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The War of Civilizations: Back to the Future (B)

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There is also a confusing reality: the free world cannot comprehend culturally and internalize politically the contemporary Arab-Islamic strategy, just because we are encountered by their personality paradox with its contradictory faces: on the one hand, a sense of inferiority, flattering and victimology, and an externalized brutal aggressiveness, on the other.

Two Arab sayings represent accurately this double-faced behavior, the duality of Arab-Islamic aggressiveness as compared to their perceived victimhood: a) Darabni wabaka’ sabakani washtka (he hit and cried out, he overtook me and grumbled); b) Bûs Yad ‘Adûwak Idha Kāna Akwa Minak wa-Iqta’a Yadu Lamma Takûn Aqwa Minhu (Kiss the hand of your enemy when he is stronger than you, and cut it off when you become stronger). If we understand, better internalize, these two proverbs, we have a good starter to understand Arab-Islamic political culture.

Why do so many people pretend not to know what they should know about Islam and its unique role in the world terrorism and violence today? Why do so many smear those who speak the truth about this religion and its devout followers? Why do so many ignore the fact that although other religions involve barbaric commandments, none motivates large numbers of its followers to commit atrocities the way Islam does today? We can only speculate on this count. However, just as we have a moral responsibility not only to judge Nazism and its practitioners as evil, and also to judge those who whitewash them as evil; so too we have a moral responsibility not only to judge Islam and its serious cruel practitioners as evil. People who knowingly whitewash evil are by that fact and to that extent evil.

To paraphrase Daniel Greenfield’s “Schrodinger’s Jihad,” the great paradox of the War on Terror is that we are fighting an enemy that does not exist. We are told incessantly by political leaders, academic experts and the media that there is no such thing as Muslim terrorism. There may be a tiny minority of violent extremists, but they are only weeds, a tiny minority of no importance whatsoever. We are told that this tiny minority is no way representative of the world’s billion and a half Muslims. We are told that Islam is a religion of peace and it absolutely against all these atrocities done by the tiny of weeds. Everything we have been told is obviously a lie. And the best evidence comes from the liars themselves. The media is howling that a bunch of cartoonists in Texas were irresponsible for sketching Islam’s dead warlord because they should have known that Muslim terrorists would come to kill them for it. But if the media is right and Islam is a religion of peace, then why should they have anticipated a terrorist attack?

What keeps the lie alive is another paradox. Call it Schrödinger’s Jihad. The more famous Schrödinger’s Cat is a paradox in which a cat in a sealed box with poison that has a 50 percent chance of being released is in an indeterminate state. It is neither dead nor alive until someone opens the box. In Schrödinger’s Jihad, the Muslim terrorist is in an indeterminate state until some Western observer opens the box, collapses his wave function and radicalizes him.

Every Muslim is both a peaceful spiritual person who is eager to embrace our way of life, and at the same time a violent killer who can be set off by the slightest offense. Like the cat in the box that is neither dead nor alive, he is both violent and peaceful, moderate and extremist, a solid citizen and a terrorist. He does not choose which of these to be or to become; we decide what he will be. The Jihadist paradox is that the Muslim terrorist is always defined by what we do, not by what he does. Islamic terrorism does not exist independently of the Western observer. It is not a Jihad with deep historical and theological roots within Islam, but a reaction to our interactions with Muslims.

Leaders believe that even talking about Islamic terrorism ‘summons’ them to being. By admitting the existence of Islamic terrorists, we ‘radicalize’ the Muslims and create terrorists who otherwise would not exist. The real threat is not from the terrorists, it is from the truth. When we tell the truth, people die. The truth turns Muslims into terrorists while the lies soothe them back into non-existence. Underneath all the academic terminology is the dream logic of wishful thinking. If we believe that Islam is a religion of peace, it will be a peaceful religion, and if we accept the reality that it is violent, then it will become violent. Islam does not define itself. We define it however we want. Our entire counterterrorism policy is based around the perverse ostrich belief that Islamic terrorism is a problem that we create by recognizing its existence. If we ignore it, it will go away.

