This question at the Philippine Business for Education's (PBEd) July 5 press conference was key. Since early 2021, PBEd has been beating the drums to warn against this learning crisis. A week later, the question gained greater prominence when the IATF reviewed the controversy that had erupted between Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones and the World Bank (WB) . DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones was the star of the IATF session, earning praise from President Duterte for extracting a public apology from the WB, which had released a report on the poor state of basic education in the country. But the summary conclusion of the meeting, which suggested that the president was not unduly worried about education, seemed to misunderstand Secretary Briones’ issues with the WB and the gravity of the problems facing the department. The case of Briones against the WB rested on three points. First, it released its study to the media without giving her prior ... » Learn More about [OPINION] Does the government believe there is a learning crisis?
International guide to student achievement
WE all know that lockdowns are temporary measures to control the spread of Covid-19 within the community and lessen the healthcare burden. However, there are major concerns about how they can negatively affect people’s mental health. As a paediatrician, I receive numerous calls and visits by parents worried about their children’s health – especially those less than five years old. Most parents assume that the older age group would understand the pandemic better than the young ones and thus handle it better. I beg to differ. Here are some observed effects of lockdowns on children. > Developmental milestones – For school-going children, repeated school closures and strict movement control cause a significant reduction in having direct contact with their peers. Such measures also prevent children from participating in social activities like going to the playground or having playdates. This situation may make them feel lonely and anxious and some (especially young adults) ... » Learn More about How do lockdowns affect our children and what can we do to help them?
There are many lists where the Philippines finds itself at the bottom or near-bottom. For example, in the list of 79 countries that participated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the Philippines scored the lowest in reading comprehension and the second lowest in mathematics and science. On the labor front, the Philippines finds itself near the bottom of the list of countries relative to the percentage of workers covered by collective bargaining agreements (CBA). The country ranks 80 th among 85 countries (1.6% for the Philippines as against 98.5% of workers covered by CBAs for the top country on the list). Furthermore, the Philippines ranks 67 th out of 89 countries in terms of union density, i.e. the percentage share of employees who are members of labor unions (ILOSTAT). But there is a list where the Philippines is among the topnotchers — the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) 2020 Global Rights Index Report, which ... » Learn More about [OPINION] The crucial role of Catholic educational institutions in labor rights
DELFT, Netherlands: In May 2021, Indonesia’s biggest utility company, Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), pledged to phase out fossil fuels by 2060 in order to achieve carbon neutrality. The announcement marks a dramatic shift in the country’s electricity policy that has long been dependent on fossil fuels, especially coal. It is a sign that decisions by major lenders – including Japan, South Korea and the Asian Development Bank – to divest from coal have severely restricted the country’s options for financing coal plant infrastructure. The destruction of carbon sinks in forest and carbon-rich peatlands are currently the biggest contributor to Indonesia’s carbon emissions. The energy sector will surpass these as the largest contributor to Indonesia’s carbon emissions by 2026 to 2027. READ: Commentary: Indonesia’s coal industry is on its last legs Carbon emission from the energy sector will increase by 80 per cent before 2050 with the rapid expansion of electricity consumption ... » Learn More about Commentary: Is carbon neutrality possible for coal-addicted Indonesia?
