Posts Tagged ‘right to education’

South African human rights defender turned teacher among the last ten nominees for the Teacher Prize

February 16, 2018

, a Forbes contributor on Africa, reports that Marjorie Brown, a South African teacher has been named a top 10 finalist for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2018, which was announced today by Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates at

Now in its fourth year, the US$1 million award is the largest prize of its kind. In a special video message announcing the top ten finalists, Bill Gates paid a glowing tribute to the work of teachers around the world. “When you think about what drives progress and improvement in the world, education is like a master switch—one that opens up all sorts of opportunities for individuals and societies….and research has shown that having a great teacher can be the most important factor that determines whether students get a great education,” he said.

Marjorie Brown is a former human rights defender who teaches history to female students at Roedean School, Johannesburg, whilst encouraging critical thinking and global citizenship. Her students have gone on to represent South Africa at youth forums, the Paris Climate Talks and various Ivy League universities.

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli (L) performs during the Global Teacher Prize ceremony in Dubai on March 19, 2017. Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

She is widely credited with bringing the New Zealand originated Kids Lit Quiz programme, devoted to improving children’s literacy, to South Africa. This global quiz programme now has more than 100 South African schools participating, which has boosted the stocks of books in libraries throughout the land and mobilized teachers to act as coaches and reading champions with students. Marjorie also founded the Phendulani literacy quiz, which will have spread to over 100 schools this year, while the South African Department of Education plans to introduce it to 45 reading clubs involving over 225 pupils, with publishers Pan Macmillan aiming to start a Phendulani quiz in a poor area near Johannesburg.

Marjorie Brown and the other finalists were selected from over 30,000 nominations and applications from 173 countries around the world. The top ten were subsequently narrowed down from a top 50 shortlist that was announced in December 2017… The other nine finalists for the Global Teacher Prize 2018 come from turkey, Brazil Norway, Belgium and the United States among other countries.

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi share Nobel Peace Prize

October 11, 2014

You will have learned this already from the main news media, but to bee complete in the area of human rights awards: On Friday 10 October the Nobel Peace Prize 2014 was awarded to India‘s Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan‘s Malala Yousafzai for their struggles against the violations of the rights of children. As the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said, “Children must go to school, not be financially exploited.

Photos: Nobel Peace Prize winners

Malala Yousafzai came to global attention after she was shot in the head by the Taliban — two years ago Thursday — for her efforts to promote education for girls in Pakistan. Since then, after surgery, she has won several high level human rights awards and now the Peace Prize. []

Satyarthi, age 60, has shown great personal courage in heading peaceful demonstrations focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain, the committee said. Satyarthi told reporters that the award was about many more people than him — and that credit should go to all those “sacrificing their time and their lives for the cause of child rights” and fighting child slavery.

The peace aspect of the Prize is double this year: Read the rest of this entry »

Ethnic Azerbaijani human rights defenders in detention in Iran resort to hunger strike after unfair trial

August 5, 2013

Since 13 July 2013, five ethnic Azerbaijani human rights defenders detained in Tabriz prison have taken part in an ongoing hunger strike in protest at their conviction following an unfair trial. Mahmud Fezli, Latif Haseni, Ayat Mehrali Baglou, Behboud Gholizadeh and Shahram Radmehr are members of the organisation Yeni Gamoh, Read the rest of this entry »

CEDAW calls for improvements in Pakistan and asks to protection of women human rights defenders

June 18, 2013

English: Emblem of the United Nations. Color i...

In its concluding observations, the United Nations Committee on the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has asked Pakistan to improve in key areas of education, legislation, employment and public and political participation of women. The observation were shared and discussed at a consultation organised by Aurat Foundation. Human Rights activist Tahira Abdullah highlighted the challenges and constraints in the way of implementation of CEDAW and Naheed Aziz discussed role of civil society in application of CEDAW. ……. In its other recommendation regarding education, the committee has asked the government to prevent the occurrence of attacks and threats against educational institutions which undermine women and girls’ fundamental rights. The committee-members have urged Pakistani government to prevent, investigate, and punish gender-based violence by non-state actors in conflict affected areas and have suggested the government to conduct an assessment of the impact of the conflict situation on women and girls and strictly enact legislation regulating the trade, sale and possession of small arms. The Committee has asked the government to ensure the safety and protection of women human rights defenders and mobilize adequate resources to address the specific risks and security needs of women’s rights defenders.

via CEDAW calls for improvement in key areas of education, legislation, employment –

Teaching political science in Burma is still risky

April 16, 2013

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information about charges brought against a community educator in Burma for teaching political science. Min Min, a human rights defender based in the country’s lowland, is being prosecuted because he refused to heed warnings that he not teaches a course on political science at his community-based education centre. He is currently on bail with the trial underway. The details of the story are below: Read the rest of this entry »