Rural Indians need more than jobs to make it in the big city

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 13:45

Billions of rupees are being spent on vocational training for young villagers, but the shock of moving to a city is leading to high dropout rates from jobs

It was a low-rainfall, low-yield year for farmers in Pilani, in western India. For Ram Vilas’s agro-dependent neighbour, it meant postponing their daughter’s wedding. For Vilas, it meant abandoning his education to start working.

Within a few months of starting work as a rickshaw driver, Vilas realised he needed a better plan for long-term growth and enrolled in a free vocational training course certified by the government. After three months of driving a rickshaw in the morning and evening, and attending hospitality classes (among other course options such as learning to be an electrician, construction worker or bedside assistant) all day, Vilas was offered a job at a top hotel for a monthly income of 8,000 rupees (£80).

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Farewell, The Willow — the Berghain of York

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 13:22

A Chinese buffet by day, a debauched disco by night, with the cheapest shots in the north of England and limitless prawn crackers, the Willow was an institution for generations of York youth. Victoria Finan, a regular, bids it goodbye

For those walking down York’s Coney Street, it was easy to miss. A small sign hanging next to La Senza, and a closed door with nothing but a steep flight of stairs in view behind it. Yet, for generations of the city’s debauched youth, what lay behind that door was the stuff of legend.

In the early hours of Monday morning, The Willow Disco closed that famous door for the last time. Its owner, Tommy Fong, as much of a York legend as Guy Fawkes, has finally decided to retire at the age of 70. Its closure has been met with heartbreak and nostalgia from both current students and those who left York decades ago.

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App tries to stop university drop-outs

BBC - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 13:06
Students at the Open University will have their working patterns monitored to see if they need extra support during their course.
Categories: Education news feeds

University of South Wales' London campus closes with no students after one year - at a cost of £750,000 to the taxpayer, say reports

The Independent - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 12:31

A university in London has been forced to close its doors after just one year – because no students signed up to study for courses.

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The year abroad 2.0: how technology is changing foreign study

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 10:45

Technology can help combat loneliness – but won’t solve all the problems you encounter

“I packed up my worldly goods and set off to France. It took me 24 hours – I cried nearly all the way there.” Many students today will identify with Paula Newton’s traumatic beginning to her year abroad in Strasbourg in 1985; the trains, the tears and the downright terror as you set off to an unfamiliar land, unsure what to expect.

Today, in times of trauma, technology acts like a pet cat. It wakes us up in the morning, provides us with a warm and cuddly virtual safety net and occasionally makes a low purring sound for no apparent reason.

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Harris Academy Upper Norwood in Croydon gets 'Outstanding' Ofsted rating after banning 'urban slang words' in school

The Independent - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 09:51

A school in Croydon has turned-around its academic reputation for the better after it banned the use of all ‘urban slang words’ almost two years ago.

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The university with no students

Telegraph - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 09:34
No students were signed up for courses at this university's centre in London after a year the project was started

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Wearable technology in the classroom: what's available and what does it do?

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 08:00

There’s little stopping teachers experimenting with ‘wearables’ such as virtual reality headsets in lessons. Journalist David Nield explores what’s out there

The terracotta brickwork of the Great Wall of China transfixes a group of students, who reach out to touch the stone in front of them. But these children are not in east Asia. Instead, they’ve been magically transported to the historic monument by a virtual reality (VR) headset.

They are using Expeditions, a new classroom initiative unveiled by Google in May. The inexpensive cardboard contraption – literally a folded piece of cardboard with lenses attached – turns a smartphone into a VR viewer.

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Brassed off: the music teachers on zero-hours contracts

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 07:30
Redundancies and cuts in funding may leave some children with no opportunity to learn a musical instrument

This week Michele Lomas will give her last lesson for Wiltshire Music Service. After six years teaching brass instruments to children in the area, she is being made redundant. She plans to continue on a freelance basis, but will no longer belong to a pension scheme, nor be eligible for sickness and maternity pay. She will have to fund her own travel, public liability insurance and training. “It’s not so much about the income, as I know I will be able to get teaching work – it’s losing my pension and sick pay I’m most worried about,” she says. “Conditions for teachers have been getting worse for some time, but this is the final nail in the coffin.”

It has been a turbulent few years for music education. After the 2011 Henley review, which recommended the creation of “hubs” (partnerships made up of schools, arts organisations, charities and other education providers), music services had to bid for the right to run them. While most won their bids, a reduction in government funding for music (from £82.5m in 2010-11 to £60m for 2014-15), along with cuts to local authority budgets, has meant they have had to provide more for less. For many councils this has led to restructuring and redundancies. Some, such as Milton Keynes and Cornwall, have closed their services down.