BEIJING: In his video address to the United Nations General Assembly in September, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a slight improvement of China’s 2015 Paris climate agreement pledge: National carbon dioxide emissions should now peak before 2030 rather than around 2030. That might not seem like much, but, paired with Xi’s additional declaration that China aims to be carbon neutral before 2060, the address sent positive shock waves through the climate-policy world. Decades of impressive GDP growth have made China the world’s second-largest economy, bigger than the next three (Japan, Germany, and India) combined. But the outside world still often associates China with coal dependence, rising CO2 emissions, and polluted air – and rightly so. READ: Commentary: China will bet big on clean energy to achieve carbon neutrality THE FIRST HYBRID SUPERPOWER China is arguably the modern era’s first “hybrid” superpower: A global leader that does not yet have a fully ... » Learn More about Commentary: China’s move on climate action signals arrival as a ‘hybrid superpower’
Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/mothershipsg Singapore was recently put in the international media spotlight, following the social media campaign by Myanmar activists calling for a boycott of Singapore's brands . Myanmar activists call for Singapore to help their cause The city-state is the largest foreign investor in Myanmar -- with as much as 35 per cent of foreign direct investments coming from Singapore. In the aftermath of the Feb. 1 military coup that ousted the democratically-elected civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, a few Singaporean businessmen have publicly announced their plans to cut their business ties with Myanmar, including Lim Kaling , the co-founder of gaming company Razer, and Sam Ong , the CEO of anti-drone company TRD. And in response to the claim that the Myanmar military has as much as US$5.7 billion (S$7.5 billion) in foreign reserves parked in Singapore's commercial banks, the Monetary Authority ... » Learn More about Commentary: S’pore & other Asean states could pressure Myanmar’s military, but unlikely to do so
For the fourth time, the proposal to create a department for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) made it to President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation Address (SONA). Duterte on Monday, July 26, identified the creation of a Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos (DMWOF) a priority bill in his final SONA. He made similar calls during his past SONAs, except in 2017 and 2018. "I also ask Congress to pass a law creating the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos. Kailangan po ito (this is needed) – because they are suffering, they suffered not only yesterday but they are still suffering now with so many inadequacies, in both our government response, including the monetary assistance – to ensure that there is a department that is solely focused on addressing the needs and taking care of the welfare of our countrymen abroad," Duterte said on Monday. It has been Duterte's plan to create a department focusing on OFWs even before he ... » Learn More about Does the Philippines need an OFW department?
In this file photo taken on March 09, 2021, tourists enjoy the Pre-Columbian Mayan site of Tulum, built on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP) TULUM, Mexico – Tourists writhe their bodies to pumping techno beats on dance floors along Mexico’s Caribbean coast — a magnet for people from around the world who want to party during a pandemic. The Latin American country is among those worst hit by Covid-19 with a death toll fast approaching 200,000. But such worries seem a world away in tourist resorts like Tulum and Cancun, where visitors can dance late into the night at discos, electronic music festivals and invitation-only parties. Once a sleepy fishing village, Tulum now attracts international tourists lured by its turquoise waters, Mayan ruins and the chance to party next to lush jungle, freshwater sinkholes and golden beaches. “The coronavirus thing is nonsense. Life must go on,” ... » Learn More about Tourists in Mexico party like there’s no COVID-19
SINGAPORE: To many, activism comes across as a somewhat polarising term – reminiscent of bell-bottom wearing, placard-carrying protestors and demonstrators seen during the flower-power activists’ days of the 1960s and 1970s. But climate change has changed how activism is looked at in many parts of the world. Now that the world is more aware of the dangers of climate change and the need for stronger action, people are starting to better appreciate the role of activists in helping to create that future. The diverse faces of climate activism, from students like Greta Thunberg to actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and politicians like Al Gore, show that anyone could contribute to climate activism. A similar shift is now happening in Singapore, with young students and working adults alike founding a new wave of climate advocacy groups. While we did not physically attend Singapore’s first climate rally in 2019, the passion for activism that the rally sparked in our peers is still palpable ... » Learn More about Commentary: Work of Singapore climate activists has only just begun
As of this writing, 185,291,530 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed worldwide, with 4,010,834 deaths. When two of those deaths belong to your family, you want to be precise; just as you want to be circumspect about saying anything positive can come from all this pandemic madness. "The Earth is healing," was one of the early ones. "Our grandparents went to war and all we need to do is stay home and watch Netflix," was another. The unavoidable, self-congratulatory proselytizing came out too: "Learn a new skill," "Write that novel," "Develop that side hustle…" otherwise you’d have wasted the opportunity of all this “free” time. And the narcissists, never to be outdone, started counting their "true friends" based on who checked on them, while some folks needed the nudge of a few million deaths to value “family time” and/or “self care” and/or “simple living.” I sound salty and I won’t be the only one. The (mostly) well-meaning comforts turned tone-deaf and hollow quickly, ... » Learn More about [OPINION] Injustice is contagious