NEW YORK | MONROVIA (IDN | GIN) - In what might be a first in Africa, Liberia will put its entire pre-primary and primary education system in the hands of a U.S. start-up that would bring a charter school model to struggling schools on the continent.
Bridge International Academies already has a presence in Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. Despite a headquarters in Nairobi, a listing for the company shows a San Francisco address.
When Liberian Education Minister George K. Werner announced in January that all pre-primary and primary schools would be outsourced to Bridge to manage, he set off a furor among local and international education experts. The arrangement, they said in an interview with the New Dawn newspaper, would be a “blatant violation of Liberia’s international obligations under the right to education and have no justification under Liberia’s constitution.
By Kalinga Seneviratne
SINGAPORE (IDN | Lotus News Features) - China would like to project the release of Mekong River waters from its dams in March to “assist” drought-stricken farmers and fisheries further downstream, especially in Vietnam, as a magnanimous gesture from a friendly neighbour. But that action is in fact the reflection of a greater environmental and political crisis that is brewing in the region.
China announced middle of March that in response to a Vietnamese request, it will discharge from March 15 to April 10 water from the Jinghong hydropower station on the Mekong River in Yunnan province to the lower reaches of the Mekong River to alleviate drought in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
By Kalinga Seneviratne
This article is the fourth in a series of joint productions of Lotus News Features and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.
CHIANG MAI (IDN | Lotus News Features*) - The Mindfulness fad sweeping across the West today may be the new money-spinner for those “gurus” who charge hundreds of dollars for each session to teach its applications, often to improve one’s ability to navigate the global capitalist system to make more money for yourself. But, for the Thais it's a 2500-year old philosophy taught by Gautama the Buddha to encourage moderation, self-reliance and contentment in your daily life.