U.N. Warns of ‘Lost Generation’ Deprived of School/失落一代 中東北非孩童失學


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讀紐時學英文
2015/10/16 第88期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
 
 

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紐時周報精選 U.N. Warns of ‘Lost Generation’ Deprived of School/失落一代 中東北非孩童失學
California’s University System,an Upward-Mobility Machine/加州大學 社會流動的推手


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U.N. Warns of ‘Lost Generation’ Deprived of School/失落一代 中東北非孩童失學
By RICK GLADSTONE
李京倫廷譯

War and upheaval across parts of the Middle East and North Africa in recent years have driven more than 13 million children from school – 40 percent of the affected area’s school-age population, the United Nations said Wednesday.

A report by UNICEF, the U.N. Children’s Fund, cast a sobering new light on the subtle long-term destructive consequences of violent conflicts that have convulsed a region encompassing all or portions of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon,Jordan, Turkey, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and the Palestinian territories, particularly Gaza.

聯合國2日指出,中東、北非部分區域近年的戰爭與動亂,已使超過1300萬兒童失學,是這區域學齡人口的40%。

聯合國兒童基金會發布的報告以新穎且發人深省的方式,讓人了解暴力衝突不易察覺的長期破壞性後果,這些暴力衝突使以下國家或地區的全部或部分動盪不安,包括:敘利亞、伊拉克、黎巴嫩、約旦、土耳其、葉門、利比亞、蘇丹與巴勒斯坦(尤其是加薩)。

In some countries – particularly Syria, which once had one of the world’s highest literacy rates – many children who ordinarily would be third or fourth graders by now have rarely if ever been inside a classroom.

“Attacks on schools and education infrastructure – sometimes deliberate – are one key reason many children do not attend classes,” UNICEF said in a summary of the report.

In Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya alone, it said, nearly 9,000 schools are out of use because they have been “damaged, destroyed, are being used to shelter displaced families or have been taken over by parties to the conflict.”

在某些國家,許多兒童現在本該就讀小學三或四年級,卻絕少上學,在敘利亞情況尤甚,而敘利亞的識字率曾在全球名列前茅。

基金會在報告摘要中說:「學校與教育基礎設施被攻擊(有時出於蓄意)是許多兒童不上學的一大原因。」

摘要寫道,光是在敘利亞、伊拉克、葉門與利比亞,就有近9000間學校沒在開課,因為學校「受損、被毀、被當作流浪家庭的避難所,或被衝突中的某一方占據」。

Other reasons, the summary said, include “the fear that drives thousands of teachers to abandon their posts, or keeps parents from sending their children to school because of what might happen to them along the way – or at school itself.”

Dr. Peter Salama, the UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said the report was based on calculations from the combined data for each individual population that have been compiled by the agency over the years.

摘要寫道,兒童失學的其他原因包括「數千名老師因害怕而放棄教職,父母因害怕孩子在上學途中或在學校裡遭遇不測,不讓孩子上學」。

基金會駐中東北非地區負責人薩拉瑪博士說,這分報告以基金會多年來彙編的各國人口資料,綜合計算而成。

“We’ve had country-specific numbers in the past, but not the aggregate of major trends in the region,” Salama said in a telephone interview from Amman,Jordan. “For us, it’s actually quite staggering when you aggregate the numbers across these countries.”

Five or 10 years ago, he said, it was unusual to have even 10 percent ofthe school-age populations in the region out of school. “Now it’s 40 percent,”he said.

“Their educational achievements are going to be quite low,” he said. “These are the future professionals in these societies.”

薩拉瑪在約旦首都安曼接受電話訪問時說:「我們早就有各國數據,但沒有這個區域重要趨勢的彙整資料。對我們而言,當你把這些國家的數據綜合起來,結果十分驚人。」他說,五或十年前在這區域就算只有10%學齡人口失學也很不尋常,「現在卻是40%」。

他說:「這些孩子的教育程度將會很低,他們原本會成為這些社會未來的專業人才。」

While death, mayhem, hunger and disease are among the most obvious risks to civilians in these conflict zones, the collapse in primary education is another compelling reason for families with young children to flee. This partly explains the increasing surge of migrants into Europe, Salama said.

