Another school year begins in many countries….

For the majority of countries, the school year begins in August, September or October; however, there are some countries (e.g., Guatemala, South Africa, Rwanda, Australia, Kenya, Malaysia, Honduras, New Zealand, Brazil and Chile among others) that start in January or February. Then there are a few that begin the school year in other months: Argentina, South Korea (March), Japan (April), India (June) and Indonesia (July). But since most start around this time of year, let’s wish all the educators reading this blog a successful new school year. As they say in Kiswahili, you are about to begin a safari (journey)!  So, I hope it’s a fabulous safari.

And the youth speak…

Before we start talking about schools—let’s take a look at the many youth of this world who were absent from school last Friday and how they have been protesting about climate change.

“…masses of young people poured into the streets on every continent on Friday for a day of global climate protests.”  Take a look at the NYT lesson.

And from the inimitable Greta…

Greta Thunberg to world leaders: ‘How dare you – you have stolen my dreams and my childhood’ 

Here are some fascinating and quick reads on education and related topics from around the world!

Boats, Bikes and Buses:  The challenges of transporting children in rural areas of Brazil as they try to get to school.

A Brazilian School Boat!

Here’s an article from the Guardian about teens in China who are exploited by doing “internships.”  The conversation has been changing in recent years. I can remember employers bragging that they had unpaid interns (free labor!) because it was efficient for the company and provided (they argued) a wonderful learning opportunity. Well, there’s a different tone today for a variety of reasons; one is that unpaid internships generally exclude people who can’t afford to work for free and tend to favor the children of upper income families.

Less trash. More Schools!

An interesting read about plastic garbage collected by a women’s group in West Africa, working with a Colombian company, to use the recycled plastic to make bricks to build schools!  


Here’s a fascinating article from the New York Times about how libraries are tourist attractions! One of my dreams is to see a tourist attraction like this in a low or middle-income nation.  We have an amazing library here in San Diego that serves ALL of our community.  

Ghana and Rwanda are ripe for a great community library like this!

Out of school youth!

The Global Partnership for Education estimates that there are over 260 million youth and adolescents out of school. And children who are not in school are particularly vulnerable and marginalized. A large proportion of these out-of-school children live in nations with extreme poverty or instability (think Syria, Sudan, Pakistan, Angola, Guatemala, etc.).  Education is also threatened in West and Central Africa (think about Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Central African Republic Nigeria, etc.).  Here’s a comprehensive report from UNICEF.  According to the report: “More than one quarter of the 742 verified attacks on schools globally in 2019 took place in five countries across West and Central Africa. Verified attacks on schools in Mali doubled between 2017 and 2019, and a sharply rising number of schools have closed or become non-operational due to violence in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger over the last two years…”

An here’s an interesting short blog from Judith-Ann Walker (a nonresident fellow at Brookings’ Center for Universal Education) about at risk Nigerian girls and what she and her colleagues have learned from various vocational skills models.

Highly recommended movie suggestion…

If you haven’t yet seen The Pursuit here’s the trailer. Economist Arthur Brooks travels the world to answer the question: How can we lift up the world together starting with those at the margins of society?

And here’s a list of some inspiring social impact films. Have you seen them all? Do you have a favorite?

Blogs, Websites, Briefings, Twitter Suggestions:

From Poverty to Power is one of my favorite websites.  Here’s a blog about Malawian students addressing climate change.

You might want to try the Weekend Briefing by Kyle Westaway. It’s a potpourri of stories with topics often covering really interesting articles about entrepreneurship around the world.

Here’s one newsletter to subscribe to— high quality education reporting!

If you don’t read The Hechinger Report consider taking a look. They cover innovation in education. The writing is in-depth, and uses evidence from education research.  

And on twitter…

Harry Patrinos @hpatrinos    Patrinos is a manager at the World Bank’s education sector.

Henry F. DeSio @henrydesio    DeSio is the Global Ambassador for Ashoka’s Changemakers.

Global Schools Forum: @GSF_talks GSF supports and represents non-state schools and school networks operating in low and middle-income countries.     

Global School Leaders: @gschoolleaders   GSL incubates, connects and supports organizations that train school leaders to improve the learning of students from under-served communities around the world.

And if you are interested in school leadership development in South Africa, check out:   @SchoolLeadersSA

Finally, here’s a great quote that we use in our school leadership workshops from the… oh, so talented… Sir Ken Robinson!

The real role of leadership in education…is not and should not be command and control. The real role of leadership is climate control – creating a climate of possibility. If you do that, people will rise to it and achieve things that you completely did not anticipate and couldn’t have expected.”   

Meet Paula:

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