Finnish Education: A Model For Other Nations
As countries around the globe aspire to achieve a better preschool education, they should look at what Finland is doing with its early childhood education.
Finland’s educational system
Finland’s tested, efficient and effective way of rearing children from early childhood is envy to most nations. It was not long before that students from Finland with ages at least 15 year old topped and aced international assessments in mathematics, science and literacy.
Finland’s young people begin primary school when they are at least seven years old. What is amazing with Finnish education is that when children are at least eight months old, they are given access to free, high quality preschool education. Since 1996, Finland had access to universal preschool education.
In Finland, all of their school teachers have master’s degree. The teaching profession is also one of the most respected jobs in Finland.
The head of international relations for the education department of Helsinki stressed the right of every child to be accorded with preschool and daycare education. The environment where a child is reared at a very young age is very important. Preschool and daycare institutions provide a place where the children can play, learn, make friends and grow. It is not just a place where parents dump their children while they go to work. The bitter reality for most parents is that they send their children to daycare centers or preschool institutions because they have to go to work. While preschool remains to be optional, this should not be the reason why children are sent to these educational institutions.
The school teachers in Finland are given autonomy on the curriculum that they will be using. This approach is quite unique compared to other countries. The teachers choose their textbooks and lessons as long as it is in line with the national curriculum. It also has to be noted that in Finland, board authorities do not conduct classroom inspection. The level of confidence the government places in its teachers is high.
Both teachers and students in Finnish schools receive a free meal daily. The classroom, halls, libraries and the entire school building are very clean. Many students walk around on their feet. There is also only a minimal amount of school and homework which gives the students more time to relax and enjoy.
High Technology Security Measures In Japan
Japan will host the 2020 Olympic and Parlympic games. As early as now, the major makers of security systems in Japan are already developing state of the art security systems to ensure the safety of the people attending and participating in the games.
These Japanese innovators are applying their rich knowledge in information technology in order to create secure and anti crime tools and devices. The demand for these security measures has drastically increased through the years as the terrorist incidents have continued to threaten the general public.
One of the electric appliance giants, Panasonic Corporation, has revealed its recent development of an enhanced entrance gate in the village where the athletes will be housed. The said gate will be equipped with high end security sensors and systems that will detect any suspicious activities within and outside the village.
The secured gate only opens after the party about to enter the village authenticates their identities. This is done by holding their identification cards over a reader. The data received by the machine will then be processed and matched to the database of expected village dwellers and guests. This way, unauthorized entry to the village will be avoided. Even if someone will steal an athlete’s identification card, the system and guard on duty will be able to detect the fraudulent act.
Another major corporate giant, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, recently developed a high end security surveillance camera. The camera is created in a way that it can immediately send recorded video footage to computers, laptops, tablets and other handy devices in distant places. This camera can be carried from one location to another and is equipped with a set of batteries and transmitter.
Several acts of terrorism have rocked the free world for the last couple of months. A magazine office in Paris was attacked in January resulting in a three day blood bath. Series of shootings were reported in Denmark this February. Because of the constant threat for safety, the makers of electric appliances in Japan developed several security precautions which are now used at airport terminals in order to prevent extremists and terrorists from setting foot on Japan.
Soft Toy Chemo Duck Helps Young Kids Fight Their Battle Against Cancer
Ireland – Apparently, a soft toy has been developed and released to help out young patients in their battle against cancer. Chemo Duck, a yellow and blue soft toy duck that comes with its very own line coming out of its chest, has been making waves as it helps and inspires young children in their fight against cancer.
Cancer is truly a horrific disease and a person’s journey through it is often hope-exhausting. Now imagine a child going through the process. Gut-wrenching isn’t it? But thankfully, there are those who wish to help out young cancer patients and ease their battle if not only for a little.
Mum of a two-year old cancer patient, Susan Brown, said that the soft toy had definitely ignited a change in his son, Ceejay, who is battling Leukemia. She says that Ceejay never lets go of Chemo Duck and that the toy even joins in during chemotherapy sessions. She believes that in her son’s eyes, the soft toy is undergoing chemo too.
Ceejay was first diagnosed with cancer last September and doctors had first thought that he had a virus. After blood tests were conducted in Cavan General Hospital, he was immediately diagnosed with Leukemia and transferred to Crumlin in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital.
Ceejay’s dad, Marcus Brown, said that with the soft toy, his son is now able to speak and act out on his own fears but during his first hospital experience, the young cancer patient was traumatized and that he would always scream, cry and get very upset. Ever since he got the toy, he has become a totally different child.
The toy was brought to Ireland by Aoibheann’s Pink Tie (APT), a children’s cancer charity group and Ceejay was among the first children who was able to receive Chemo Duck.