“Seventy to 80 percent of asylum seekers have been from Syria,” he said.“It’s not coincidental.”In Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, where millions of Syrians have fled since the war in their homeland began in 2011, more than 700,000 refugee children are unable to attend school because the education systems in those countries cannot cope with the extra load, the report said.

對這些衝突地區居民而言,死亡、騷亂、飢餓與疾病是可能危害安全最明顯的幾個因素,除此之外,初等教育崩潰是讓有幼童的家庭逃亡的重要原因。薩拉瑪說,這可以部分解釋前往歐洲的移民為何暴增。

他說:「尋求庇護的人之中,70%到80%來自敘利亞,這不是巧合。」

報告指出,數百萬敘利亞人從2011年內戰爆發起逃到約旦、黎巴嫩和土耳其,在這三個國家,超過70萬難民小孩無法上學,因為當地教育體系無法容納多出來的學子。

Salama said the report highlighted what he called another alarming issue: If children are not in school, they are often working, and exploited in hazardous jobs.

A parallel trend, he said, is increased recruitment of children into military and paramilitary organizations.

“In the past there was child recruitment, but it tended to be older boys in noncombat roles,” Salama said. “That has really changed in the last year or two.”

He said, “We are on the verge of a lost generation of kids.”

薩拉瑪說,這分報告凸顯了他所謂另一個警訊:如果兒童沒在上學,往往就在工作,並在危險的工作中受到剝削。他說,與兒童失學率高漲同時出現的趨勢是,被招募到軍中與半軍事組織的兒童增加了。

薩拉瑪說:「以前這些組織雖也招募兒童,但通常會招年紀較長的兒童,讓他們擔任非戰鬥職務,但最近一兩年,情況變了很多。我們即將有一整代小孩失學。」

 


California’s University System,an Upward-Mobility Machine/加州大學 社會流動的推手
By David Leonhardt
陳韋廷譯

The University of California is struggling with budget woes that have deeply affected campus life. Yet the system’s nine colleges still lead the nation in providing top-flight higher education to the masses.

At many other colleges, poor and truly middle-class students remain a distinct minority. Affluent students predominate at liberal arts colleges like Bates,private universities like Cornell and even many public universities, including Wisconsin and Penn State.

美國加州大學系統正努力因應已嚴重影響校園生活的預算吃緊局面,但在向大眾提供一流大學教育上,該系統的9所大學仍執全國之牛耳。

在許多其他大學,來自貧窮及真正中產階級家庭的學生仍舊占極少數。在貝茲之類文科大學、康乃爾等私立大學,甚至包括威斯康辛大學和賓州州立大學在內的許多公立大學,家境富裕的學生還是占大多數。

The University of California, by contrast, enrolls large number of high-performing students of all economic backgrounds.

That contrast is the most striking result of this year’s College Access Index,a New York Times measure of economic diversity at top colleges. Six of the top seven spots in this year’s index belong to University of California campuses; Irvine is at No. 1, and the flagship Berkeley is at No. 7.

相較之下,加州大學招收大量來自各個經濟背景的優秀學生。

今年紐約時報評比一流大學經濟多元「大學入學指數」中,上述對比是最引入注目結果。加州大學各校區在前7名中占了6名;爾灣排第1,最好的柏克萊第7。

The index is based on three factors: the share of students receiving Pell grants (which typically go to families making less than $70,000); the graduation rate of those students; and the net cost, after financial aid, that a college charges low- and middle-income students. The index covers 179 of the nation’s top colleges, defined as having an overall five-year graduation rate of at least 75 percent.

Economic diversity has become a much-debated topic lately. Academic research has shown that many high-achieving low-income students do not attend a selective college, even when they’re qualified. They instead enroll at a college closer to home, with fewer resources — and many don’t end up getting a four-year degree.

