Saturday, March 09, 2013

Morocco judge suspended for forcing mechanic to kiss shoes



Hisham Himmi, when contacted by AFP, confirmed the incident and said the magistrate, unhappy that his vehicle was not finish, insulted him and spit in his face. (Courtesy photo of Hespress)

AFP - RABAT Moroccan authorities suspended a judge after he forced a mechanic who had not repaired his car on time to kiss his shoes, Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid told AFP on Friday.

“After the prosecutor in Meknes (central Morocco) prepared a detailed report, we decided to suspend the magistrate,” Ramid said. The judiciary council will continue the investigation and then decide” whether to take further action.

Moroccan media and the Moroccan Association for Human rights said mechanic Hischam Himmi was forced by the judge to kiss his shoes after an argument.

Himmi, when contacted by AFP, confirmed the incident and said the magistrate, unhappy that his vehicle was not finish, insulted him and spit in his face.

Read the full article here:  http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2013/03/09/Morocco-judge-suspended-for-forcing-mechanic-to-kiss-shoes-.html

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Finland's schools flourish in freedom and flexibility

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/05/finland-schools-curriculum-teachinghttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/05/finland-schools-curriculum-teaching
State prescribes the curriculum but leaves teachers alone to decide how to teach the subject

At Meri-Rastila primary school in a suburb of Helsinki, pupils shake the snow off their boots in the corridors, then peel them off and pad into class in socks. After a 45-minute lesson, they're out in the playground again.
The Finnish school day is short and interspersed with bursts of running around, shrieking and sledging outdoors. Children start when they're older, the year they turn seven and there is no pressure on them to do anything academic before then.
The Finnish education system contrasts sharply with England. Every Finnish child gets a free school meal, and a free education, which extends to university level.
There are no league tables, and no school inspections. There is only one set of national exams, when children are about to leave school, aged 18. The government conducts national assessments, sampling the population to keep track of school performance. But these results are not made public.
Meri-Rastila's principal, Ritva Tyyska, said: "I think it's quite good that they don't rank the schools because we have good teachers, we have a curriculum and we have to obey it. In every school we teach about the same things. The methods can be a little bit different, [but you] get the same education.
"We have these tests, in the fifth or sixth forms, that are the same tests at each and every school. We get the results and we see where we stand. But that is not common knowledge. And if it's not good we have to check what are we doing wrong, what we have to improve."
In Finland, the state decides what should be taught, but not how. If they like, teachers can take their children outside for "wood mathematics" – where they go into the nearest patch of forest and learn to add and subtract by counting twigs or stones in the open air.
A typical lesson compresses several disciplines into one; in one class, children who don't speak Finnish as their first language are taught to identify and name the parts of a mouse ("ears", "whiskers", "tail") and then mark on a chalk outline of the country where the animal lives. It's a literacy lesson, but biology and geography as well.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why Dont Students Like School?

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Bankruptcy and Insecurity Plague Honduras

Drug traffickers provide jobs in the countryside while a new president struggles with public security and a bankrupt government, Samuel Logan comments for ISN Security Watch.
By Samuel Logan for ISN Security Watch

http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Current-Affairs/Security-Watch/Detail/?lng=en&id=112590
When Porfirio Lobo Sosa took office as the new president of Honduras on 27 January, the country's treasury was down to its last $50 million. The absence of international support during the interim presidency of Roberto Micheletti had left Honduras bankrupt.
Now, as Lobo moves his administration into position to repair the Central American country, economics looms large, yet it remains in the shadow of a much more pressing concern. Security reckons at the top of the new president's agenda, but a limited budget will only take him as far as enforcing public security in urban centers, leaving much of the rest of the country to fend for itself.
The Honduran military forced Lobo's predecessor, Manuel Zelaya, out of office on 28 June 2009, in a move that many governments considered illegal and a threat to Honduran democracy. By September, Zelaya had snuck back into the country. Housed in the Brazilian embassy, he waged an ultimately unsuccessful political battle for his presidency.
Micheletti transferred executive power to Lobo in late January after he won the November 2009 elections, which had been scheduled prior to the quasi coup d'etat.
Now, with Zelaya in exile, and the military absolved of guilt, Lobo has made significant steps toward normalizing relations with a host of patron nations, which up to Zelaya's ouster had provided Honduras with much needed financial aid.
On 8 February, Lobo spoke with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and soon after promoted the conversation as a significant step toward normalizing relations with Washington. A truth commission to help air the grievances of a stress-fractured nation seems to be the final step before Washington fully normalizes its relationship with Lobo, likely bringing in its wake offers of aid from the World Bank, currently headed by Robert Zoellick, former US trade representative, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
At home, Lobo has decreed austerity measures to ease the pressure on his thin government coffers, recently announcing a 20 percent cut across the board in government spending. Most departments will be effected, with the exception of the National Police.
Lobo knows public security is a priority, and on the first day of office, 27 January, Honduran National Police executed a nationwide raid that concluded in a number of arrests and netted long-barrel weapons and a grenade launcher in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa.
Still, drug trafficking rages on in Honduras, where last December the country's top anti-narcotics cop was shot dead. During the course of 2009, agents with the National Directorate Against Drug Trafficking (DNLCN), Honduras' version of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, seized some 7.3 tons of cocaine, with over half entering the country through clandestine flights that landed largely in the Caribbean and northeastern regions of the country, where authorities counted at least 40 so-called narco flights in 2009.
Apart from a strong showing out of the gate, Lobo is likely to have a limited impact on improving his countrymen's perception of public security. For many Hondurans, this will be a serious problem, but there are some who would benefit from more drug trafficking, not less.
So many flights landed in remote areas of Honduras in 2009 that a cottage industry sprang up to provide pilot housing, plane refueling and off-loading of narcotics. In Warunta and Samil, the two local communities where many flights continue to land, most families live from supporting the drug trade, according to local media.
One local who worked for the men who traffic cocaine from Colombia to Mexico in that part of Honduras told local press that "we live from this [work], and we know it is not legal but it is something that we have to do to survive."
Other locals from the area reported that families from nearby communities had moved to their area because of a demand for more help. Locals can earn between $20 and $500 for off-loading or re-fueling flights, or preparing a clandestine runway by using a generator to line the airstrip with lights, or for simply providing food and shelter for pilots.
The first narcoavioneta of 2010 landed in the small hamlet of Arenas Blancas, southeast of San Pedro Sula, just three weeks before Lobo took office. It was the 52nd plane to have been discovered since Zelaya’s departure. Within 10 minutes of touchdown, the plan had been offloaded, lit aflame, with the pilot and cargo safely stored, all long before the police arrived to pick through the charred hull.
International organized crime has taken over many of the forgotten corners of Honduras, but it appears to have helped more than hurt, so far. Lobo is likely aware of this fact, but given his long list of priorities and limited financial resources, he will likely remain focused on public security in urban centers and hotspots as they flare up. Fortunately for Honduras' forgotten citizens in the countryside, there's plenty of work.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

