"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Sunday, 21 October 2012

G20 group of developing nations and Globalization

Globalization... the growing interdependence and interaction among people, companies and corporations in various locations around the world.

It's as if the world is shrinking! Some say we live in a global village now.

But you have to remember that today all the clothing and footwear on sale in our shops is made in poorer countries, where wages are lower.

People, for example, who make our clothes in other countries, are young girls from rural villages with little education!


We can no longer tolerate sweatshops!! These factories were girls work long hours for low pay must be closed!

Companies promise to make sure conditions are okay, but they are still many abuses.

Is it fair that girls are exploited to keep us looking good?

Many LEDCs do not have strong laws to protect their people and the environment. So, factories prefer to make their products in poor countries. I hope the G20 developing nations (more than 20) will have a stronger voice and they will protect their people.

Baseball caps and jeans everywhere...and fast food and fizzy drinks...and TV shows that undermine our values...now children think that it is the right culture...

Poor countries!! you have more to say....through the G20 group of developing nations!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

I do not know...a worldview you said?

There are many things I do not know. True! but I love the fact that I do not know everything because it gives me a reason to wake up everyday.


I love learning, discovering new theories, trying to look at things from different angles (very difficult sometimes), to test different worldviews...and wait a minute, I just wrote worldview...but what is a worldview? it consists of what? is it something we can think of, discuss about it? change it? remove it? erase it and make another one?


Can you guess what was my first reaction after asking myself all these questions about worldviews....yes you are rigth...I went to my teenager's room and I asked him, what is a worldview?


He looked at me, first, puzzled and then, as usual, his answer came out full of wit and charm, "Am I asked what is 'my' worldview or what is 'our' worldview?


hummmmm great question....does that mean that I am not applying the rules of democracy ...I mean democracy principles, the ideals of universal freedoms, such as the right to free speech...in our home? NO, this cannot be possible ;) right??


What guides a person's decision making? This question may seem abstract and philosophical, but it is actually very practical. When decisions need to be made, are there guidelines to follow?


Everyday decisions, as well as abstract and philosophical decisions, are influenced by one's worldview. For example, deciding which political party to support, choosing how to make financial decisions, and many other practical matters are decided on by one's worldview.


Most people who encounter the concept of worldview first do so during their college education. But even as adults, few people take the time to think about, examine, and identify their own worldview. Many consider the topic too heavy or too philosophical, yet whether it is perceived or not, each person has a worldview that impacts their life.


Decisions are all determined by a person's worldview. If people understand their own decision making process and can explain it, they are well on their way to understanding and articulating their worldview.






What is a Worldview?
According to Nash, "It is a conceptual framework, pattern, or arrangement of a person's beliefs. The best worldviews are comprehensive, systematic, and supposedly true views of life and the world" (Nash, 1999, p. 13).
According to Sire, "A worldview is a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true, or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic make-up of our world" (Sire, 1988, p. 17).
Many authors who write on the topic of worldview use a common analogy to explain what a worldview is and how it influences our thinking.
A worldview is like a pair of eyeglasses that influences how one sees the world. The purpose of eyeglasses, of course, is to bring the world (reality) into clearer focus. Eyeglasses should help a person see well. Some glasses change the way things appear because of colored lenses.
The origin of the prescription becomes the foundation of worldview.
Hoffecker (2007) noted that worldviews impact every area of life. "One's worldview, or world-and-life view, consists of one's most basic beliefs and framework of understanding Directly or indirectly, basic beliefs influence every dimension of human life" (p. xi).
WHAT IS YOUR WORLDVIEW? I am going to tell you about mine next time..
Have a great day!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Nuclear Fission

If the nucleus splits, there is nuclear fission. 20% of electric energy in the United States is generated by nuclear fission reactors. The main problem of fission power is the generation of radioactive waste products. According to Hewitt (2008), nuclear fission power plants operating around the world today are safe. The water in contact with the fuel rods is completely contained and radioactive materials are not involved directly in the generation of electricity (p. 325). Because the U-325 isotopes are so highly diluted with U-238, an explosion like that of a nuclear bomb is not possible.



The radiation from a nuclear power plant consists of subatomic particles traveling at or near the velocity of light. They can penetrate deep inside the human body where they can damage biological cells and thereby initiate cancer.