指數以3個因素為評比基礎,分別是獲裴爾贈款(通常發給收入不到7萬美元的家庭)學生比率、這些學生的畢業率,以及扣除助學金後學校向中低收入家庭學生收取的實際費用。指數涵蓋全國179所頂尖大學,其整體5年畢業率至少要達到75%。

經濟多元化近來已成為發燒議題。學術研究顯示,許多成績優異的低收入家庭學生即便具備入學資格也不去上一流大學。相反地,他們進入離家較近的大學,但許多人因資源較少而未能順利獲得大學學位。

“The big challenge for American higher education,” said Howard Gillman,the Irvine chancellor, “is that it has to be a gateway through which talented young people can thrive, regardless of their background.”

Officials at other top colleges, for their part, often say that they want to enroll more of these talented low- and middle-income students. But only some colleges have followed up these words with actions.

爾灣加州大學校長霍華.吉爾曼說:「美國高等教育面臨的重大挑戰是,它必須是讓優秀年輕人可透過它發展茁壯的入口,不論他們的背景為何。」

其他頂尖大學校方常宣稱要招收更多這些來自中低收入家庭優秀學生,但有具體行動者不多。

You can see the contrast between otherwise similar colleges. Amherst and Wesleyan are more diverse than Williams and Colby; Holy Cross more so than Notre Dame. The flagship state universities in Texas and North Carolina are more diverse than those in Michigan, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Among the most notable patterns from this year’s College Access Index:

我們可看見在其他方面頗為類似的大學間的差異。阿默斯特與衛斯理多元化程度高過威廉斯跟科比,聖十字更高於聖母。德州跟北卡羅萊納州一流州立大學多元化程度也勝過密西根、維吉尼亞及威斯康辛等州的州立大學。

今年大學入學指數中最值得注意的模式如下:

Economic diversity has stagnated. The median share of first-year students receiving Pell grants at these colleges was 17 percent last year. That was up marginally from 16 percent the previous academic year but unchanged from 17 percent the previous two years.

This stagnation means that many elite colleges remain overwhelmingly well-off.For every student from the entire bottom half of the nation’s income distribution at Dartmouth, Penn, Princeton, Yale and more than a few other colleges, there appear to be roughly two students from just the top 5 percent (which means they come from families making at least $200,000).

經濟多元化停滯。去年這些學校獲裴爾贈款的新生平均比率為17%,雖自前一學年的16%微幅上升,但持平於再前兩年的17%。

這種停滯代表許多名牌大學仍是富家子弟的天下。在達特茅斯、賓州、普林斯頓、耶魯及不少其他大學,來自全國收入分配下半部分家庭與來自前5%(收入至少達20萬美元家庭)的學生比例約為1比2。

College administrators wouldn’t say it this way, yet they are essentially deciding that economic diversity matters less than other priorities — like sports teams, new buildings and some low-enrollment academic programs.

But a small number of colleges have made big changes. At Pomona, the share of first-year students receiving Pell grants rose to 22 percent last year,from 16 percent three years earlier. The share has also risen notably at Davidson, in North Carolina; Franklin & Marshall, in Pennsylvania; and St.Olaf, in Minnesota.

校方不會如此對外表示,但他們基本上決定了經濟多元化的重要性不如其他事項,如:校隊、新大樓及一些低入學率的學程。

少數大學有很大改變。去年波莫那大學獲裴爾贈款的新生比率自3年前的16%升至22%。比率大幅上升的還有北卡州的戴維森、賓州的法蘭克林馬歇爾及明尼蘇達州的聖歐勒夫。

“It enhances the education of all students to meet people who are different than they are,” said Eileen O’Leary, an administrator.

Most low-income students who attend top colleges thrive. Merely going to college isn’t enough. The benefits of college generally depend on graduating, and low-income students generally do graduate from these colleges.

大學行政人員艾琳.歐莉里說:「認識不同於自己的人,能增進所有學生的教育。」

多數就讀一流大學的低收入家庭學生能有良好的發展。只上大學是不夠的。大學的好處通常取決於畢業,低收入家庭的學生大體都能從這些大學畢業。

 


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