Tuesday, November 11, 2014

ISIS cancels all classes except religious studies in Syrian schools because 'even the two-times table shouldn't be taught as all knowledge belongs to the creator'

ISIS extremists have cancelled all classes except religious studies in Syrian schools - with even the two-times table banned in its new curriculum.

Militants have closed all schools in the eastern area of the country pending a religious revision of the syllabus to replace the current 'infidel' education, it has been revealed.

Activists in the area say ISIS has attempted to justify the move by claiming that 'all knowledge belongs to the creator'.

Islamic State has been tightening its rules on civilian life in Deir al-Zor province, which fell under near-complete control ofthe Islamist group this summer.

The government still controls a military air base and other small pockets.

The announcement came after Islamic State held a meeting with school administrators at a local mosque on the outskirts of Deir al-Zor city, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors all sides of the conflict.

'Islamic State informed them that teachers shall undergo a religious instructional course for one month, and that Islamic State officials were currently developing a new curriculum instead of the current 'infidel' education,' the Observatory statement said.

At the start of the academic year in September, Islamic State revised the school curriculum in areas it controls, eliminating physics and chemistry while promoting Islamic teachings.

Their latest move aims to further reduce the school day into several hours of religious learning at the expense of academic subjects, according to local activists.

'They've announced that they will only teach religion and a little bit of mathematics. 'Their rationale is that all knowledge belongs to the creator, so even the multiplication table shouldn't be taught,' said an activist called Abu Hussein al Deiri.

Some locals protested when the school shutdown, according to footage posted online by activists.

It showed two dozen girls and boys appearing to be under 12 years of age marching with a few female teachers clad in black veils as required by Islamic State since the beginning of the academic year.  The children chanted: 'we want school'.

But activist al Deiri said that the protests were muted because most people were 'too afraid to demonstrate'.

Islamic State has detained, crucified, executed and beheaded hundreds in recent months in Deir al-Zor for 'apostasy', a crime of which it accuses anyone who disobeys or opposes Islamic State.


First new grammar school for a generation: Theresa May sends strong message by backing plans to create 'satellite' selective school in her constituency

Theresa May has backed the possibility of a new grammar school in her constituency, despite laws which ban the creation of selective schools.

In a move which could herald a change in the Tory party's education policy, the Home Secretary indicated she would support a study which will look into opening a 'satellite' grammar school in Maidenhead, Berkshire.

The new state-funded selective school - which would be the first for a generation - would be a second 'satellite' campus joined to an existing grammar school in a nearby borough.

Because of that, it would avoid breaching laws which stop new selective schools being created.

It comes after Michael Gove, the former education secretary, ruled out a similar proposal in Sevenoaks, Kent, which would have taken up to 1,300 pupils.

Mr Gove - who was keen to revamp comprehensive schools - allowed a new free school to open on the site, instead.

Ms May's willingness to consider the move sends a strong message about her stance on academic selection - a topic which is still hotly-debated among the Tory party.

A statement on her website says the home secretary 'welcomed proposals to consider establishing a "satellite" grammar school site in Maidenhead', in response to parental demand.

She said: 'Grammar schools attract considerable support from Maidenhead families. If a good school wishes to expand in line with existing legislation then this must be seriously considered.'

One of Ukip's policies is to allow existing schools to apply to become grammar schools. 

The proposal for the satellite campus has come from Windsor and Maidenhead council, which is looking to create more secondary school places in the area. There are currently no grammar schools in the borough, although there are several in neighbouring Buckinghamshire.

The Tory-run council says there will be a shortfall of 100 secondary school places in Maidenhead - which currently has a comprehensive education system - by 2020.

There are currently 164 grammar schools in England after many of them closed in the 1960s and 70s when there was a shift towards comprehensives.

The establishment of any new wholly or partially selective state-funded schools is banned under the the former Labour government's School Standards and Framework Act 1998. However, existing schools are allowed to expand.

At present, some grammar schools admit successful students by ranked order - all candidates are ranked by their 11-plus score.

In other areas, pupils who pass the test are then ranked by admission criteria, which can include the distance they live from the school.

Those opposed to grammar schools argue that by dividing children at the age of 11 through taking an exam is socially divisive, and other schools in the surrounding area suffer, and richer children are more likely to succeed because their parents can afford extra tuition to get them through the test.

