Cocktail lounge, Norway:
LADIES ARE REQUESTED NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN IN THE BAR.
Doctor's office, Rome:
SPECIALIST IN WOMEN AND OTHER DISEASES.
Dry cleaners, Bangkok:
DROP YOUR TROUSERS HERE FOR THE BEST RESULTS.
In a Nairobi restaurant:
CUSTOMERS WHO FIND OUR WAITRESSES RUDE OUGHT TO SEE THE MANAGER.
On the main road to Mombasa, leaving Nairobi:
TAKE NOTICE: WHEN THIS SIGN IS UNDER WATER, THIS ROAD IS IMPASSABLE.
On a poster at Kenco:
ARE YOU AN ADULT THAT CANNOT READ? IF SO, WE CAN HELP.
In a City restaurant:
OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK AND WEEKENDS.
In a cemetery:
PERSONS ARE PROHIBITED FROM PICKING FLOWERS FROM ANY BUT THEIR OWN GRAVES.
Tokyo hotel's rules and regulations:
GUESTS ARE REQUESTED NOT TO SMOKE OR DO OTHER DISGUSTING BEHAVIOURS IN BED.
On the menu of a Swiss restaurant:
OUR WINES LEAVE YOU NOTHING TO HOPE FOR.
YOU ARE INVITED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE CHAMBERMAID.
In the lobby of a Moscow hotel, across from a Russian Orthodox monastery:
YOU ARE WELCOME TO VISIT THE CEMETERY WHERE FAMOUS RUSSIAN AND SOVIET COMPOSERS, ARTISTS, AND WRITERS ARE BURIED DAILY EXCEPT THURSDAY.
A sign posted in Germany's Black Forest:
IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN ON OUR BLACK FOREST CAMPING SITE THAT PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT SEX, FOR INSTANCE, MEN AND WOMEN, LIVE TOGETHER IN ONE TENT UNLESS THEY ARE MARRIED WITH EACH OTHER FOR THIS PURPOSE.
BECAUSE OF THE IMPROPRIETY OF ENTERTAINING GUESTS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX IN THE BEDROOM, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE LOBBY BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE.
Advertisement for donkey rides, Thailand:
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RIDE ON YOUR OWN ASS?
Airline ticket office, Copenhagen:
WE TAKE YOUR BAGS AND SEND THEM IN ALL DIRECTIONS.
A laundry in Rome:
LADIES, LEAVE YOUR CLOTHES HERE AND SPEND THE AFTERNOON HAVING A GOOD TIME
Monday, April 30, 2012
Cocktail lounge, Norway:
It is understandable that we have become cynical when it comes to dealing with taxi drivers. When we flag them, we expect them to be surly or to refuse to take us in if our destination happens to deviate from whatever route they seemed to have made up for themselves. We expect them to fleece us with some sob story or even bore or annoy us with their endless chatter about politics or their twisted take on current events.
In an ironic and historic twist, the trade union movement and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which normally do not see eye to eye on development issues, suddenly found themselves united on one: reversing the industrial hollowing out of the Philippine economy. The ADB wrote that the Philippines has an ampaw economy whose growth cannot be sustained unless its eroded industrial base is rebuilt and fortified. The ADB study, aptly titled “Taking the Right Road to Inclusive Growth: Industrial Upgrading and Diversification in the Philippines (2012),} has been circulated in the business community and members of the Cabinet.
The Philippine civil society movement has long been denouncing the jobless and industry-less growth pattern under three decades of aimless economic liberalization and globalization. What is new is the bold admission by the ADB that growth has indeed been jobless and industry-less in the last three decades, from the 1980s up to the present. The share of manufacturing in total employment has gone down from 12% in the 1960s to roughly 8% today. In contrast, manufacturing in our ASEAN neighbors such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia accounts for between 28 and 35% of total employment; China and the NICs have, of course, higher manufacturing employment. The author of the ADB report, Norio Usui, also wrote that the Philippines was a leader in industrial dynamism in Asia in the 1950s and 1960s; yet today, it is an industrial laggard in the region.