Alan Keane of APT describes the toy as a teaching tool and companion for children who are undergoing treatment for cancer.
He has worked with many different teenagers in APT’s youth committee so that they would be able to bring the toy to Ireland from America.
Chemo Duck also comes with two books, a CD and an app.
Yemeni Officials Quit Their Post
The leaders of Yemen resigned from their post in protest with the Houthi rebellion. This was a move made by President Abdu Mansour Hadi, prime minister Khaled Bhaha along with the members of the cabinet in view of what could become a hostile takeover by the rebels.
The government officials announced their resignation after giving in to the demand of the rebel group. This act by the Yemeni government caught the rebels off guard. The demands that they made to the government are now in jeopardy.
The supporters of the militant group in parliament said that they would not be accepting the resignation of the leaders. Transitioning to another political group will slow down Houthi’s plot of gaining power and control of the region.
Why did the president agree to the rebels’ demand?
It could be recalled that last September, Hadi was under brutal attack by the militia. The president’s palace was overrun by the rebels and the president’s chief aide was taken as a hostage. Hadi was said to be besieged in his own home for almost a day before giving in to the demand of the rebels. He was left with no other option since the rebels did not show any signs of slowing down the attack and in harming his allies and family.
After Hadi gave his word that he would honor the demands of the rebel, the group left the brutally terrorized city.
Who are the Houthis?
In the English language, Houthi can be translated as Partisans of God or the Believing youth. They are a group of radical Shia Muslim operating in the Yemen territory.
The Houthi’s history dates back to 1992, the year it was founded. Radicalization of the group started in the year 2003 when the Americans invaded Iraq. The members are often heard shouting anti Jewish and anti American insults. Since then, the group evolved into a paramilitary group enforcing its rights forcefully on Yemenis.
Effect of insurgency to Yemen’s Economy
Yemen’s economy took a big blow due to the uprising of the Houthi. Different business industries including the packaging industry were expected to underperform when the tension between the government and the rebels escalated.
Plunging Rentals Exacerbated By Empty Shops Make Property Investors Worried
Rents are falling faster than the prices of Perth display homes and this situation is creating a draconian dilemma for investors of over-priced properties. Darwin and Perth were the superstars in the property market for the last 10 years of mining boom but is now reeling as the slowdown is worsened by the sharp increase in housing that has started 3 years ago.
Yield which is measured by dividing the property price over the rental income fall as the prices increases. However, if the landlord cannot find a tenant, rent has to be slashed if there is oversupply and falling prices. The end results are often long period of negative equity because the market value of the property is below the outstanding amount of mortgage that has been secured on it.
On the other hand, cities like Melbourne and Sydney where there are jobs, prosperity and confidence have contributed to a high single digit price increase and reasonable rents. Overseas investors as well as Australians believe in bidding up prices for assets that provide better returns instead of record low interest rates.
Investors need to think long term and must be flexible in buying quality property that will attract and possibly retain their tenants in both good and bad times. Apartments are getting more expensive in Melbourne and Sydney but it is returning less cash flow from rentals. Investors are paying too much and it is increasingly becoming risky. It is essential for investors to determine which property is the best for the investment profile as well as the rental returns and the projected capital gains.
In the commercial, retail and industrial property sector, investors need to be more selective to minimize risks. One of the problems confronting investors is whether they will diversify from residential to retail property investing. One example is Richmond’s Bridge Road that has a reputation as a fun, funky shopping strip. It faded when trendy tenants were forced to quit because of the high rent and lack of customers. The fall in property yields from approximately 5% to less than 3% has been exacerbated by the struggle to find new tenants to occupy the empty shops.
Lydia McLaughlin Went To Hawaii With Newborn
Lydia McLaughlin, former star of the controversial Real Housewives of Orange County show, has not appeared with other cast for over a season already. By the looks of her though, she has no regrets despite not being part of the successful TV show. Before leaving the show, Lydia hinted how she wanted to spend more time with her family and to try for another baby. Not long after leaving Real Housewives of Orange County behind, she confirmed that she is pregnant and judging by the timing, she must have known all along.
It was December last year when Lydia McLaughlin gave birth to her third son whom they named Roman. The newborn’s progress is shared by the proud mom through her pages in various social media accounts. Before giving birth, she even shared to her fans the baby’s future nursery room. Despite having a newborn and being a nursing mom, Lydia together with her husband, planned a vacation along with their boys.
The Real Housewives of Orange County star shared some of the details of their vacation. The family went to Hawaii for 12 days and Lydia revealed how magical the trip was for the family.
Despite having the baby just three months ago, their vacation plan and decision to go away to Hawaii for 12 days was memorable. Lydia shared how challenging it was to travel with three kids, all under the age of six and the 6-hour flight they took.