Radiation is indeed everywhere but only lethal doses of radiation of 500 rems can kill a person. However, 80% of radiation comes from natural sources, such a cosmic rays and Earth itself. The human body is a significant source of natural radiation, primarily from the potassium we ingest (Hewitt, 2008, p. 315). But the good news is that our cells repair most kinds of molecular damage caused by radiation if the radiation is not too severe.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

2012 READING LIST


"Lighting a Pathway to the Future"                                                June 2012


Dear Parents,

I am  inviting students to engage in reading experiences that will provide them with a firm foundation for the 2012-2013 school year.

There is no question that one of the most valuable components to your student's academic success is reading. Students who are strong, avid readers are generally good students and competent test-takers. Mrs. Ferdjani is committed to doing all she can to develop her students’ reading skills and help them discover the life-long pleasure reading can bring to their lives.

Each student in grade 6 – 11 is required to read a total of three books during their summer break.

Students and parents are required to sign the honour statement at the bottom of each report to receive credit for the summaries.

Students and parents are encouraged to establish individual reading goals to aid students in their time management. Both reports, with signatures, will be due the first week of school.

The success of any program is the direct result of parental support and involvement.

I encourage you to look over the book list and help your child get started on their summer reading in July. I realize this program requires extra effort from both you and your child. It is just such effort that will reap academic benefits in the life of your student.

I look forward to the continued partnering with you in this effort to help your student reach his/her given potential.

Sincerely,

Students will be expected to turn in their 3 summer reading reports/forms during the first week of school, Sept. 10-12.

List of Books



1.     My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

2.     A Thousand Never Evers by Burg Shana

3.     Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Stone Tanya Lee

4.     Counting on Grace by Winthrop Elizabeth

5.     Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

6.     Lay that Trumpet in Our Hands by Susan McCarthy

7.     Tangerine by Edward Bloor

8.     The Secret Life of Bees by Kidd, Sue Monk

9.     Buddha Boy by Koja Kathe

10.                       HOOP DREAMS: A TRUE STORY OF HARDSHIP AND TRIUMPH BY BEN JORAVSKY

11.                       The Joy Luck Club by Tan Amy

12.                       And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

13.                       On The Devil's Court by Deuker Carl

14.                       Rebecca by DuMaurier Daphne

15.                       Beanball by Fehler Gene

16.                       The Greatest Muhammad Ali by Myers Walter Dean

17.                       Sunrise over Fallujah by Myers Walter Dean

18.                       Begging for Change by Sharon G. Flake

19.                       Chains by Anderson Laurie Halse

20.                       The Keepers' Tattoo by Arbuthnott Gill

21.                       The Guinea Pig Scientists : Bold Self-Experimenters in Science and Medicine by Dendy Leslie .A

22.                       Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Dionne Erin

23.                       The Hound of the Baskervilles by Doyle Arthur Conan Sir

24.                       Fire from the Rock by Draper Sharon M.

25.                       The Red Necklace : A Story of the French Revolution  by Gardner Sally

26.                       Once by Gleitzman Morris

27.                       The Absolute True Diary of a Part -Time Indian by Alexie Sherman

28.                       Thirteen reasons Why: A Novel by Asher Jay

29.                       Proof: A Play by Auburn David

30.                       Charles and Emma : The Darwin's Leap of  Faith by Heiligman Deborah

31.                       The HouseKeeper and the Professor by Ogawa Yoko

32.                       A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Beah Ishmael

33.                       Zeitoun by Eggers Dave

34.                       City of Veils by Ferraris Zoe

35.                       Fall of Giants by Follett Ken

36.                       Chronicle of Death Foretold by Garcia Marquez Gabriel

37.                       A Thousand Splendid Suns by Hosseini Khaled

38.                       Unaccustomed Earth by Lahiri Jhumpa

39.                       Atonement : A Novel by McEwan Ian

40.                       Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin by Sides Hampton

41.                       The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Skloot  Rebecca

42.                       The Book Thief  by Zusak Markus

43.                       Cutting for Stone by Verghese Abraham
STUDENT READING FORM (Three Books)

TITLE:_____________________________________ NUMBER OF PAGES:________

AUTHOR: _________________________________



1. Summarize the story (plot) in one or two paragraphs (100 words minimum).



2. What is the theme or purpose of the book? In one or two sentences discuss the main point (lesson, moral) of the book.



STUDENT:_______________________________ DATE:________________________



PARENT:________________________________ DATE:________________________












Sunday, 29 April 2012

Why should I care about malaria? Radio Public Service Announcement

In the time it takes to read my speech on your radio station, a child will die of a preventable disease called malaria.

