September Education Updates
USA -- Who are likely to go to a top school in the US? According to the NCES 2000 report those with the following academic profile.
1. Asian and Pacific Islanders were 2X more likely than Hispanics, blacks or whites
2. Students who had computer access at home as 8th graders (2 times more likely)
3. Students scoring 1100 or higher on the SAT (5X as likely)
4. Students who received positive comments from their high school teachers (3X more likely)
5. Students who took calculus (4X more likely)
6. Students who took physics (3X more likely)
7. Students who took 3rd and 4th year language classes (4X more likely)
USA -- Defying conventional wisdom, high school girls in California public schools are enrolling in most math and science courses at higher rates than boys, according to a new study by the Public Policy Institute of California. The subjects in which girls lag are physics and computer science and these subjects prepare young people for some of today's highest-paying and most in-demand professions. However, in university, the women are now completing their programs in the science and engineering pipeline more frequently than the men are.
SCOTLAND -- Girls are outperforming boys in Scotland and staying on in larger numbers after completion of their compulsory education. The studies were commissioned by the Scottish executive two years ago, after statistics showed girls outperforming boys in most areas, including subjects traditionally more popular with boys, such as physics.
BRITAIN -- Television soap operas have replaced the Government as the main source of sex education for children. Soaps are doing more to inform teenagers about the dangers of unprotected sex than public information services. Teenage pregnancy, rape and now pedophilia have become the staple diet for soap operas.
BRITAIN -- Last week examination boards in England and Wales revealed a further widening of the gap at A-level between girls and boys, but women's academic advance is not a new phenomenon. Four decades ago in Britain, girls were getting better results than boys were in the 11-plus exam. In those days girls still lagged behind in exams taken at 16 and 18, but no longer. At university they are ahead in average scores and are now only behind in the proportion of firsts, though even this gap is narrowing. But grim prospects face women after university. Ironically, one of the worst places they could work is in universities themselves. Surveys last year showed women lecturers in Britain being paid $ 11,500 less than men doing the same job in the same subjects.
KENYA -- Girls' programs are being established to help girls fight off female genital mutilation. They are replacing the rite of passage with workshops advising them on female reproductive health. Over 75 Trans Mara girls have finished a course de-emphasizing circumcision as a rite of passage.
GHANA -- The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) Ghana Chapter plans to establish an FM station to broadcast programs on education of girls and women. She said the main objective of the radio station would be to raise and sustain awareness on issues impacting negatively on the education of girls and women and their development. In the 1994-1995 academic year the percentage of girls that have reached Primary school level was 46% against 56% for boys. At the JSS level, the percentage of girls fell to 43% whilst that of the boys increased to 57%. At the Senior Secondary School level, the percentage of girls declined to 35% with a rise of boys to 65%.
For AIDS Educators in NGOs the following links might prove useful