The lies about Islam are sustained by a deep conviction among so-called liberals that the “Other” minorities are not real people with real beliefs and cultures, but victims in a game of power played out in the West. Islamic terrorism is just another step in the progressive pilgrim’s progress. It’s a problem that we caused and need to atone for in our cosmic karmic journey.

The Schrödinger’s Jihad paradox has many other adjoining boxes. Some are filled with dictators and criminals. If the progressive observer can open the box and find the root cause, out comes a good person; if the right opens the box, then out will march the terrorists, drug dealers and warlords. The other side of the rhetoric about oppression and colonization is the conviction that those at the bottom do not have free will. If the mugger chooses to mug, rather than being driven to it by poverty, if Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union gleefully chose conquest instead of being forced to it by Western imperialism, and if the Muslim terrorist is not a helpless victim, but an abuser, then the moral imperative of the left’s worldview collapses in a heap.

If Muslims are real people who are at least as capable of imperialism, racism, slavery and destroying the planet as any Westerner, and who have been doing all of these things a lot longer, then leftists would have to accept that they are tearing down the most progressive civilization on the planet on behalf of ridiculously reactionary civilizations.

The facts are crystal clear: Islam is the embodiment of imperialism and colonialism, by brutally implementing Arabization and Islamization of all the occupied territories from Morocco to North-Western China; Islam is the embodiment of racism, the way it treats the indigenous blacks and religious and ethnic minorities that have become an extinct species in their own territories; Islam is the embodiment of slavery ever in history (see: M A Khan, Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of forced conversion, Imperialism and Slavery in India. Willis, Slaves and Slavery in Muslim Africa. Fisher, Slavery in the History of Muslim Black Africa). Islam ran the wholesale slave-trade in Africa, and the data is horrible: for 25 million black slaves delivered to the markets, an estimated of about 120 million blacks were dead (Peter Hammond, Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical roots and contemporary Threats.). 80 million Hindus and Buddhists were butchered in India, Turkey, Afghanistan, and along the Silk Route. Slavery and slave trade is still practiced openly in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi-Arabia, the Gulf States, Morocco and Mauritania.

One has always to recall that lies that are based on what we want to be true are the hardest to disprove. A lie that is tied into identity cannot be touched without destroying the entire identity of an individual or a movement. The lies about Islam run into the heart of what the left is. By destroying that which exists, they can bring their dreams to life. The dream is stronger than reality. The real animating force behind al-Qaeda was George W. Bush or Dick Cheney; the true power behind the Islamic Caliphate State is Pamela Geller or the Pentagon.

The Westerner opens the box and the Muslim terrorist comes out. When Western civilization as we know it is destroyed, then the left believes Muslim terrorism will end. Kill the observer and the cat never existed. Destroy the dreamer and the nightmare dies with him. The painful paradox is that the truth is more dangerous than the terrorists. Terrorists can kill the body, but truth can kill the dream.

Indeed, as George Orwell said: there are notions that are so foolish that only an intellectual will believe in them; and the further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. Therefore, in times when a lie becomes a norm, telling the truth is revolutionary. Vladimir Lenin has added: a lie told often enough becomes a truth. Accordingly, Joseph Geobbels declared: If you lie long enough and no one refutes it, eventually the lie will become accepted as truth. And Adolph Hitler summed it up: by means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people to believe that heaven is hell and hell is heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed.

Even Salim Mansur, an honest and shrewd intellectual, uses Taqīyah or is in deep misunderstanding concerning Islam, or still carries water for Islam, claims, in his “A Ramadan Piece: The ‘Other’ Islam,” there is no political Islam.

Abrahamic monotheism as represented in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, precedes and stands apart from politics as an ethical vision that transcends history. It was a vision which invited people to embrace their common humanity as created and gifted by one omnipotent deity, and to follow a revealed code of ethics for righteous living, holding the promise of peace with an end to interminable conflicts that divided people into warring tribes.