Malaria is caused by a microscopic parasite that lives in the stomach and saliva of certain mosquitoes. After an infected mosquito bites someone, the tiny parasites can enter the person’s bloodstream. Within two weeks the person gets sick, with symptoms that resemble a cold at first but can lead to death.

Today, my niece would have celebrated her 30th birthday if she had not died of malaria in Niger. My sister-in-law lost her baby because of malaria. Malaria is a leading killer of children under 5 in Africa. In fact, an African child dies from malaria every 30 seconds.

Malaria kills more than 1 million people every year and each year between 350 million and 500 million people are infected with malaria.

Yet these deaths are preventable, and malaria is treatable!

Malaria is preventable. The easiest and cheapest way to prevent malaria infection is through the use of long-lasting insecticide treated bed-nets (LLINs) which can last up to five years. Bed nets create a protective barrier against mosquitoes. They prevent mosquitoes from biting at night, when the risk is highest.

The nets prevent mosquitoes from biting, and also kill mosquitoes that land on the nets. Let us not forget that a bed net can cover more than one person and can last up to five years. For 10$, we can provide a bed net and the training to go with it. 


Malaria costs Africa at least $12 billion in lost annual GDP. Therefore, if we prevent malaria infection, this money can be used to promote education and school meals in primary schools. 

Malaria can be prevented and treated through a comprehensive approach that involves long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets, eliminating mosquito breeding areas, selective indoor residual spraying, medicines for treatment, and education. This similar approach had been used by the U.S.A and Panama and it worked. Both countries have eradicated malaria from their land!

Malaria is a resilient foe that continues to kill our children and adults in Africa.

By working together, we can make a difference and we can save lives. Governments, individuals, and different funders of malaria operations in Africa must continue to work closely in order to fight malaria and to eradicate malaria. If we all stay united against malaria, we will win the fight!

Let us not forget that 40% of health resources are used to treat malaria and malaria costs Africa $12 billion annually. Almost 2000 people die in Africa daily from malaria and children under 5 account for 85% of malaria deaths.

Every 45 seconds, a child dies of malaria! It is not acceptable! For just 10$, you and I can provide a life-saving mosquito net to a child at risk, protecting that child from contracting malaria for up to five years.  Remember! Malaria is preventable and treatable.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

WHY MALARIA IS AN IMPORTANT AND URGENT ISSUE ?

WHY MALARIA IS AN IMPORTANT AND URGENT ISSUE ?

•    91% of all Malaria deaths occur in Africa
•    85% of malaria victims are young children in Africa
•    Malaria can account for up to 40% of public health expenditures
•    Fighting malaria is key to improving maternal and child health
•    There are 247,000,000 annual cases of malaria worldwide
•    Every 45 seconds a child dies of malaria
•    Trials of insecticide-treated mosquito nets have found that they reduce child mortality by 20%
•    Mosquito nets are highly cost-effective, as cost-effective as measles immunization
•    Malaria No More has distributed 2.6 million mosquito nets in 13 African countries to cover over 5,000,000 people
•    Malaria No More stands as a case study of how aid can change
•    Malaria costs Africa at least $12 billion in lost annual GDP
•    Malaria affects 5 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals
•    In 11 African countries, childhood mosquito net use has increased 10x in the past decade

Letter to Members of Congress Urging them to take interest and action on MALARIA

I am the mother of two boys (21 and 17) and I live in Cotonou, Republic of Benin (West Africa). I am a middle school and a high school teacher at the English International School.

I am enrolled in the Malaria Griots Project launched by One. The spring 2012 group of Griots is one of the most diverse groups we have ever had with passionate advocates from all around the world and we are committing to be One voice to make MALARIA NO MORE!

I am writing to urge you to support the progress which has been made in the fight against malaria. 


As President George W. Bush stated in 2007 proclaiming April 25th as World Malaria day, “as a compassionate nation, we are called to spread awareness about malaria…and we are called to act. That’s what compassionate people do. When they see a problem, they act.” 


As president Obama stated before the Ghanian Parliament, “We are called to act by our conscience but also by our common interest, because when a child dies of a preventable disease in Accra, that diminishes us everywhere. And when disease goes unchecked in any corner of the world, we know that it can spread across oceans and continents.”

Under the National Malaria Eradication Program, malaria was eliminated from the United States in 1951. If we get the necessary help from the U.S, similar success can be achieved in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to Dr. David Bowen, CEO of Malaria No More, malaria must be eradicated in Africa for the following reasons: (1) Malaria hurts macroeconomic growth in Africa; (2) Malaria is imposing costs on families that are already living on the very edge of survival; (3) Malaria negatively impacts childhood cognitive development.

