Plea for funds to help rebuild Nepal schools damaged by earthquake; Sweden's wake-up call

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 May, 2015, 6:06am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 May, 2015, 6:06am

Swedish educators 'must try harder'

Sweden needs to raise standards in classrooms and make teaching a more attractive profession in order to reverse plunging school grades, according to the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

A debate on education standards has raged since December 2013 when Sweden fell faster than any other industrialised country in the OECD's so-called Pisa ranking of school performance among 15-year-olds. Sweden came 28th out of 34 countries for maths and 27th out of 34 for reading and science.

OECD director of education and skills Andreas Schleicher (pictured), says students should be given more challenging tasks in the classroom and that Sweden needs to raise the status of teaching, which has been undermined by relatively low salaries and heavy workloads. The report warned of growing inequality with 48 per cent of immigrant children failing to make the grade in maths and called for changes to the free school choice system to prevent segregation.

Money needed for reading in Nepal

Room to Read, the global organisation that promotes literacy and girls' education in the developing world, is appealing for funds to rebuild the education system in Nepal, following the devastating earthquake.

The organisation had school and library projects scattered across almost 4,000 communities, half of which were seriously affected by the disaster. Room to Read's more than 100 staff are all safe and ready to work where help is most needed. The organisation started out in 2000 by taking donated books to rural communities in Nepal. It works in 10 countries across Africa and Asia.

To donate, visit roomtoread.org/NepalEarthquake For inquiries, email Asia.Pacific@RoomtoRead.org

Exchange and internship fund set up for students

Lingnan University has received a donation of HK$10 million from the Lam Kei On Memorial Trust to establish the Mr Lam Man Tsan Memorial Fund to increase student exchange and internship opportunities. Last month, it started a leadership mentoring programme held jointly with the Hong Kong Professionals and Senior Executives Association for 43 students from all disciplines.