This is totally mistaken. Contrary to his claim, Islam, unlike Judaism and Christianity is above all warlike and conflictual. Islam was founded explicitly as a political religion with the aim to “liberate” the world by the sword and to control it, and remains fundamentally so to this days. Islam is politics and motivates to achieve political means. There is nothing in Islam that is not explicitly political, with the core obligation to subjugate the world to the Sharī’ah. Moreover, the most salient characteristic of Islam today is still and very strongly tribal and clannish. All that is wrong with Islam is this strong sense and motivation of tribalism, as it contradicts all sorts of modernism and human endeavor of freedoms.

Contrary to Mansur’s claim, Islam and reforms are totally incompatible. The Ottoman Empire did not engage in reformism and Europe’s Reformation and Enlightenment did not signal any mirror for the Islamic world to follow this direction. The ottoman Tandhīmāt, were not reforms but ‘arrangements,’ and all failed. Islam before, the Ottomans and Islam after was intrinsically opposed to modern world, and have shown no readiness to follow in the footsteps of the West.

Mansur claims there is the “other” Islam, and that Dīn al-Fitrah, mentioned in Sûrat al-Rûm (30:30) is only of man to know his Creator. However, there is no ‘other’ Islam, written, or recorded, taught or followed, except for the official, the Sharī’ah.

Mansur brings the 1976 Commentary article, “The Return of Islam” by Bernard Lewis, to declare that the title of the essay was unfortunate and misleading; there was no “return of Islam” for Muslims, since at no point in Islamic or Muslim history had Islam been missing, or dormant. Mansur is right in this, however he continues the Taqīyah or obfuscation by claiming it was the return of only political Islam, or Islamism.

This differentiation as if “Islamic” is good and moderate, and devoted to world peace while Islamist is bad and terrorist and therefore does not belong to Islam, is non-existent and it has no corroborations in Islamic Scriptures. There is only one Islam, and it is warmongering and it is political. Mansur also suffers in Lewis’ words the “inability to recognize the importance of the factor of religion in the current affairs of the Muslim world… Islam was associated with power from the very beginning.”

Mansur claim Wahhabism, Khomeinism, Ikhwanism and their derivatives have no answer for Muslims on how to make their historic transition into the modern world, and the modern world until its civilized inhabitants, including Muslims, will obliterate them and political Islam. However, the origins of political Islam is from the first day Muhammad preached for the new religion. They arise from the ‘revelations’ of the Qur’an itself, to embark on wars of Jihad conquest, and to rule the world as the only legitimate religion.

Just another word for Ramadan. In Judeu-Christian mind it is a month of festival, of celebration, a religious month where the believer devotes himself to his Allah in prayer and love with peacefulness. However, this is another example of how Islam is different and above all 100 percent political even more than religious. Ramadan is also called Shahr al-Jihād, the month of Jihad, in which Islam has won many wars against the Kuffār. The most important one was the Battle of Badr, in March 624, the first war Muhammad won against his enemy which marked a historic turning point in the rise of Islam.

The Muslims believe they are blessed in this month to overpower their enemies, and it is Allah’s will they win over and subdue the infidels. Therefore they have a deep religious incentive to fight the infidels with astounding success. One has just to summarize the long list of Jihad violent acts of terrorism during Ramadan every year.

For this year here are the powerful terrorism acts: June 27, four homicide bombings in Mukalla, Yemen. June 27, four homicide bombing along with other many attacks against Christians in Lebanon. June 28, three homicide bombings in Istanbul Attaturk airport. July 1, homicide attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh. July 2multiple homicide bombings in Baghdad, Iraq. July 4, homicide attack in Malaysian nightclub. July 4, three separate homicide bombings in Saudi-Arabia.  

