A few years ago, I walked into a university to find several posters of my face. That was disconcerting enough. But it was advertising a graduate scheme for a science teacher – and I am a citizenship teacher. I made inquiries, and was told a focus group had suggested a female teacher was needed for the campaign to "break stereotypes" about scientists. The organiser quipped: "I think your being blonde was a bonus." This event came to mind last week when reading yet another story about girls' collective failure to study physics at the same rate as boys. The schools minister, Liz Truss, has lamented this fact in many of her recent speeches. Her facts are stark: only a quarter of A-level physics students are female. And while half of all boys who receive an A* in GCSE physics continue to study the subject to 18, for girls that figure is less than one in five. Like the university tutors who thought sticking a blonde woman on a science poster would somehow resolve gender disparities, … [Read more...] about Why do we worry that few girls take physics, but not that boys make up just 29% of English A-level students?
brexit countdown_bg Created with Sketch. Boris Johnson received a major boost over his highly controversial decision to shut down Parliament ahead of Brexit today as senior judges said it could not be legally challenged. After the Prime Minister's divisive move to prorogue the Commons for five weeks, sparking Remainer uproar, was deemed illegal by judges in Scotland, the High Court in London revealed that it viewed the situation completely differently. In giving their reasons for throwing out a case brought by Remainer businesswoman Gina Miller, justices in London said the decision which closed down parliament on Monday was 'purely political' and therefore 'not a matter for the courts'. The ruling will calm Brexiteer nerves ahead of a dramatic legal showdown at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, where the UK's highest legal authority will have to decide which judicial decision is the right one. Ms Miller's claim - which was supported by former prime minister Sir John Major, … [Read more...] about Boost for Boris Johnson as ENGLISH judges say PM’s Parliament shutdown CANNOT be legally challenged – hours after it was deemed illegal by Scottish court
A visit to Stamford Bridge, the home of Premier League side Chelsea, is no different to a visit to any other football stadium in England's top flight. On match days, Fulham Road is lined with stands selling overpriced street food, half-and-half matchday scarves and other unofficial merchandise while the modern-looking bars and pubs outside the underground station serve flat beer in plastic glasses. Stamford Bridge itself, located on the same patch of ground in wealthy Fulham since the 19th century, is now a modern, all-seater stadium where matches are preceded by booming music and a light show. The crowd is also made up predominantly of a similar demographic to that found at most other Premier League stadiums across London, and indeed in other English cities – middle-aged, middle-class and increasingly well-off. Prices range from £36 to £65 ($47-$85) for the cheapest members' tickets at the least popular Category B matches. It's a far cry from the Stamford … [Read more...] about Chelsea fans’ racist behavior highlights underlying problem in English football
US Ambassador Peter Barlerin on Friday called for dialogue to end an 18-month separatist crisis in Cameroon's English-speaking regions. The rebels want to turn the areas in the northwest and southwest of the country into an independent nation named Ambazonia. Barlerin called on both sides of the conflict to stop the violence immediately. He said the month of April had proven the bloodiest so things are not getting better. "On the side of the government, there have been targeted killings, detentions without access to legal support, family, or the Red Cross, and burning and looting of villages," Barlerin said in a press statement following a meeting with Cameroon's President Paul Biya on Thursday. "On the side of the separatists, there have been murders of gendarmes, kidnapping of government officials, and burning of schools. People on both sides of the conflict have engaged in speech that dehumanizes the opposite side." As a first step, Barlerin suggested that both … [Read more...] about US accuses Cameroon of ‘targeted killings’ against English-speaking separatists
A court in Cameroon has sentenced seven activists from the country's Anglophone minority to 10 to 15 years in jail on terrorism and rebellion charges, a defense lawyer said on Friday. Among those charged was Mancho Bibixy, a radio presenter in the English-speaking Northwest Region. Bibixy was handed a 15-year prison term for "acts of terrorism, hostility against the homeland, secession, revolution and insurrection." Bibixy and fellow activists were arrested last year as part of a crackdown on an Anglophone independence movement by President Paul Biya's French-speaking government. Bibixy's lawyer, Claude Assira, said the convictions "would only worsen the... Anglophone crisis." 'Targeted killings' The convictions come a week after the US ambassador to Cameroon, Peter Barlerin, accused government forces of "targeted killings, arson and looting" in the fight against Anglophone separatists. He called for a dialogue to end the 18-month separatist crisis in the country's English-speaking … [Read more...] about Cameroon jails English-speaking activists on terrorism charges