Thursday, September 29, 2016

UK: Student union president refuses to apologise for 'anti-Semitic' remarks when she called Birmingham University 'a Zionist outpost'

Just another hate-filled Arab.  She's quite a nutcase.  From Wikipedia:  She is the first Muslim and black British head of the NUS. Bouattia's family are originally from Constantine, Algeria. She identifies (and is referred to by the mainstream media) as a Black Briton on the basis of Algerian heritage, and has been elected by peers to head various organizations for black empowerment; however, her racial identity has provoked controversy from commentators who argue that to be black is to be sub-Saharan African.

The president of the National Union of Students has refused to apologise for comments condemned as anti-Semitic.

Malia Bouattia was widely criticised when she described Birmingham University as 'something of a Zionist outpost' in an article she co-authored five years ago.

But challenged over the remarks on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme on Tuesday, she refused to apologise for them.

She said: 'I would certainly review my language and would definitely want to explain the political context which I was discussing.

'I absolutely was not saying the things that it has been interpreted as, if you will...'

Ms Bouattia also defended 'safe space' and 'no-platform' policies in universities amid widespread concerns they are curtailing free speech.

Prime Minister Theresa May has described the policies as 'quite extraordinary' and warned they could inhibit thought and development among students.

Ms Bouattia said: 'The thing about safe spaces is they have existed for a very long time in many different forms.

'It's a call from the grassroots, it's an application of democratic processes in order to ensure that spaces of education - students unions and so on - are safe places in which to debate and in which to discuss ideas.'

She added: 'We are not stopping the tearing apart of problematic views and ideas and so on, and I think it's incredibly naive to think that unless we provide spaces where they are necessarily aired, where racist, xenophobic, homophobic views are aired, that they are not otherwise known about or taken on.'


UK: Muslim pupils at Islamic faith school told inspectors they DIDN’T want single-sex lessons ‘because it wouldn’t prepare them for life in modern Britain’

Pupils at an Islamic faith school told inspectors they did not want single-sex lessons because it 'wouldn't prepare them for modern life in Britain', the High Court has heard.

The Muslim pupils told a school inspector that segregation at school was having a 'negative effect', because it was not a reflection of life outside the classroom.

The comments were revealed during a High Court legal battle over a controversial Ofsted report relating to a school which cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The inspector told Mr Justice Jay that one young woman referred to it as 'dumb'.

He said boys had also mentioned segregation as 'having a negative impact in terms of preparing them for life'. But he added that not all pupils had agreed with that view.

The challenge has been brought by the school's interim executive board over findings in the Ofsted report that it was an 'inadequate school' and required special measures.

The board is disputing the report's findings and applying for a judicial review to have it quashed.

One of the criticisms in the report was the school's segregation of boys from girls.

The judge was told the Islamic voluntary-aided school admitted pupils of both sexes between the ages of four and 16.

From Year 5, girls and boys are completely segregated for all lessons, break and lunchtimes, as well as for school clubs and trips.

The school cannot be named after a judge at an earlier hearing said identifying it would be likely 'to generate a media storm and tensions and fears for parents and the local community'.

The judge said if the school's legal challenge failed the interim order could be lifted and the report published.


School ditches ALL homework - because headmistress says teachers don't have time to mark and prepare lessons

Special, snowflake teachers?

A school has stopped giving homework to pupils because the headmistress says teachers don't have enough time to mark and prepare lessons.

Catherine Hutley, principal at Philip Morant School and College, in Colchester, Essex, claims scrapping after-school work will allow staff to use the time to plan better lessons.

Schools which have previously scrapped homework have made the move to reduce mental health problems among pupils. Some have extended school hours instead.

Ms Hutley said she accepted the move was controversial but said she was 'genuinely excited' about the innovative approach and is convinced students - who are aged between 11 and 18 - will benefit.

She said: 'The job of a teacher is impossible. There are not enough hours in the day for a teacher to teach, set homework, mark homework, and plan their lessons.

'It is a move away from a more traditional approach but we would not do anything which would hinder the progress of our children.

'We have the most dedicated and committed staff you could possibly ask for. They are working every hour God sends but planning lessons can fall by the wayside.

'We want it to be the number one priority so teachers can plan for students' individual needs and keep on top of their progress on a daily basis.'

Ms Hutley said out-of-school-hours learning will still be encouraged through the school's website with prizes offered to the most dedicated students.

She said homework was too often made up of finishing curriculum work which had not been completed in class.

She also said it would stop children who do not complete their homework from falling behind.

Ms Hutley said the move away from traditional homework had been discussed for a year. She added: 'We are aware opinions on this issue are polarised with many parents and carers delighted by the change but others concerned by what the move will mean for their child.

'We have carefully analysed the performance and progress of our students and the impact homework has had on this. 'We know homework is not working for the majority of our students.

'This new approach allows us to more carefully track and monitor students both academically but also against skills critical for their lives ahead.'

The school, which has 1,650 students and was rated 'good' in its last Ofsted report, has already got rid of academic banding and the use of mobile phones at school.

Ms Hutley added: 'If, for any reason, we start to see this new approach to homework is having a negative impact on students' progress, we will do something about it. 'But I do not believe that will happen.'

Last year the independent boarding school Cheltenham Ladies' College announced plans to ditch homework in response to an 'epidemic' of mental health problems.

In 2013 Jane Austen College, in Norwich, said pupils would be expected to complete all their work during timetabled hours, and extended the school day to 5pm.


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