An important saying related to Muhammad is: “when I come to win over my enemies I frighten and terrorize them forty days before I fight them in the battleground.” This strategy was adopted in many wars by Muslim leaders along history. However, it took the Free World too long to recognize the menace and to organize adequate policies. The problem is that Islam uses three different strategies at the same time that intended to achieve gains in different fronts: the violent terrorist arm of Jihad, mainly in the failed third world; the diplomatic arm of Da’wah, to deceive and mislead the prosperous first world; and the social-economic arm of Hijrah, to win over by demography and birth-rate. By that, Islam is a political religion that makes the attainment of political goals a religious duty.

The Free World suffers from mental blindness and amnesia about who the enemy is, but much worse, it has also forgotten who we are and what the hazards we face are. One example of how the Free World articulates its policy of denial has to do with sexual assaults and rapes. A question: what happened after the mass-rape in Germany and other states during Silvester? Answer: nothing. Question: how many rapist went to jail? Answer: none. Question: what was the media’s role in this denial? Answer: 100 percent. There is a huge unprecedented rapes plague, sexual assaults and public molestation in Europe, and they are multiplying faster than tornado and effecting all the society’s branches. This horrific nightmare is one of the well-known deep-used Islamic systematic conquests during its entire history.

Now, why Europe does not to solve these most despised crimes? Don’t they care about their women? Or they do believe that Muslim deserve treating differently? Well, the answer is found in Western intimidations and confusion about this phenomenon they don’t understand. For that, they have introduced new sophisticated inventions, and Scandinavia is leading. Instead of fighting the rapists and send them to prison for a long period of time, instead of acting new laws to answer this abhor reality, Scandinavia authorities are evading it. Sweden’s police chief has announced the new brilliant sophisticated weapon: women are encouraged to wear wristbands reading in Swedish: “Don’t touch me”. “By wearing these wristbands,” Sweden’s police chief said, “young women will be able to make a stand.” Peoples of the world, do you see how much this is an effective weapon? The Emperor’s New Clothes at their best. Applauses are welcome.

To add to this infantile, insane and bitter joke, a woman-Minister of the Norwegian Government has suggested a solution to end this plague by exposing another sophisticated weapon: Young Norwegian women are advised not to walk alone in the streets of their own country. Great. These solutions are so successful so that we don’t hear of sexual assaults and rapes in Scandinavia any longer. In the words of Aldous Huxley, facts do not cease to exist simply because they are ignored.

Indeed, here are the brilliant words of Karl Popper, to deeply learn and apply: If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them… We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.

As Albert Einstein said: the world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything. In Edmund Burke’s version: all that it takes for evil to triumph is for the good men to do nothing. Therefore, according to Thomas Jefferson, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. To that George Washington added: If freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led like sheep to the slaughter. Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious, according to George Orwell, and James Baldwin added: it is certain, that ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.

It was Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, to reflect European reality: The face of European civilization… will never again be what it is now. There is no way back from a multicultural Europe. Neither to a Christian Europe, nor to the world of national cultures. On the issue of the mass Islamic immigration to Europe, which is totally political and has nothing to do with welfare, Orban said: The proposal from the European Commission is absurd, bordering on insanity. It is an incentive for human traffickers and will simply tell people: yes, try to cross the Mediterranean at all costs.

It was Sun Tzu who claimed: when you welcome your enemy into your camp, you cannot complain about being destroyed. To that John Howard, former Australian Prime Minister said: once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism it has given the game away. Accordingly, Wolfgang von Goethe said: there is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action. If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. These are the words of Thomas Jefferson, and Robert A. Heinlein summed it up: a generation which ignores history has no past; and no future.

Following Newt Gingrich: after Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush told a joint session of Congress: “Our war on terror begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.” However, the US has clearly failed to meet that goal.

Confronted with the atrocities in Paris, French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, told his people on Jan. 10. 2015 that they were at war: “It is a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity.” Yet France, like the US, doesn’t have a strategy for victory.