To Rivera: What an uneducated and illiterate president can do for his country
A 12-year old shoeshine boy from a family of uneducated illiterates rises to be president. Read what happened to a country led by such a person. Whether one learns to read at 10, 12 or 14 is really irrelevant if one is so poor he has no access to books.
Here is a film biography of Luis Inacio Lula Da Silva. View it and understand the person we are talking about. http://film-forward.com/
Then look at the Philippines. Look at all the UP, La Salle, Assumption, San Beda and Ateneo graduates who became presidents, vice presidents, senators, congressmen and governors. To a man all these educated SOBs turned out to be big-time crooks.
Rivera wants more of these educated big-time crooks to lead the country. How many more of them does he need before he can decide to try something else?
I want one honest, intelligent, illiterate, uneducated person with his heart and soul in the right place. One such person connected to the poor. I want that one person to be president. Just one. He will change the landscape completely just as Lula did in Brazil.
14 - April - 2007 |
In last years Brazil has strongly gone for hunger reduction and equal access to education for millions of citizens. All these advances result from “Zero Hunger” the social strategy of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The program was advanced in 2003 when Lula became President and since then it has been promoted as an initiative that should be followed by other countries. Notwithstanding the program, still a long way to go to resolve the oldest drama of the most populated country in Latin America.
In 1900, Brazilian population was 17,4 million and the illiteracy rate was 65,1%; infant mortality was 162,4 deaths/1000 live births; life expectancy was 33,6 years old and the average income was 516 reals (around 186 euros). 105 years later, in 2005, Brazil has more than 180 million inhabitants, illiteracy is 11,8%; life expectancy has risen to 71,3 years old; infant mortality is 27,5 deaths/1000 live births; and the average income is more than 8,000 reals (around 2,800 euros). How these advances have been possible?
This amazing evolution is explained by the advance in education. In Brazil education is not restricted to elite thus it has been an “almost universalization” of primary education. In 1940 just 21% young people aged from 7 to 14 were regularly enrolled, in 2004 almost 98% were in classrooms.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showed that in 2005 Brazil invested nearly 6% of GDP in education; this rate is similar to France, Switzerland and Germany. In proportion to economy, 1 real out of 16 is invested in education.
Therefore…Can we put Brazil on a par with any other developed country regarding social policies?
These surprising advances are the result of the social strategy implemented by Brazilian Government in 2003. President Luis Inazio Lula da Silva went for hunger reduction and equal education access. Thus he started the “Family Grant” program included into “Zero Hunger” initiative. As well as providing food for 750,000 families the program includes proposals for mass literacy, profession training and structures for the poorest citizens.
The illiteracy plan has reached 20.000.000 Brazilians and its main target is to eliminate hunger and illiteracy in Brazil in 4 years and to establish a basis for reducing inequality.
The “Family Grant” program provides 540 dollars a year to each family (around 45 dollars a month). In exchange families must commit to some Government conditions. The first one is sending all children to school, especially the ones aged from 9 to 15. The second one is there should not be any illiterate in any family. Thus, the Government runs free literacy courses available for all citizens –for all age groups-. The third one establishes that parents should follow a health program that includes vaccines, antenatal and postnatal care for mothers and babies.
The “Bolsa-Escola”, a very effective initiative
The “Bolsa-Escola” is a simple idea that protects the future of Brazil through the protection of children’ present. It places children in schools instead of streets or working. The starting point is the urgent need to solve the problem of abandoned children, it is based on a simple idea: “children do not study because their families are poor therefore we pay families for children to study”. Thus, at the same time that families get incomes, children and parents are better fed resulting in a local economic dynamics and children are kept in schools.
This idea was first implemented in 1995 in Brasilia and it was spread to other cities and countries. Since 1997 the program is being implemented in Mexico, in Brazil since 2001 and it will be developed in Bolivia. In other Latin American countries the program operates at local level. The program has been successful because around 20 million children have benefited from it.
