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Report blasts primary school education in Bangladesh

Around 70 % of children in Bangladesh who completetheir primary education are unable to read, write orcount properly, according to an internal report bythe Department of Primary Education (DPE). 69 %of students who had completed five years of primaryschool were unable to read news headlines in Banglanewspapers properly, while 87 % of pupils failed to dosimple mathematical calculations, the study, entitledNational Assessment of Pupils of Grades Three and Five – 2006, said.Conducted by the Second Primary Education Development Programme (PEDP-II) – a donor-assistedprogramme to ensure quality primary education for all children – the study reported that 72 % ofchildren were unable to write a short composition in Bangla – the mother tongue of over 95 % ofthe population. The report also found students “pitiably weak” inEnglish, which plays a key role inday-to-day life, particularly in business, higher studies and technical education.

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Lapus calls upon educators to focus on education in rural areas

Philippines Education Secretary Jesli Lapus has called on educators in the Asia Pacific to look for creative approaches to bring education to different groups of marginalised learners especially in rural areas. Speaking at the regional Conference on Multiple Approaches of Education for Rural Areas: Lesson from Good Practices, he said, 'The educational needs of children from isolated areas, remote and rural communities and religious, linguistic and ethnic minorities require a different mindset and a new paradigm.'

The event was organised by both DepEd and World Bank and drew some 100 participants from countries in the East Asia and Pacific Region. The conference included discussions to help participants identify best practices, examples, pedagogical methodology, education delivery options, policy recommendations that would be useful in achieving EFA goals.

More Smart Schools in Malaysia by 2011

The Multimedia Development Corp (MDeC) is helping Malaysian Education Ministry upgrade 50 rural and underserved schools into Smart Schools. MDeC, said upgrading work will be done in three
phases beginning with 15 schools this year, 15 more next year and 20 in 2011. Senior Manager, Smart Schools, Dr Norrizan Razali, said the 50 schools located nationwide will be modelled after the country's pioneer 88 smart schools.

MDeC will use a different approach to upgrade the rural schools to smart schools. Unlike the first batch of Smart Schools, most of the rural schools are not high performing and don't have the same kind of access to information like the first batch. 'By the end of this project, MDeC also hopes to have a model to transform more rural schools into Smart Schools,' Norrizan said.

Zardari calls for a task force for technical skills of youth

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has advised the government to set up a task force to formulate concrete proposals for enhancing technical and vocational skills of the youth in order to meet the requirements of both national and overseas job markets. He said this during a briefing on the vocational and technical training for skill development.

The President said the international job market was shrinking and Pakistan could penetrate the market deeply only if it provided suitably qualified and trained workers and technicians that fulfilled the requirements of the job markets in the Middle East, Europe and US.

PM Dahal expresses concern over brain drain in Nepal

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has expressed concern over the increasing trend of brain drain in Nepal. Addressing the sixth convocation of the Pokhara University (PU), he said the country needs educated and skilled youths for development. 'The country lacks skilled and able manpower as the educated ones are leaving abroad. We cannot create a new Nepal unless the increasing brain drain stops.'

Prime Minister Dahal, said that the government plans to bring new scholarship programmes in order to make education accessible for the impoverished and disadvantaged groups. He also stressed on the need for excluding the culture of strike and protest in education sector.  

Slow economic growth not to hit employment opportunities in Malaysia

More than 800,000 students currently pursuing their studies at higher learning institutions would not face problems in securing jobs although Malaysia is expected to register lower economic growth, said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.Mohamed Khaled said more jobs and new business opportunities would be stimulated because the government would increase public spending although the private sector has been cutting costs, including retrenching their workers. 'Despite the current economic situation, jobs are still available in business and service sectors because the spending capacity in the country is still high…so universities are encouraging entrepreneurship programmes,' he said at the inauguration of a national Information and Communication Technology (ICT) seminar. 

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