It has become a horrific apologetic reaction of senior Western politicians who immediately claim that the Islamic Jihadist terror attacks have nothing to do with Islam. When American citizen are killed abroad by Islamic terrorism the typical U.S. State Department declaration is that they have “senselessly murdered.” Is it? American presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, stated in November 2015: “Let’s be clear: Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.” Really?

The failure to protect Western citizens from Islamic Jihadist violence is one of the greatest betrayals in history. Daniel Greenfield noted: the fear of being accused as “Islamophobic” has become the Western greatest existential threat. Moreover, false claims of Muslim victimhood protect Muslim terrorists such as Omar Mateen:

“Muslims are not part of the coalition of the oppressed, but of the oppressors. The sooner we recognize that, the sooner we can deal stop Islamic terrorism and protect the victims of Muslim terrorists. Muslim privilege killed 49 people in Orlando. How many people will it kill next week or next month? How many will it kill in the next decade or the next century? The Muslim genocide of non-Muslims is already happening in Syria and Iraq. Islam has a long genocidal history. And if we continue to confuse the oppressors and the oppressed, the next genocide we fail to stop may be our own.”

On Feb. 22, 1946, U.S. attaché to Moscow George Kennan sent what became known as the “Long Telegram,” in which he outlined the nature of Soviet Union communism with clarity and force. His analysis shaped much of the American transition to a policy of containing the Soviet Union. It is a tragedy that the US has not learned the Islamic treat properly and do not issue an equivalent “Long Telegram” about Islam.

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Demand for Investigation of COVID-19 gained momentum

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Human history is full of natural disasters like Earthquakes, Floods, Fires, Vacanos, Drought, Famine, Pandemic, etc. Some of them were really huge and have been damaged a lot. The outbreak of diseases was also very common in the past, like Spanish Flu, Tuberculosis, Cholera, Ebola, SARS, Middle-East-Virus, etc. However, the most damaging in recent history is COVID-19.

According to Worldometer, the latest data reveal that Coronavirus Cases has reached :

193,422,021, and death toll touched: 4,151,655. However, these are the official data provided by each individual country to Worldometer. The actual data is much more, as some countries have limited resources and could not test their population on a bigger scale, whereas few countries hide the actual data to save face, like India. Prime Minister Modi has mishandled the Pandemic and politicized it. His extremist approach toward minorities and political opponents has worsened the situation. He is afraid, if the public comes to know the actual disasters, he may lose political popularity and have to leave the office. Unofficial sources on groud estimate the actual figures are almost ten times higher. He has taken strict measures to hide the actual data and control media on reporting facts.

Whatever the actual data, even the official data shows a big disaster. Almost all nations became the victim of it and suffered heavily. The loss of human lives and the economic loss have made the whole World think seriously.

It is time to investigate the origin of COVID-19. There are many theories, and some are part of the blame game and politics, without proper investigations and reliable evidence. The World is so much polarized that it is very difficult to believe any side of the views and blames. Under this scenario, it is the World Health Organization (WHO) responsibility to conduct a transparent investigation and reach the source of COVID-19. It is believed that the whole World may trust WHO.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian demanded on Wednesday that the United States show transparency and conduct a thorough investigation into its Fort Detrick laboratory and other biological labs overseas over the origins of COVID-19 in response to appeals from people in China and around the World. By Wednesday afternoon, an open letter published on Saturday asking the World Health Organization to probe Fort Detrick had garnered nearly 5 million signatures from Chinese netizens.

“The soaring number reflects the Chinese people’s demands and anger at some people in the US who manipulate the origin-tracing issue for political reasons,” Zhao said at a regular news briefing in Beijing.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a “cease and desist order” in July 2019 to halt research at Fort Detrick that involved dangerous organisms like the Ebola virus. The same month, a “respiratory outbreak” of unknown cause saw more than 60 residents in a Northern Virginia retirement community become ill. Later that year, Maryland, where Fort Detrick is based, witnessed a doubling of the number of residents who developed a respiratory illness related to vaping.