This initiative has been supported by international entities such as the World Bank, IDB UNESCO, UNICEF, ILO and the General Secretary of the UN. There is no doubt that the “Bolsa-Escola” is becoming a world program and in a few years it could change the reality of poor, abandoned or working children.
The immense value of education
According to the Spanish Royal Academy of Language “education” is the bidirectional process for transmitting knowledge, values, costumes and ways of acting. Education not only occurs through words but it goes further and it is present in all our actions, feelings and attitudes.
But we should not forget that education has a major meaning because it is a fundamental right recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989); it is the most ratified human right in history. Thus, education is an international responsibility shared and recognized as engine for human development because it allows citizens to participate in public life and to defend their opinions and rights.
Wealth is not only material but cultural, linguistic or ecological, likewise development should go further. Education is the bridge bringing people from different cultures together and it is also the way towards sustainable human development.
An example of the immense value of education is Germany. After the Second World War this country was completely destroyed. Just a strong bid for education together with a fighter population made this country become developed in the medium term.
The world situation of education:
Think about these hair-raising data:
Many international organisms such as the World Bank have demonstrated that progress is not possible without investment in children. It is demonstrated that the main key to overcome the poverty vicious circle is the access to education. Countries that have worried about education, health and nutrition have developed. Population less than 16 years old is 16% of world population. For these reasons education is very valuable therefore it should be a prime issue in the governments and main international organizations agenda.
Literacy is not only a matter of children…
Around 870 million adults do not know how to read and write; two thirds are women. Moreover, there are 115 million illiterate children two out of three are girls. These frightening data made the UN organize the World Education Forum in Dakar (2000) and they named the following 10 years “Literacy Decade”. In the same Forum held in Jomtien (Thailand) in 1990 a deadline for world primary literacy was established. But due to the fact that this target was not achieved, 2015 was the new deadline.
Currently there is no hope to think this target will be achieved. According to UNESCO estimates adult illiterate population will be around 830 million in 2010. In other words, one out of six humans will not write or read. By then 75 million children will be still illiterate and three out of four will be African.
Education is not seen as important “investment” yet in many countries. However, it is proved that education is the first arm to fight poverty and the fundamental key to develop. General illiteracy is an obstacle for the progress of undeveloped countries.
There are 870 million illiterates in the world; 860 million live in poor countries; 70% are women. Poverty spiral condemns 125 million children to be out of the schools because they have to work all day; 150 million children leave the school before finishing primary education.
The situation of education in Latin America
The main task and maybe the most urgent one of Latin American Governments is literacy because in that region there are 43 million illiterates. To do so they have to increase public spending as well as improve labour conditions and teacher professionalism.
The situation of education in Latina American countries has been analyzed in “The Subregional report on Latin America: Education for all Assessment 2000” made by the UN. This paper shows the apparent and hidden areas of such situation. The report states that there are not alarming problems regarding gender problems in access to education and illiteracy has been reduced in all Latin American countries. But behind these positive data there is a less encouraging reality because there are 43 million illiterate citizens in all Latin America. The report states that this illiterate population is above 24 years old in indigenous communities, rural areas and urban poor areas. These data points out the existence of an important problem of unequal opportunities and it shows that adult education has not been a high-priority target in national policies, likewise primary education programs and programs oriented to disable people.
To conclude, “Education for all” pointed that Latin American governments have done an attempt to extend primary education; despite they have not universalize it, primary education rate has increase to 85%. This figure is not bad but effectiveness and permanence of children in classrooms is still an important challenge because many children in the fourth academic year have real problems to understand simple readings and to do basic calculations.
In the last years, the education projects of several NGOs have played an important role due to their direct knowledge of the situation. “Teachers without Barriers” implements programs in seven Latin American countries to facilitate the access to education to children from rural areas, evening classes for working children and parents’ commitment to keeping children at schools. Apart from this important NGOs labour, national governments and international organisms should be more committed to fostering education. The future and decent life of millions of people depend on it.