education

Ilan Lopez, a former Israel Defense Forces soldier and director of StandWithUs Latin America, recently visited South Florida where he spoke with Hispanic groups and at schools. The aim of this new Latin America initiative of SWU, an Israel education organization, is to provide support, material and guidance to Latin students on United States campuses, high schools and the community. Lopez was in town as part of an Israeli Soldiers Tour.

This Saturday, in over 500 cities worldwide, thousands of people will take to the streets for an unprecedented show of support for all things evidence-based. The range of different groups joining the March for Science — from librarians to artists to teachers to oncologists — highlight the truth behind a phrase that is often dismissed as a cliché: Science really is a universal language. And it is that universality that makes science the ideal conduit for diplomacy in this moment in history.

The “soft power” argument plays a role too: overseas graduates are also seen as generating goodwill for Germany globally. “The idea of Germany being part of an international community is valued very highly,” said Ms Wahlers. “Of course, we invest a certain amount of money [in their education], but what we get back is worth so much more. The international students, when they graduate, will be partners for Germany in the world, this kind of international network building is of immense importance to us.”

This week’s PD News roundup looks at the connections that can be forged through cultural exchange.  

Many who speak Q’eqchi never learned to read or write it. And even if they did, it’s Spanish that’s the lingua franca at colleges, employers, and any other opportunity for economic growth. In turn, the nonprofit Choice Humanitarian–backed by Microsoft’s Edge team and the agency Pixel Lab–has launched a pilot program called Accent to teach 18 women from Chulac, Guatemala, how to read and speak Spanish.

Language learning was once considered nothing more than a hobby, but as the world continues to become increasingly connected, learning a language other than English is considered a necessity. Advancing technologies have afforded us the ability to communicate no matter where we are in the world, amplifying the importance of foreign language study. The great thing about languages is that, other than being a form of communication, they also serve as a means of relating to others on a cultural level.

The African continent has the world’s highest rate of girls leaving school to marry at a young age. Schools in Asian countries such as Laos have less female enrollment because society considers men the breadwinners and women the housekeepers. [...] A group of 21 international high school teachers gathered at the University of Massachusetts Lowell recently to tell their stories and discuss their nations’ efforts to decrease the gender gap in their education systems and workforce.

Finland’s education system, basic income experiment, appeal as a travel destination and possible membership in Nato were the most dominant themes in global media reports about the country in 2016, finds a survey conducted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

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