But the CDC never released information about the shutdown of the lab’s deadly germ research operations, citing “national security reasons”. “An investigation into Fort Detrick is long-overdue, but the US has not done it yet, so the mystery remains unsolved,” Zhao said, adding that was a question the US must answer regarding the tracing of the origins of COVID-19.

There are 630,000 of its citizens lost to the Pandemic. The US should take concrete measures to investigate the origins of the virus at home thoroughly, discover the reason for its inadequate response to the Pandemic, and punish those who should be held accountable. Especially in the initial days, the mishandling of the Pandemic by then-President Trump was a significant cause of the rapidly spreading of the virus, which must be addressed adequately. Washington remains silent whenever Fort Detrick is mentioned. It seeks to stigmatize and demonize China under the pretext of origin-tracing.

It appealed that the WHO may come forward and conduct through research and investigation in a professional, scientific, and transparent manner to satisfy the whole World.

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How to eliminate Learning Poverty

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Children learn more and are more likely to stay in school if they are first taught in a language that they speak and understand. Yet, an estimated 37 percent of students in low- and middle-income countries are required to learn in a different language, putting them at a significant disadvantage throughout their school life and limiting their learning potential. According to a new World Bank report Loud and Clear: Effective Language of Instruction Policies for Learning, effective language of instruction (LoI) policies are central to reducing Learning Poverty and improving other learning outcomes, equity, and inclusion.

Instruction unfolds through language – written and spoken – and children learning to read and write is foundational to learning all other academic subjects.  The Loud and Clear report puts it simply: too many children are taught in a language they don’t understand, which is one of the most important reasons why many countries have very low learning levels.

Children most impacted by such policies and choices are often disadvantaged in other ways – they are in the bottom 40 percent of the socioeconomic scale and live in more remote areas.  They also lack the family resources to address the effects of ineffective language policies on their learning. This contributes to higher dropout rates, repetition rates, higher Learning Poverty, and lower learning overall.

“The devastating impacts of COVID-19 on learning is placing an entire generation at risk,” says Mamta Murthi, World Bank Vice President for Human Development. “Even before the pandemic, many education systems put their students at a disadvantage by requiring children to learn in languages they do not know well – and, in far too many cases, in languages they do not know at all. Teaching children in a language they understand is essential to recover and accelerate learning, improve human capital outcomes, and build back more effective and equitable education systems.”

The new LoI report notes that when children are first taught in a language that they speak and understand, they learn more, are better placed to learn other languages, are able to learn other subjects such as math and science, are more likely to stay in school, and enjoy a school experience appropriate to their culture and local circumstances. Moreover, this lays the strongest foundation for learning in a second language later on in school. As effective LoI policies improve learning and school progression, they reduce country costs per student and, thus, enables more efficient use of public funds to enhance more access and quality of education for all children.

“The language diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa is one of its main features – while the region has 5 official languages, there are 940 minority languages spoken in Western and Central Africa and more than 1,500 in Sub-Saharan Africa, which makes education challenges even more pronounced,” says Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Regional Vice President for Western and Central Africa. “By adopting better language-of-instruction policies, countries will enable children to have a much better start in school and get on the right path to build the human capital they need to sustain long-term productivity and growth of their economies.” 

The report explains that while pre-COVID-19, the world had made tremendous progress in getting children to school, the near-universal enrollment in primary education did not lead to near-universal learning. In fact, before the outbreak of the pandemic, 53 percent of children in low- and middle-income countries were living in Learning Poverty, that is, were unable to read and understand an age-appropriate text by age 10. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the figure was closer to 90 percent. Today, the unprecedented twin shocks of extended school closures and deep economic recession associated with the pandemic are threatening to make the crisis even more dire, with early estimates suggesting that Learning Poverty could rise to a record 63 percent. These poor learning outcomes are, in many cases, a reflection of inadequate language of instruction policies.