When a Teacher Learns

On the very last day of school, during the very last class, the teacher turned to the students. He looked at each of them slowly and started to speak.

“Each of you knows what you have learned from me. All of you know what you have learned from your other teachers – or not, as the case may be.”

The students chuckled nervously. It was funny, but in a way, it was not.

He continued with a question, “How many of you, however, know what your teachers have learned from you?”

Eyes widened. What did he mean?

“Today” said the teacher, “I will tell you.”

“I have learned from you that different people learn in different ways.”

“I learned that some of you learn at different speeds, different paces.”

“I learned that all of you have your good days and bad days. I do too.”

“I learned from you that I forgot what it was like to be a student, and I want to thank you for reminding me how hard it was.”

“I learned that if I really wanted to know how to teach, I need to listen to what my students tell me, even when they do not know that they are telling me anything at all.”

“I learned that if I want to be a better teacher, I have to learn how to listen first, act second and judge last. I learned that I should ask my students what will make me a better teacher as well; for if I expect them to be better students, they ought to have at least as much say in what will make me, make them, such.”

And the teacher did listen; and at first it was like the echoes in a large empty room. Then, slowly, slight murmurs rose to sound and voices became clear. And here is what they said:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Real Honduran News

Three blogs posting a variety of new regarding Honduras include: narconewshondurancampesino and lagringasblogicito.  Beware the feuding between the last two -- but if you read between the lines of all three, you can get a clearer picture of what is happening here.

Living Under A Curfew

Remember when you were a teenager and thought the curfew imposed by your parents was bad? Now try a 4 pm to 7 am curfew imposed by the government and you just ran out of drinking water! And no, you can't drink the tap water.

Then you hear the curfew is extended from 7 am to 6 pm! I'm going to have to start collecting rain water and boiling water from the tap -- and hope the electricity stays on.

These are some of the few joys of living in a developing country like Honduras. I just hope things do not turn violent and that this coup situation resolves itself peacefully.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Phrases to live by...

1. Fix the problem not the blame.

Often attributed to the Japanese, I first came across it in the movie Rising Son with Sean Connery.

2. Asking forgiveness is easier than asking for permission.

Read Admiral Grace Hopper created this one. Amazing Grace.

3. There are two kinds of fool. One says 'This is old, therefore it is good' and the other says 'This is new, therefore it is better'

Guess I've been all kinds of fools.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ottawa Valley teacher shot in Honduras

A former Ottawa Valley teacher is fighting for his life in a Honduras hospital after he was shot several times in a brazen drug-related carjacking on his way to a goodbye party for a former colleague.

Dennis Spencer, 58, the principal of a respected international school in northern Honduras for the past four years, was stopped at a traffic light in San Pedro Sula sometime between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday when two armed men forced their way into his car.

They pushed a female colleague, also a principal, into the backseat and then at gunpoint ordered Spencer to drive. Within a few minutes, they were overtaken by two men in a second car who opened fire, striking Spencer in the arm, shoulder and skull, before speeding away. No one else was hit, and the two carjackers fled.

Spencer’s colleague, dazed and frightened, wandered through the neighbourhood knocking on doors to get help, eventually finding someone who called for an ambulance.

Spencer, a teacher for 25 years in Renfrew County, was rushed to Cemesa Hospital where he was placed in medically induced coma early Saturday after surgeons operated on his brain. It is believed he was hit in the head by shrapnel, possibly shards of glass sent flying by bullets.

Doctors often place head injury victims in comas to keep brain activity to a minimum while they assess the extent of the trauma.

Ron Vair, the Canadian who runs the Escuela Internacional Sampedrana where Spencer has worked since 2005, said Sunday that doctors hope to gradually ease him from the coma today. The brain has shown no abnormal swelling, and doctors remain “guardedly optimistic” he will recover.

Spencer’s wife Barb, who was in Pembroke visiting one of the couple’s two adult children when her husband was attacked, flew back to Honduras Sunday.

In the meantime, Spencer’s colleagues from school have been lining up to visit the popular principal in hospital.

“There has been anywhere from 10 to 50 people there at a time to see him,” Vair said. “He is a real good fellow. The staff really love him. I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him.”

Spencer was principal of Esceula Sampedrana’s smaller elementary school campus in La Lima, a mountain community about 30 kilometeres from San Pedro Sula, a city of half a million and the site of the school’s main campus.

In all, the school has about 2,000 students and 200 staff, more than 30 of them from Canada, according to David Schult, a Kitchener, Ont. native who is a vice-principal at the main campus.
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen