X

College Course on Tobacco Allows Students to Smoke in Class to Better Understand the Subject

A series of photos showing students casually lighting up cigarettes in what looks like a college classroom have been doing the rounds online for several months, leaving everyone puzzled as to what is going on. As it turns out, it’s just a display of hands-on learning in a course on tobacco.

The controversial photos originally went viral on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, back in November of last year, but they’ve been resurfacing on various other social networks and news sites ever since. Young students can be seen lighting cigarettes and casually smoking them, while others take their photos with smartphones and the teacher casually observes the spectacle. Teen smoking is frowned upon in China, as it is pretty much everywhere else, so the photos caused quite a stir online even after the dean of the university where the smoking took place offered an explanation.

Read More »

The Incredible Story of a 12-Year-Old Boy Who Founded His Own School

At just 12-years-old, Leonardo Nicanor Quinteros is still in secondary school, but he already runs his own free private school to help other children, and even some adults, with their studies.

Leonardo loves to study, but he also wants to transfer his passion for education to his peers. After seeing some of his colleagues struggling to keep up at school, and other children spending too much time playing on the streets and completely neglecting their studies, he decided to do something about it. Last year, he told his grandmother, Ramona, that he wanted to operate his own school and asked her to help him build it next to her house, in the Argentinian town of Las Piedritas, near San Juan. She obliged, and today’s Nico’s free private school caters to nearly 40 young students. The 12-year-old acts both as teacher and principal and is proud that his initiative has already made a big difference for many of the children attending there.

Read More »

Chinese Teacher Isolates Cancer-Suffering Student at the Back of the Class for Fear That He Might Be Contagious

A primary school teacher in China was recently dismissed for discriminating against a child suffering from cancer, by making him sit alone at the back of the class and not allowing him to take exams like everyone else.

The languages teacher is said to have complained about the boy ever since he transferred to the Liancheng Primary School, in Quanzhou, Fujian province, in September, in order to be closer to his parents while receiving chemotherapy treatment for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He reportedly thought that the child’s condition could be contagious, and he wasn’t the only one, as Chinese media reports that several children were withdrawn from the school following the sick 13-year-old’s transfer. Since then, he had gone out of his way to make the boy, named only as Zhou feel like an outcast, making him sit all by himself at the back of the class and even forbidding him to take exams.

Read More »

Man Moves to Indian Jungle to Escape Student Debt

A 29-year-old American man decided to leave the United States behind and move to a remote jungle village in India so he wouldn’t have to constantly worry about paying back his student loan.

Like many other Americans, Chad Haag had to rely on a student loan to pay for his college education, but he struggled to find a college-level job after graduating, and going back school to pursue a master’s degree in comparative literature didn’t really help in that regard. His first job had him unloading trucks and constructing toy rockets on a factory assembly line, then he worked as an adjunct professor, but with only one class assigned per semester, he could barely make a living, let alone pay back his $20,000 student loan. At one point, struggling to pay the $300 monthly instalments became too stressful, so he just packed his bags, said goodbye to his life in the US and moved to a small village in India.

Read More »

Father Faces “Social Boycott” for Dropping Off Son to School in Ferrari Sports Car

A Chinese man has been excluded out of a parents WeChat group and accused of flaunting his wealth by dropping his son off to school in an expensive Ferrari 488 sports car.

The man, surnamed Li, is a senior executive in an property development company in in Hangzhou, China, and has the habit of taking his junior pupil son to school in a Ferrari 488. This didn’t sit to well with the parents of the other kids in his son’s class, and Li was recently told by a teacher that he had received complaints about it. Apparently, some of the other parents were worried that it would lead to unhealthy comparisons between the kids in class and prevent them from developing fellowship. The man didn’t agree so they all shunned him, and even excluded him from their WeChat group.

Read More »

Indian Universities To Teach Engineering Students That Batteries and Planes Were Invented in India Thousands of Years Ago

An Indian education organization recently sparked controversy by introducing an optional engineering course that teaches students that modern inventions like aeronautics, batteries, as well as knowledge of gravity existed in India during the Vedic Age, thousands of years ago.

Human Resource Development Ministry (HRD) decided to introduce into the country’s engineering curriculum a controversial book that makes all kinds of bombastic claims, from the fact that the Wright brothers didn’t really invent the airplane, to assertions that ancient Indian ‘scientists’ in the Vedic Age (1500 – 500 BCE) knew about gravity long before Isaac Newton. This book is seen as another attempt by Narendra Modi’s government to promote pseudoscience pushed by Hindu groups.

Entitled Bharatiya Vidya Saar, the controversial book is set to be introduced as part of an optional credit course in engineering colleges and universities affiliated with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). For some reason, the optional course, called Indian Knowledge Systems, will focus on Indian philosophical, linguistic and artistic traditions, as well as yoga and Indian perspective of modern scientific worldview. Those don’t sound like the kinds of things engineering courses should focus on, but wait until you hear what students will actually be taught.

Read More »

Teen Claims She Has to Live ‘Like a Peasant’ After Mom Cut Her Monthly Allowance from $5,000 to $1,000

A Beverly Hills teenager recently dragged her mother on the Dr. Phil show to complain that she has to live like a peasant, after her monthly allowance was cut from $5,000 to just $1,000.

Ever since she was born, 15-year-old Nicolette has been given everything she ever wanted, including a nanny, personal driver and trainers, shopping sessions on Rodeo Drive and a bag collection that would make most women jealous. As a teenager, she would spend between $5,000 and $10,000 on designer clothes, accessories and other things most kids her age can only dream of. However, her mother Nina decided she couldn’t keep up with Nicolette’s spending, so she cut her allowance to “only” $1,000 a month. The self-described “spoiled brat” could’t accept that, so she asked the famous Dr. Phil to straighten things out.

Read More »

Controversial High School Class Has Students Hatching and Raising Chickens Before Killing and Eating Them

For the past 60 years, every generation of freshman students at Izumo Agricultural and Forestry High School, in Izumo, Japan’s Shimane prefecture, has taken the “Class of Life”, a controversial six-month course during which the students help hatch and raise chickens, before having to slaughter and eat them.

Last year, the Class of Life at Izumo High School started in October, when they were presented with around 60 chicken eggs. Under the guidance of a teacher, they prepared them for incubation, washing them, arranging them in a special tray and learning to adjust the humidity and temperature on the incubator. For the next three weeks, they were in charge of monitoring the eggs and making sure that the right conditions for hatching were met. Once the chicks hatched, each student had to pick one and raise it as their own, knowing full well that in just a few months they would have to kill and eat it.

Read More »

Extreme Education – Indian Man Obtains 145 Academic Degrees in 30 Years

You think obtaining an academic degree is a daunting task? Try 145. Professor VN Parthiban, who teaches in Chennai, India, has obtained 145 degrees over the last 30 years and has no plans to stop studying anytime soon.

Parthiban’s journey started after he struggled with his first degree. He was a disorganized student who would often mix up course work and study for the wrong test – leading him to flunk major exams and projects. After he finally graduated, Parthiban got a job working for the Judiciary Department, but the desire to study never completely went away. Enticed by all the amazing subjects and areas of study that were available to him in university, Parthiban decided to go back and seek a second degree. And then a third. And then 142 more.

Read More »

South-African Teacher Uses Hip-Hop to Make Math Fun for Students

Kurt Minnaar, a 33-year-old math teacher at Cape Town’s Eben Dönges High School uses hip hop beats and rhymes to make math lessons more enjoyable for his students.

Singing or listening to music during math class is usually frowned upon, but in Kurt Minnaar’s classroom, it’s actually a pre-requisite. The former choreographer and hip-hop artist is using his musical background to make the process of learning math a lot easier and less boring for his students. Minaar says that most kids today are into music and beats, and he’s basically taking the traditional math curriculum and fusing it with what they love to make it easier to learn and remember.

Read More »

Indian Textbook Encourages Kids to Kill Cats as an Experiment

The authors of a Class IV textbook in India recently came under fire, after it was revealed that in a lesson on the importance of breathing they were literally encouraging the kids to do an experiment involving suffocating a cat.

It sounds hard to believe that a school textbook for environmental studies could teach children as young as 9 years old to kill an animal as an experiment, but it’s sadly true. Twitter user Lola Kuttiamma shared photos of the book passages concerning the absurd experiment, and people understandably were outraged about it. “Living things breathe”, the textbook explains. “No living thing can live without air for more than a few minutes. “You can do an experiment. Take two wooden boxes. Make holes on lid of one box. Put a small kitten in each box. Close the Boxes. After some time open the boxes. What do you see? The kitten in the box with no holes has died.”

Wow, is that educational or what? And they’re not even suggesting using adult cats, but cute little kittens. Not that grown cats would have made it any more acceptable, but kittens just make it sound even crueler. And if you thought things couldn’t possibly get worse, you were wrong. The textbook, entitled “Our Green World: Environment Studies”, also features a couple of pictograms, with one kitten alive and well in the box with holes in it, and the other, well, dead.

Indian-textbook Read More »

Chinese School Creates “Grade Bank” That Lets Students Borrow Grades to Pass Exams

In an effort to ease the intense pressure that its students face in China’s notoriously rigid exam-based education system, a school in Nanjing has created a “grade bank” that lets students “borrow” grades so that they can pass exams, and then repay them in subsequent tests.

Oh man, I wish we had something like this when I was in school, because this system sounds awesome! So here’s how it works: the innovative mark bank allows students to loan marks to make up for a failing grade in any exam. But, just like regular banks, it requires “clients” to pay back the loan on time, with interest. Thus, students have to make up for the loan by scoring extra points in future exams. Some teachers also allow the students to repay the bank by conducting lab experiments or giving public speeches. Pupils who default on their loans are blacklisted by the bank, just like in real life.

grade-bank-china Read More »

Portland ‘Adulting’ School Teaches Millennials How to Be Functional Grownups

Millennials (people born between the early 80’s to the mid 90’s) are often labeled as lazy, spoiled and unable to act mature enough to handle adulthood, but a new ‘adulting’ school in Portland, Maine, is trying to change things by teaching millennials the skills required to function as real adults.

Unless you spend a considerable amount of time online, the word ‘adulting’ probably sounds very strange, but I’ll have you know that in 2015 it was nominated for word of the year by the American Dialect Society. It has used by a number of high profile websites in the titles of popular articles, and several big brands have used ‘adulting’ in their marketing campaigns. But you’ll mostly find the word on social media, relating to things usually associated with adulthood. The verb ‘adulting’ currently has two meanings – 1. to behave in an adult manner; 2. to make someone behave like an adult.

Growing up was never easy, but some people seem to think that it is particularly difficult for adults. One of these people is Rachel Weinstein, co-founder of the Adulting School, who got the idea for the project while working as a psychotherapist. “I noticed as a therapist that a lot of my client’s well-being seemed to be affected by a lack of some really important skills,” she said. “And I know over the decades with teaching to the test, and other changes in education, schools have had to cut a lot of Home EC classes. And that’s some of the stuff that people really need to learn and aren’t necessarily taught unless parents really impress those skills upon them.”

Read More »

Teacher Installs Cycling Machines Under Students’ Desks to Help Them Concentrate

After noticing that her eight grade students had problems focusing during math class, a North Carolina teacher decided to channel their energy in a different way – cycling.

It doesn’t sound like the most common thing to do during math class, but Bethany Lambeth, a teacher from Wake County, says that ever since she installed cycling machines under her students’ desks, the quality of their work has improved greatly, they are more focused, and, most importantly, they are no longer fidgeting all the time.

“Before, they were drumming on their desks, they were touching other people, they don’t do that anymore. Their feet are getting the movement out,” she said. “There has been a huge increase in the quality of our student’s work and a decrease in the amount of missing work.”

Read More »

Chinese Parents Are Taking Kids as Young as Three to ‘CEO Training Courses’

In a bid to give their children a head start in life, wealthy Chinese parents are enrolling them in all kinds of early education programs, including CEO training courses.

Chinese state media reports that an early education institute in Guangzhou, China’s Guangdong province, is offering a ‘CEO training course’ for kids aged between 3 and 12, at a price of 50,000 yuan ($7,500) per year. Kids attend two classes per week, during which they engage in activities such as filing in missing words in sentences and stacking up toy bricks. That doesn’t sound like anything special, but according to a promotional brochure released by the institute, the course “enables young children to become a powerful, competitive leader”.

There’s no denying that China probably has the most competitive educational environment in the world, which means parents would do almost anything to make sure their children don’t get left behind, but experts believe such extravagant courses ultimately benefit the parents rather than the children. They regard their kids’ attendance to such classes as evidence of the family’s social status, completely disregarding the fact that the syllabus they offer is of no real value.

young-CEO Read More »