I well remember my first days in my boarding school - the wolf whistles from the prefects' open windows as we passed in and out of our boarding quarters. Prettier boys were openly rated as desirable. It was in my second term, when I was 13 years old, that I first received a note from a 17-year-old in the school rugby team asking would I meet him for a smoke. This was a euphemism for intended sexual contact.
Anticipating coffee and a bun on the second morning of the holidays, I was assaulted by the first Back to School display of summer. No sooner have the holidays begun than we're preparing for them to end: hardly had I dragged myself home on that final half day of term, than the postman assured me with a cheeky grin that the break would be 'gone before I knew it.'
I earned my teaching certification over a year ago, and at first, I was so excited to teach; now, after seeing all of the political and bureaucratic bullshit involved, the idea repulses me. Teaching summer school the past couple of years has been kind of alright because there aren't any standardized tests or government dictates involved.
We decided to extend our stay by one day in Cairo to be able to go to the Pyramids. The next morning we departed for Aswan, which was our departure airport for customs and we needed to buy enough Avgas (aviation gasoline) to cross the Arabian Desert on our way to Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates, where we have some dear friends that we were staying with.
Whether you have a son or daughter just finishing their summer exams or you're a high-tech manufacturer hoping to add to your pool of skilled technicians, we all want young people to have the opportunity to fulfil their potential - not just in work but in life. But the education system must do more to prepare them for life outside the school gates - or we risk wasting our greatest asset.
The Global Partnership for Education brought together governments and donors at its Replenishment Conference in Brussels last week. While donors fell short of the $3.5 billion target, governments stepped up to the mark. These governments will now need to work on mobilizing more domestic resources in order to make sure they meet their commitments.
Parents are probably even less in tune with the vicissitudes of the current jobs market than they are with the dubstep scene... currently only 7,500 students take computer science degrees a year, meaning that many of the 20,000 graduate vacancies in the software industry alone remain unfilled each year.
Improving quality in Pakistan would also be a huge breakthrough. In rural areas many primary schools lack sufficient classrooms to provide a proper five year cycle: In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for example, more than half of the schools do not contain the requisite 5 classrooms (one per grade). If you were a parent, would you send your children to school, and keep them there, if school conditions meant that your children were unlikely to learn the basics?
Many Young people have described the bullying they have been subjected to or the different treatment that have received from other pupils, and the seemingly lack of understanding from teachers. Some mental health sufferers described being treated with less expectation and put into lower classes because of their mental illness.
I was part of a recent humanitarian mission that delivered emergency assistance to children and families in six hard-to-reach villages in northwestern Aleppo governorate. For some families living in this remote area near the Turkish border, it had been almost two years since they had received humanitarian supplies...