Burn these books, please!

BY PERVEZ HOODBHOY

NO, I take that back. Books shouldn’t ever be burned. Instead recycle the paper, use for wrapping vegetables or fish, or dispose of in some environmentally friendly way. But please keep our students away from the rotten science textbooks published by the Sindh Textbook Board (STB), an entity operating under the Sindh Ministry of Education. Else yet another generation will end up woefully ignorant of the subjects they study — physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology. Tragically they will see these magnificent human achievements as pointless, boring, and dry as dust.

Keep our students away from the rotten science textbooks published by the Sindh Textbook Board.

I have a pile of STB books before me at the moment. Both in English and Urdu, they are the officially prescribed texts for classes 4 to 10 (ages 10 to 16) and are in current use. In addition, I have two manuscripts on general science for classes 4 and 5, scheduled for publication this year or next. My blood pressure is steadily rising as I turn the pages, and I take careful sips of water.

Imagine the torture inflicted on a class 4 kid from Sindh, a non-native speaker of English, when confronted with difficult words (no explanations provided) like ‘obesity’, ‘ulcer’, ‘characteristics’, ‘interpret’, ‘deficiency’, ‘osteoporosis’, ‘decomposers’, ‘ecoregion’, ‘translucent’, ‘trough’, ‘lukewarm’, ‘constriction’, etc. In class 5, he will be haunted by monster words like ‘monocotyledonous’ and ‘dicotyledonous’. Strewn across these unattractive books are hazy diagrams, hundreds of capitalisation and spelling mistakes, plus countless grammatically incorrect sentences.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1225815

Long Live Canada! – Canada named world’s most well-respected country

Canada named world’s most well-respected country by holidaymakers… but the UK and US fail to crack the top 10

Findings included in the Reputation Institute’s Country Reptrak Survey More than 50 nations were ranked by an online panel of over 48,000 people
Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia rounded out the top five

By KATIE AMEY FOR MAILONLINE

Not only is it the land of maple syrup and ice hockey, but Canada can now lay claim to being the most respected country in the world.

This is the fourth time in the past five years that the country has claimed top honours, after slipping to second place behind Switzerland last year.

A recent poll has found that many foreigners consider Canada to have an effective government, a high level of development and the best quality of life over any country in the world.

See more » DailyMail
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3168005/Canada-named-world-s-respected-country-holidaymakers-UK-fail-crack-10.html

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3168005/Canada-named-world-s-respected-country-holidaymakers-UK-fail-crack-10.html#ixzz3uJlq9Vn0
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Yemen conflict: Gulf commanders ‘killed in missile strike’

A Saudi military commander and an Emirati officer are reported to be among a number of Gulf, Yemeni and Sudanese soldiers killed in Yemen.

They appear to have been killed by a missile fired by Houthi rebels at troops from the Saudi-led coalition seeking to restore Yemen’s government.

Rebel and government sources said the attack, in the province of Taiz, left dozens of coalition troops dead.

The incident comes ahead of UN-brokered peace talks in Switzerland on Tuesday.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35091675

Japan and India sign bullet train deal amid closer ties

India has agreed to buy a high-speed bullet train from Japan, in an attempt to transform its creaking rail system.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the train would link Mumbai and Ahmedabad, cutting travel time on the route from eight hours to two.

The deal was one of a raft of agreements reached after talks between the two sides in Delhi.

The leaders of Asia’s second and third largest economies also announced other areas of co-operation.

These include working on defence technology, and agreeing a memorandum of understanding on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35086944