We must tell the U.S. Government that saving lives from malaria is their priority just as the President’s Malaria Initiative was started by George W. Bush in 2005 to protect women and children in Africa
form malaria.

We must tell congress that malaria kills and that simple actions like nets can save lives!

I know you share my desire to help end malaria in the world. I am writing to urge you to take action and not to cut the international programs that fight malaria in the fiscal year 2012 budget.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

WHAT will end Malaria deaths?

Trying to eradicate malaria may be less beneficial than trying to control it! It is indeed important for the U.S. to invest in malaria control because “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

Today’s best weapon against malaria is the mosquito nets! Long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets last up to five years and act as a first line of defense. The mosquito nets create a barrier against mosquitoes at night and they also kill the mosquito on contact.

Long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets (LLINs) are the fastest way to prevent malaria infection. In the war against malaria, the U.S. must invest in foreign aid which will help African countries to spread insecticide treated nets.

Malaria killed 655,000 people in 2010. Ninety-one percent of malaria-related deaths occur in Africa, the majority of whom are children under 5 years of age. Most of these deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa, and in areas of high malaria risk, there are an average of two malaria-related deaths per minute. 

 Malaria costs Africa $12 billion annually and in Africa, 40% of health resources are used to treat malaria! In the 21st century, malaria is not acceptable! We must work together in order to control the disease. 


It takes more than a village to fight malaria! Ending deaths malaria requires the following: U.S. foreign aid, African governments being more responsible, the NGOs, and individuals, like you and me, to educate families and communities about the effectiveness of distributing nets. 

Education is the key to prevention! We must educate people about how to use the nets and why the nets work and how to follow up to make sure the nets have been correctly installed.

To fight malaria, we need insecticide-treated nets because we all know how mosquito netting treated with insecticide is aiding the battle against malaria!

Malaria is one of the world's most demanding public health problems. It kills around 1 million people a year and of an estimated 247 million cases of malaria in 2006, 86 percent were in Africa. Therefore, we need all the help we can get in order eliminate this elusive and ever changing killer disease from our ancient African nation!

According to Pedro Alonso, from the University of Barcelona, who led a study using data from 8,000 children and infants in Tanzania, Mozambique, Gabon and Ghana, "controlling malaria is not about using one tool or another," he said. "It is about using all the tools that we have now, and new tools that we can develop, to reduce the intolerable burden of this disease."

According to David Schellenberg of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, “insecticide-treated mosquito nets were a mainstay of prevention.”

Separately, the U.S. Academy for Educational Development reported  that a 10-year-long U.S. government funded mosquito net project in Africa had helped deliver 50 million bed nets to people in seven countries for free or at partial cost. The project had also created enough incentives for private companies to decide to invest $88 million to expand their mosquito net businesses.

Mosquito netting is one of the safest and simplest ways to avoid this dangerous disease, malaria! It is said that Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, slept under a mosquito net. There is no doubt that mosquito nets are an important part of malaria prevention and as we said earlier, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Therefore, we need to put all our efforts on spreading mosquito nets around regions which suffer from this killer disease. If we educate people about the importance of bed nets, we can get rid of half the malaria deaths in Africa. We must reduce malaria by distributing long-lasting insecticide-insecticide treated nets.

According to the World Health Organization, insecticide-treated mosquito nets can reduce malaria infections by about 50 percent and cut child deaths from the disease by about 20 percent. The nets are effective because malaria-transmitting mosquitoes in Africa are generally active at night.

We must never forget that malaria causes more than a million deaths a year and kills an African child every 30 seconds!

UNICEF: Malaria testing and treatment in Ethiopia

"JANGWA, Ethiopia, 25 November 2009 A steady flow of parents and children make their way to the Jangwa Health Post in Dembia District, seeking treatment for malaria. The rainy season has recently ended, creating ideal breeding conditions for malaria-bearing mosquitoes here in Ethiopias Amhara region.

Two health extension workers, Mantegbosh and Alemtsehay, sit outside the wattle-and-daub health post, testing villagers for the Falciparum plasmodium, a dangerous strain of malaria found in Ethiopia. They use UNICEF-supplied rapid diagnostic test kits and treat their patients with drugs supplied by UNICEF.