“The message is loud and clear.  Children learn best when taught in a language they understand, and this offers the best foundation for learning in a second language,” stressed Jaime Saavedra, World Bank Global Director for Education. “This deep and unjust learning crisis requires action. Investments in education systems around the world will not yield significant learning improvements if students do not understand the language in which they are taught. Substantial improvements in Learning Poverty are possible by teaching children in the language they speak at home.”

The new World Bank policy approach to language of instruction is guided by 5 principles:

1. Teach children in their first language starting with Early Childhood Education and Care services through at least the first six years of primary schooling.

2. Use a student’s first language for instruction in academic subjects beyond reading and writing.

3.  If students are to learn a second language in primary school, introduce it as a foreign language with an initial focus on oral language skills.

4. Continue first language instruction even after a second language becomes the principal language of instruction.

5. Continuously plan, develop, adapt, and improve the implementation of language of instruction policies, in line with country contexts and educational goals.

Of course, these language of instruction policies need to be well integrated within a larger package of policies to ensure alignment with the political commitment and the instructional coherence of the system.

This approach will guide the World Bank’s financing and advisory support for countries to provide high-quality early childhood and basic education to all their students. The World Bank is the largest source of external financing for education in developing countries – in fiscal year 2021, it broke another record and committed $5.5 billion of IBRD and IDA resources in new operations and, in addition, committed $0.8 billion of new grants with GPE financing, across a total of 60 new education projects in 45 countries.

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World leaders must fully fund education in emergencies and protracted crises

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Many schools in Afghanistan have suffered the effects of long-term conflict. ©UNICEF/Marko Kokic

During June’s UN Security Council High-Level Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict, leaders from across the world stood up to call for expanded support for education in emergencies to protect vulnerable children and youth enduring armed conflicts, climate change-related disasters, forced displacement and protracted crises.

In our collective race to leave no child behind and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in just nine short years, now is the time to translate these universal values and human rights into action.

The will is there. Nations across the globe, UN leaders and other key stakeholders stood up to address the horrific attacks on education happening on a daily basis and called for increased funding for organizations working to ensure crisis-affected children have access to safe, quality education.

Irish President Michael Higgins focused on education, protection and accountability in his address.

“I am sure that we can all agree that it is morally reprehensible that 1 in every 3 children living in countries affected by conflict or disaster is out of school. Schools should be protected, be a safe shelter and space for learning and development,” said Higgins. “Ireland prioritizes access to education in emergencies. We have committed to spend €250 million on global education by 2024. That is why we are launching the Girls Fund to support grassroots groups led by girls, advancing gender equality in their own communities.”

Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, highlighted support from France to Education Cannot Wait, as well as the importance of protection for children caught in emergencies.

“The socio-economic consequences of the pandemic and school closures put children at greater risk: inequalities are increasing in all regions of the world. Acts of domestic violence, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and school dropout have increased,” said de Rivière. “School closures increase recruitment by armed groups as well as child labor. Here, as everywhere, girls also have specific vulnerabilities. I am thinking in particular of the risk of early and forced marriage. For its part, France will continue to play an active role and promote the universal endorsement of the Paris Principles and Commitments. In the field, we support projects that guarantee access to education in emergency situations, notably the Education Cannot Wait Fund.”

Children under attack

The number of grave violations against children rose to 19,000 in 2020 according to the UN Secretary-General’s Report on Children in Armed Conflict, released in May 2021. To put this number in context, that’s over 50 girls and boys every day that are killed or maimed, recruited and used as soldiers, abducted, sexually violated, attacked in a school or hospitals, or denied their humanitarian access to things like food and water. 

The numbers are staggering. Last year, more than 8,400 children and youth were killed or maimed in ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Another 7,000 were recruited and used as fighters, mainly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, Somalia and Syria. With COVID-19 straining budgets and humanitarian support for child protection, abductions rose by 90 per cent last year, while rape and other forms of sexual violence shot up 70 per cent.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres underscored the need to support the Safe Schools Declaration and the Children in Armed Conflict mandate in his address to the UN Security Council.