However, supporters say that academically bright children do better if they taught together.


Anti-porn group says: “Cancel college sex ed events because they are ‘the root’ of campus rape”

Hard to know who is who these days.  Both feminists and some conservatives seem opposed to porn

A group dedicated to opposing pornography this week encouraged like-minded people to file complaints against Harvard University's "Sex Week" on the grounds that it was encouraging rape. In a statement released earlier this week, the group Morality in Media accused Harvard of "promoting sexual violence while pretending to teach proper sex."

Harvard's annual Sex Week may have received more attention this year thanks to a workshop titled "What What in the Butt: Anal Sex 101."

Sex week also offers workshops on safe sex, virginity and fetishes. According to organizers, the event's goal is to "promote a holistic understanding of sex and sexuality." It is sponsored by the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR), the Office of BGLTQ Student Life, the Harvard College Women's Center, and the Center for Wellness.

But Morality in Media Executive Director Dawn Hawkins insisted Sex Week events at all schools should be cancelled because the workshops would lead to more sexual assaults.

"Harvard is clearly not serious about stopping rape and sexual harassment on their campus if they are promoting an environment where porn, torture sex and risky behaviors are encouraged," she said a statement on Monday.

"Harvard's sex week encourages students to participate in acts that resemble or include sexual violence," Hawkins added in an interview with the Christian Post on Wednesday. "Research has shown these sex acts very often employ coercion to gain the participation of one partner."

"Normalizing such actions has a profound effect on the participants, and society in general, by excusing sexual violence as 'kink' rather than seeking for healthy intimate relationships," she insisted. "We encourage parents and students at Harvard and other universities hosting similar sex weeks to file complaints about inappropriate events; contact university officials and administrators directly to voice their concerns; and organize events on campus that teach the truths about pornography, sexual violence and healthy intimacy."

Sex Week organizer Kirin Gupta pointed out that the event has always emphasized consent.

"Each of our events explicitly addresses consent; we work with deeply feminist politics," she said. "And we always work with our feminist organization and the organizations that deal with sexual assault on our campus to hold several events that clearly deal exclusively with consent and anti-violence action and education."


Harvard snooped on everyone in classrooms

Students and faculty were not informed

For several days, the Harvard Crimson's most read article was: "Bol Authorized Study that Photographed Faculty, Students in Class without Notice"

I am not going to be too original in this case but it is creepy. The decision to install cameras in classrooms to monitor attendance by taking photographs – probably with some face recognition software – was approved by a vice-provost (for "advances in learning"), Mr Bol.

Not satisfied with its status of a training camp of extreme left-wing whackos, Harvard became a CIA playground, too.

Most people's reactions are negative or very negative. I can imagine that such a monitoring could become a very useful technology. But I am just not understanding why would someone introduce such a highly problematic policy secretly. If the purpose is to monitor the attendance, shouldn't the Harvard community have been told about the project in advance?

I feel that some laws about privacy must have been violated. Am I wrong? Do the students and faculty have the opportunity to sue Harvard and demand some compensation?

While it's a disturbing story, it shows Harvard's being a leader in new ideas, too. But shouldn't such decisions potentially conflicting with the good taste concerning privacy be tried at less visible places?

If I mention an innocent example, Google Street View: There's almost nothing sensitive over there and if there is anything sensitive, it is being removed. But some countries still prefer to ban this service. Czechia is among the most open-minded ones. You may find almost every Czech street on the Street View.

Wouldn't it be better to try such cutting-edge programs at schools that are least problematic from this viewpoint? And once it turns out to be a success, it could spread elsewhere, with the permission of the university community? But maybe Harvard is the best place to try these 1984-style experiments.

Or was the purpose of the program to keep it secret – and effectively in conflict with the affected people's wishes – forever? Or was there some "extra" purpose of this activity we are not being told about? In that case, it would be worrisome, indeed.

What's even more ironic is that it is not the first time in recent years when similar procedures have been reported at Harvard. Last March, Harvard administrators searched through e-mail inboxes of 16 deans who were accused of a leak related to the investigation of the 100+ students cheating on take-home exams in the course about the Congress.

Is there a pattern here?

SOURCE  (See the original for links)

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