In partnership with members of the Roll Back Malaria initiative, UNICEF has been working with the Government of Ethiopia to cut malarial morbidity and mortality in half by 2010, and another 50 per cent by 2015.

Since 2005, UNICEF Ethiopia has helped to distribute about 20 million insecticide-treated bed nets in malaria prone-districts such as Dembia. Health extension workers make sure that the nets are used properly and that stagnant pools, where mosquitoes breed, are drained."

Dr. Loucq of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative discusses creating a vaccine and fighting this disease.

Part two of Tim Ziemer of the President's Malaria Initiative.

President's Malaria Initiative Coordinator, Admiral Tim Ziemer discusses fighting malaria Admiral Tim Ziemer Part 1

Monday, 2 April 2012

Sustainable Development

Growing populations and industrialization have made environmental pollution a big problem around the world!

In this picture, you can see a "gohoto" woman who goes door-to-door buying plastic bottles and all kind of containers to recycle them. In Rep of Benin, we have thousands of women who do this recycling job.

Cleaning up the trash of a "throw away," consumer society, in addition to its industrial waste, is technologically challenging! 

As I told my students, environmental degradation is not unique to the 21st century. 

The Roman Empire, for example, deforested large expanses of Africa and western Asia, and later Westerners have decimated or eliminated countless animals and plant species! 

The Thames River, which intersects London, was used as the main sewage dump for one of the largest cities in the world! The stench from the river was so terrible that members of Parliament could smell the pollution from their open windows!

In the mid-twentieth century, the river emptying into Lake Erie from Cleveland, Ohio, was so polluted from industrial waste that it actually caught fire!!

Driven by poverty many poor countries in the poor South have accepted chemical and industries that have not been accepted in the rich northern nations.

We must call for stricter regulations or the outright banning of such operations! 

Risks of long-term health problems and pollution or starvation of our families....are these the only choices left..

A poor South which already struggles with rapid population growth, high unemployment, and the need for EDUCATION, people fleeing the countryside in search of a greener side, in search of better lives in urban areas, or emigrate,....often illegally to seek jobs...

We need to find solutions to our environmental problems. We need to adopt a national system of soil and water conservation!! 


We need to fight for environmental protection, poverty reduction and human development. We need to mobilize the students worldwide on issues of sustainable development.

Monday, 5 March 2012

EMPATHY To Understand is to forgive

Empathy: the ability to get inside another person's feelings and worldview


Empathy is a form of insight because it involves the ability to get beyond weird opinions or people to find what is meaningful in them.

Thomas Kuhn said that intellectual empathy is essential if "we are to make sense of ideas that we too quickly reject because of our own assumptions."

Students have to learn how to open-mindedly embrace ideas, experiences, and stories that might seem strange! They need to see how habit can block our understanding of another person's understanding!

Empathy, the ability to walk in another's shoes, to leave one's own responses so as to grasp another's, try to understand another student, people, culture......empathy

To detach ourselves...to see more objectively....Empathy is the act to trying to find what is sensible, meaningful in the actions of others....even if these ideas are puzzling...odd...or alien...

Empathy requires respect for people different from ourselves! to be open-minded, respect their point of view, develop historical empathy for people living at different places and times.

UNDERSTANDING

John Passmore said, "There are many different ways of understanding, overlapping but not reducible to one another and, correspondingly, many different ways of teaching to understand." (The philosophy of Teaching. 1982, p. 210)


 You only understand a topic if you can teach it, use it, prove it, connect it, explain it defend it and read between the lines!

Piaget wryly noted years ago that egocentric persons have only one point of view, theirs! 

Unfortunately, most often we can hear this sentence which says, "You just don't understand." 

When we truly understand, 
  • we can explain
  • we can interpret
  • we can apply
  • we have perspective (can see and hear points of view through critical eyes and ears!)
  • we can see the big picture
  • we can empathize
  • have self-knowledge
We must be able to perceive prejudices, projections, and habits of mind that both shape and impede our own understanding!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

To understand something is to see it in its relations to other things!

Indeed, to understand something is to see it in its relations to other things! How does it operates? How does it function? What consequences follow from it? What causes it?



We need to go beyond the information given to make inferences, connections, and associations!

A middle school student who can explain why steam, water, and ice, though superficially different, are the same chemical substance has a better understanding of H2O than someone who cannot!

Students should be able to transfer their abstract knowledge into giving good accounts that provide a useful framework, logic, and telling evidence to support claims!

Understanding is thus not mere knowledge of facts but inference about why and how, with specific evidence and logic, insightful connections.