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Universities say no to new ranking

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 07:20
The OECD wants Pisa-style tables for higher education to measure students’ ‘learning gain’. But those with the oldest reputations have most to lose

It may seem late in the day, but now that the principle of paying £9,000 a year for university seems to have been established, questions are being asked about what students get for it. The argument has long been made that they get a good job: figures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills show graduates earn nearly £10,000 a year more, and are far more likely to be employed, than people without degrees. But do they secure these jobs because employers are impressed by a degree, or by the extra skills graduates develop by studying for one? And while university prospectuses boast of excellent teaching and extensive libraries, are students actually learning anything?

This is the idea behind new efforts to explore so-called “learning gain”. The Higher Education Funding Council for England is about to announce around a dozen pilot projects to look at ways to measure the skills and knowledge students develop in higher education. The projects range from surveying students at the beginning of their courses and then in years two and three to test how ready they are for employment, to asking them at the beginning and then again at the end of their university studies to write essays to test their ability to analyse, synthesise and think critically.

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What should really happen when a child goes missing from school? | Estelle Morris

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 07:10
Sir Michael Wishaw is right: we need to watch out for children taken out of school and at risk. But schools need a local community support system around them for this to work

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools, has drawn attention to problems in monitoring children taken out of school, amid fears that some are at risk of harm or radicalisation. The rules, he said, “should take into account of … the risks that some young people face, such as female genital mutilation, forced marriage, child sexual exploitation and falling prey to radicalisation.”

The day Wilshaw’s report was published, I happened to be with a headteacher from an outstanding school who showed me a message he’d received, informing him that a year 10 student would be leaving school that day to visit his sick grandfather in Pakistan. The text message illustrated the difficulty headteachers face. This one had half a day to judge whether he felt there was cause for concern. If he did, whom should he talk to?

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Clearing vacancies published ahead of A-level Results Day

Telegraph - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 07:00
What is Ucas Clearing, will I find a space, where can I see the listings? As A-level Results Day approaches, find out how The Telegraph can help you

Categories: Education news feeds

Britain’s rich are thrust into the future. The poor get kicked back into the past | Aditya Chakrabortty

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 07:00
Children and their parents relying on holiday food camps to eat – how can this be happening in 2015?

One of the most important experiments of modern times began in Bradford on 17 April 1907 – and it centred on porridge. Officials went into one of the poorest parts of the city, picked about 40 of the most deprived schoolchildren and began feeding them breakfast and dinner for free. The group got oatmeal porridge every morning, made with milk and treacle, followed by bread and dripping and more milk to drink. The Boer war had turned the malnutrition of working-class British soldiers into a scandal, prompting the government to allow local authorities to give free meals to poor children. And one of the world’s great industrial metropolises was also becoming a birthplace of the free school dinner.

Related: Poverty is about not having enough money. So don’t blame schools for it

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Academy trust head ‘sick’ at school’s good Ofsted rating

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 07:00
Why was Dame Rachel de Souza unhappy with the Hewett school’s 2013 ‘good’ Ofsted rating? Plus: we have a leaked draft of the delayed report on ‘assessment without levels’

A “good” Ofsted judgment for any school is a cause for celebration and congratulation. So why would a leading headteacher say she was “sick” when she heard of a local school being given a good report by the inspectorate?

That is a question that will be of intense interest to those following the fate of the Hewett school in Norwich, a comprehensive currently in a maelstrom of controversy over its likely takeover by a local academy chain.

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Ask your toddler: is Bob the Builder having sex with Wendy?

Telegraph - Tue, 28/07/2015 - 00:52
UN goodwill ambassador on sexual health says parents should ask two-year-olds: 'What would Bob the Builder and Wendy do if they were in love?'

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Construction-sector recovery at risk from skills shortage, say building firms

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 19:45

Federation of Master Builders says its poll of small and medium-sized firms reveals struggle to hire bricklayers, carpenters and joiners

A shortage of bricklayers, carpenters and site managers threatens to derail the construction sector’s recovery, an industry group has warned after fresh evidence of recruitment struggles at building companies.

The Federation of Master Builders said its latest poll of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms found employment picked up for the sixth quarter running and the growth was expected to continue over the coming three months, accompanied by rising pay for construction workers. But repeating concerns from other construction-sector reports, about half of the 400 or so companies surveyed said they were struggling to recruit bricklayers.

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