When I was young I was probably like a lot of kids, - not really sure what science was, why it was important, and disengaged. I've since learned that science is one of the most engaging, inspiring and creative subjects on the curriculum. It's the part of the school day when the entire universe enters the classroom and young people have the chance to not only learn about the world we live in but also the challenges we face in the future...
One wonders why the world insists on re-visiting Rwanda's violent past when it has such a promising future. To be sure, we must never forget, which is why last night's touching service was so important. Today though, when I think of Rwanda, I think of Joyce, Bruce, and Victor, and celebrate the victory of a bright future over a dark past.
Love is and relationships are an inevitable part of university life. I mean, how many individuals have gone on to meet their future spouse through university? How lovely. Albeit, it doesn't always last and usually results in divorce upon acknowledgement of distinct difference but still, they did meet their one time one at a higher education institution, which surely counts for something.
Defining children according to wealth or merit in specific subjects sits very uncomfortably with me. What about supporting kids' interests, building on enthusiasm? What about maintaining friendships between kids of different social backgrounds rather than keeping them in separate worlds? Isn't it heartbreaking when children are separated from their best friends...
It is troubling that the 9% decline in aid spending to basic education in low income countries between 2010 and 2011 has hit 19 of the poorest countries - Tanzania amongst them. Without donor support to education as promised in 2000 at the World Education Forum in Dakar, these countries will struggle to provide the quality of education that their children deserve.
A secret document purporting to expose an undercover Muslim conspiracy to take over schools in Birmingham hit national news recently, prompting journalists to fall over themselves heralding a sinister 'Islamic plot', while eliciting both public statements from the Prime Minister and snap Ofsted inspections for the places of learning allegedly targeted by the conspirators.
Former children's minister Tim Loughton said last week that improving educational outcomes is the key to tackling youth unemployment. He's absolutely right, and it is early intervention programmes like ours that can help to ensure the most disadvantaged young children and teenagers are able to achieve their full academic, and personal, potential.
Helping the most vulnerable children is a daunting and complex task, and there will be disagreements about how to do it. But to move forward we need to keep the child at the centre, build on the progress children's centres have made and use it to make sure all children get the best start in life, healthy and supported at home.
It is this debate that secularists, both religious and otherwise, are fighting for. The movement doesn't aim to destroy or dismantle religion, but to create a society where no one group is granted special privilege or power. A society which ensures that all beliefs are protected and welcomed equally. But this debate can only be had once you stop using "secularism" as a slur.