“We are also seeing schools and hospitals constantly attacked, looted, destroyed, or used for military purposes, with girls’ education and health facilities targeted disproportionately. As we mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Children in Armed Conflict mandate, its continued relevance is sadly clear and it remains a proven tool for protecting the world’s children,” said Guterres. 

This is a vast human tragedy playing out across the globe. And despite efforts to support the Safe Schools Declaration, to re-imagine education during the COVID-19 pandemic and to align forces to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we seem to be backsliding on our commitments.

Just imagine being a mother and learning that your daughter will not be coming home from school today. That she was abducted, along with 150 other students at their school in Nigeria. Imagine seeing your son, Sabir, lose his leg after being shot by armed gunmen in South Sudan. Imagine being a Rohingya girl like Janet Ara, who hid in forests, forged rivers and is now seeking a better life and opportunity through an education in the refugee camps of Bangladesh.

Imagine the trauma and terror … now imagine the opportunity.

A wake-up call

If we can come together to give every girl and boy on the planet access to a quality education, we can build a more peaceful, secure, humane and prosperous world.

Before COVID-19 hit, we calculated that at least 75 million children and youth caught in crisis and emergencies were being denied their right to an education. But with schools closed and many children at risk of never returning to the classroom, that number has jumped to around 128 million. That’s more than the total population of the United Kingdom. That’s more than the total populations of Canada, Denmark and Norway combined.

Denying these children their right to a quality education perpetuates cycles of poverty, violence, displacement and chaos.

As the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) offers a new approach to break these negative cycles for good.

This means embracing a New Way of Working that brings in actors from across all sectors – national governments, donors, development, humanitarian response and education actors, national and local civil society, the private sector and more – to break down silos and work together to deliver whole-of-child solutions for whole-of-society problems.

In doing so we are bridging the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. Through ground-breaking collective action with partners across the globe, ECW has already launched multi-year resilience programmes and first emergency responses across more than 30 countries and crisis contexts and is on track to do more.

By doing so we can replace the cycle of poverty, violence, displacement and chaos with a cycle of education, empowerment, economic development, peace and new opportunities for future generations.

Delivering on our promise for universal, equitable education

The ECW model has proven to work. 

In just a few short years of operation, ECW has already provided 4.6 million crisis-affected girls and boys with access to a quality education. We’ve worked with national governments, donors, UN agencies and NGOs to reach 29.2 million girls and boys with our education in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Bangladesh, girls like Janet Ara are returning to school, children with disabilities like Yasmina are accessing the support they need to learn, grow and thrive, and organizations like BRAC are receiving the support they need to build back better from the fires.

In Afghanistan, girls like Bibi Nahida are attending school for the first time, remote learning is helping children to continue their education during the pandemic, and female teachers are being recruited to teach biology, science and empower an entire generation of girls.

In Colombia and Ecuador, refugee children fleeing violence, hunger and poverty in Venezuela are being brought into schools, provided with laptops and cellular plans, and the psychosocial support they need to recover from the anxiety and stress of displacement.

Our call to action

An investment in education is an investment in the present and the future.

Recent analysis indicates that the likelihood of violence and conflict drops by 37% when girls and boys have equal access to education. Incomes go up by as much as 10% for each year of additional learning, while an estimated $15 to $30 trillion could be generated if every girl everywhere were able to complete 12 years of education.

We are making important headway with partners across the globe. The amount of humanitarian funding for education increased five times between 2015 and 2019 – and accounted for 5.1% of humanitarian funding in 2019.

Nevertheless, just 43.5% of humanitarian appeals for education were mobilized that same year.

That means girls like Bibi and Janet Ara may be pushed out of school, boys like Sabir might be recruited into armed groups. And children with disabilities like Yasmina will be pushed to the sidelines.

We have the will. Now it’s time to turn that will into action.

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