TOL/OSI Open Society Education News
 
TOL runs a program funded by the Open Society Institute (OSI) designed to train journalists to write on education topics and raise public awareness on education issues. As part of the project, we issue a bi-monthly newsletter on the program and other news provided by OSI's Education Support Program.

A Good Start: An Upcoming Revolution in Roma Education in Eastern Europe?
Mikey is one of the lucky ones. He has joined over 2,000 children who have participated in A Good Start, and EU project implemented by the Roma Education Fund. He lives in Zborov, a town in northeastern Slovakia with over 3,000 people, of whom nearly 50 percent are Roma, most of whom live under the official poverty line.
 
A Call for Action – Special Needs Education in Southern Africa
 “I want to exercise my right to go to a school of my choice and not be forced to go to an exclusive school for the blind,” said Delisle, a blind Form 4 student from Swaziland – helping to kick-start a three-day conference on education for children with disabilities with a clear and compelling call for inclusive education.

Georgia: Sacking of top educator ripples through bureaucracy, politics
The firing of a top education official in Georgia has led to mass resignations of her employees, accusations of a political vendetta, and concern about student and teacher exams that are underway.

Lithuania: Boy Smugglers Go Back to Class
Just a couple of years ago, it was not unusual for groups of boys at the high school in Lumpenai, a few kilometers from the Lithuanian-Russian border, to run out of class as the teacher looked on helplessly.
 
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Breakthrough ruling finds discrimination in schools
A court has overturned the “two schools under one roof” system in one Bosnian city.
 
Czech Republic: High-schoolers testy over new tests
Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said 11 June the government will reconsider the statewide graduation exam system, after a raft of complaints about the tests, which were introduced last year after years of preparation.
 
Privatisation in Education Research Initiative (PERI) launches its website
Privatisation in Education Research Initiative (PERI) is an initiative of the Education Support Program (ESP) at the Open Society Foundations (OSF) and a global research and networking initiative seeking to animate an accessible and informed public debate on alternative education provision. In particular, it examines the social justice implications of changes in the coordination, financing and governance of education.

Romania: Bucharest to consult educators, civic groups on school violence
Romania's Education Ministry is working on a plan to curb school violence, Balkan Insight reports. Interim Education Minister Liviu Pop says she will meet with teachers, students, and civic groups to develop a strategy to improve security in a school system that saw 4,131 official cases of violence, discrimination, and other disturbances in the past three months.
  
Hungary’s New Curriculum: Writing Wrongs?
It is not uncommon in Hungarian living rooms to find the walls lined with bookshelves from floor to ceiling. Nor is it odd to find on those shelves a novel or two by the 20th-century Transylvanian writer Jozsef Nyiro.
 
Albania: How did Bossi’s son earn his diploma? Answer is far from crystal clear
Prosecutors in Tirana have begun investigating after Italian and Albanian media reported that the son of far-right Italian politician Umberto Bossi, Renzo, received a bachelor’s degree at an Albanian university allegedly without ever entering Albania or speaking the language.
 
Poland: Textbooks link homosexuality to rape, prostitution
With Poland still smarting over charges of racism during soccer matches, the country now faces unwanted attention over teaching materials that have infuriated equal rights campaigners.
 
No Wheelchairs Allowed
Alexander Mokin had his birthday party all planned out. He booked a table for four at Galereya, a popular restaurant and club in downtown Yekaterinburg. He’d chosen to celebrate turning 27 years old quietly, with just his wife and two friends. The restaurant manager was courteous on the phone, and the arrangements were in place. Until the group arrived at the venue.

Ukraine: Equal But Separate?
An avid painter, 9-year-old Darina Matsenko is looking forward to September, when she’ll transition from home schooling into third grade at a local primary school where she can showcase her portraits and still lifes. But she’s also concerned, and not just about first-day jitters.
 
Romania: Plagiarism scandal brings down education minister
Accusations of plagiarism have brought down another European politician. The education minister in the brand-new Romanian cabinet, Ioan Mang, stepped down 16 May following accusations that he copied academic works – grammar mistakes and all – in eight scientific papers, according to the science journal Nature.

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Transitions (TOL) published a book on education in our coverage region. “Classroom Struggles: Education Reporting and Analysis from Transitions” is available now from Cosimo Books.

The Open Society Education News is made possible through grant funding from the OSI Education Support Program (ESP). The ESP aims to facilitate change in education and national policy development in line with the Soros foundation network's mission of promoting open society.


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