Thus, the number of children not attending primary school is still high.

Gender gaps are narrowing, however, girls still drop out of school on the average after four years, for different reasons. More than half of all children out of school live in sub-Saharan Africa. Worldwide, the number of illiterate young people between the age 15-24 is 123 million (61 % are girls). More than 250 million children between 4-15 years of age are forced to work. 50 % of these children work full-time. (UNA of Finland. Printed material. 2014; United Nations Millennium Development Goals. UN. Quoted 29.4.2014).

Despite of the huge improvements in this target, the goal cannot be reached by 2015 with the current pace of change.

One of the main challenges in many less developed countries is the lack of professional teachers, educational facilities, and equipment. According to UNESCO´s research, the shortage of teachers is highest in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain Arab States.

The shortage of primary teachers is reality everywhere on our globe, but critical only in sub-Saharan Africa, where 1/3 of all countries suffer from teacher shortages. (UNA of Finland. Printed material. 2011; UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Global Teacher Shortage. Quoted 29.4.2014.)

There are several reasons behind high poverty levels in Africa, including the cost of schooling, non-affordable for poor families, who also look at the lost value of their child´s work at home. Most often girls are the one´s who need to stay at home.

In order to understand the amount of work needed to develop the economies in sub-Saharan Africa:

50 % of Africa is rural with no access to electricity. The continent currently generates less than 0.6 % of global market share. Hence, many countries are affected by power shortages. At the time being, some Asian countries are actively driving power projects across the African continent. E.g. China is training tens of thousands of technicians in the use of solar energy, which is part of the China-Africa science and technology cooperation agreement (2003). Funded by the AfDB and the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, NEPAD is developing an integrated, continent-wide energy strategy, with a focus on:

– Sustainability

– Involvement of cross-border dimension and/or regional impact

– Involvement of both public and private capital

– Contribution to poverty alleviation and economic development

– Involvement of at least one country in sub-Saharan Africa

The lack of infrastructure in developing countries is one of the most significant reasons slowing down economic growth and achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals. Furthermore, infrastructure investments contributed to more than half of Africa´s improved growth performance between the years 1990 and 2005. Hence, increased investment is essential to economic growth and in tackling poverty. The ROI in infrastructure can be significant. (Wikipedia. Sub-Saharan Africa. Quoted 29.4.2014).

Other factors slowing down economic development include malaria and other major diseases. As an example, the influence of malaria alone on economic growth has been estimated to be at around 1.3 % on a yearly average, caused by illness including costs of treatment and prevention measures. According to statistical research undertaken by the World Bank, GDP in sub-Sahara would have been 32 % higher in 2003 compared to the situation in 1960, had malaria been eradicated.

Sub-Saharan African countries are also home to the highest fertility rates worldwide, with a current growth rate of 2.3 %, predicted by the UN to rise up to 1.5 billion in 2050. More than 40 % of total population is under the age of 15 (except South Africa), and the region has serious overpopulation problems. Child mortality, mainly due to malaria infection, is common: 15 % of all children die before the age of five (situation in 2007).

40 % of African scientists live in OECD countries, mainly in Europe, the USA and Canada. Despite of the so-called African “brain drain”, enrolments in sub-Saharan African universities tripled between 1991 and 2005, with an annual expansion rate of 8.7 %, being one of the highest in the world. Sub-Saharan Africans are commonly the most educated immigrant group in many OECD countries. The expenditure on science and technology in sub-Saharan African countries accounted for an average of 0.3 % of their GDP in 2007, an increase of 50 % compared to the situation in 2002.

In short, following problems need to be tackled in order to improve general conditions for primary education in sub-Saharan Africa:

– Major improvements in infrastructure

– Eradication/minimization of major diseases and thus reducing child mortality

– Building capacity for (primary school) teaching (educating/finding enough teachers)

– Minimizing price of education (free of charge?)

In a developmental process, local conditions must be taken into consideration, and the usage of local resources should be maximized. Bench-marking from countries with successful educational models is a way of improving local conditions.

Finland created and built a strong, productive educational system in only a few decades. Climbing rapidly to the top of international rankings, such as PISA (Program for International Student Assessments), Finland is one of the leading countries in the world in terms of education. The current education system in Finland is modern, publicly financed, accessible and free of charge (including free school meals!) to all national children/students.

In Finland, more than 99 % of students complete compulsory basic education, and an average of 90 % finish upper secondary school. 2/3 of graduates enroll in universities or polytechnics. 98 % of educational costs at all levels is covered by government (tax payments). The success of the Finnish educational system is a result of reforms undertaken in the 1980s. Investments in teacher education have been intense: teachers are highly educated and trained.

The core principles of the Finnish educational system include:

– Resources for all, and those who need them most

– High standards and supports for specific needs

– Highly qualified teachers

– Evaluation of education

– Balancing decentralization and centralization

(Laukkanen. 2008, p. 319)

In the past decades, Finland has moved into a more localized system with lean national standards. Implementation takes place through equitable funding and extensive preparation for all teachers. The development has been grounded on equal opportunities for all, equitable distribution of resources, early interventions, and building trust.

Finnish schools are generally small in size (including class sizes), and well equipped. School meals are free of charge, as well as free health care, transportation, learning materials, and counseling.

The main purpose of assessing students, according to the Finnish National Board of Education, is to

guide and encourage students’ own reflection and self-assessment. Inquiry is a major focus of learning in Finland. Active learning skills are cultivated through posing open-ended questions and helping students in addressing them.

(Finnish National Board of Education. Quoted 5.5.2014).