The star’s advice to her fans is that if they want to do or go somewhere then they should follow their heart’s desire. She also hinted about not making any excuses and stepping out of the comfort zone. Though people might suggest that staying at home is much convenient, Lydia believes that travelling is worth it all.
Lydia also shared about how she walked away from The Real Housewives of Orange County reunion and felt like it was God’s plan for her all along and the show was not really meant for her. The star is still open for other opportunities that may come knocking.
Lydia is still deciding what to do next after their third child since she is not in the show for money because they are doing well financially. She reveals how the kids are keeping her busy together with her blog focused on fashion and lifestyle.
Heavy Rainfall In US’ West Coast Region
The West Coast of the United States continues to experience widespread heavy down pour. This will continue for the upcoming days. The hardest hit regions were in Northern California and southern Oregon. Rainfall in these areas is predicted to be as much as 10 inches.
The winds and rain of the storm that hit US west coast was so strong that trees were uprooted and sent power lines down on the streets. Hundreds of flights were delayed. People were stranded in airports, bus terminal stations and in the subways. There were also flash floods in the affected area. Busy metropolises were submerged underwater. The leaders in the flooded region ensured that blocked drains were cleaned up so water would not stagnate in the heavily populated cities.
Rainfall beneficial to California
Before the heavy rains poured the state of California and some region in the west coast experienced drought. Rain is beneficial for these areas. However, experts believe that the rain experienced in this part of the country will have little to no effect to bring back what was once lush and green environment.
The water officials in the region added that it would take at least 150 percent of the average rainfall in California to experience recovery from the dry season. They further commented that snow is more important to people in the area than rain water. Huge packs of snow could easily supply water to a third of residents, businesses and agriculture in California.
What has happened in California is just a part of a series of effects of the so called climate change. Not long before, scientists have already predicted that the temperature on Earth will rise because of the harmful greenhouse gases produced by activities of mankind.
The effect of climate change will be felt across the globe with its effect varying from one region to another.
In the Northeast region of the planet, it is expected to experience heat waves, heavy downpours, and the steady rise of sea level. In the southeastern places, sea levels will continue to rise causing extreme heat and decrease supply of water. The Midwest of the globe will also experience extreme hotness and heavy rains. In the Southwest, it is expected that long drought periods will occur and insect outbreaks are likely to happen.
Painting And Decorating Firm R Davidson Begins Year In A New And Larger Premises
A painting and decorating firm from Aberdeenshire starts the year with a blast as it expands into larger premises.
R Davidson is one of the longest running home improvement firms in the North-east. They have just recently moved into a new location in the Banchory Business Centre 2 (BBC2) and they have taken up residence in the ground floor of the energy efficient office building.
The office space is about 2,500 ft. and will accommodate the 85 painters, decorators and various workers that the firm employs as well as 16 apprentices. The space is only a part of the second phase of the Banchory Business Park Hill in the eastern side of Deeside Town.
Trevor Mutch, owner and managing director of R Davidson, said that the relocation had given them the opportunity to expand in their business in both commercial and private sectors. It was very timely since over the years, the company has been enjoying a great rise in demand. Mutch also said that the state-of-the-art facilities of the business centre will allow them to develop more business opportunities and a room to increase their workforce.
The location of the new office also comes with great local presence and the relocation is a testament to their commitment to the North-east. In fact, their move was to strengthen their position in the area.
R Davidson was founded in the 1930s and ever since its conception; it has grown significantly and has been involved in many of the most prestigious developments in their area. R Davidson has gathered a broad range of commercial and private clients.
The painting and decorating firm’s specialty is the delivery of bespoke painting as well as taping services to many different market types. R Davidson is not only planning to further expand their business but also provide more job openings in the future. They are also planning to add more apprentice to their 16 person lineup next spring.
R Davidson is the first tenant to have relocated to the business park.
Truly, the painting and decorating industry is growing beautifully and R Davidson’s expansion can prove that.
6,000 ISIS Fighters Died In Battles
Washington DC- United States officials reported that at least 6,000 members of ISIS were killed in battle. The numbers were only revealed today because the officers wanted first to be sure.
The figure included half of the top leaders of the jihadist group. The military efforts in the Middle East particularly that of the US brought the group to a devastating point. The United States marines were successful in their campaign against the terrorists. However, officials of the Pentagon say that they should not let their guards down since there are still a staggering number of ISIS members and there is also a growing number of sympathizers from Europe and the Americas.
The United States Central Command gave the estimated number of dead ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria. ISIS fighters are mostly young radical people from the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. They wage war to cause havoc in Iraq and Syria in hopes of taking over the government in the region.
Most of those reportedly dead fighters were killed during military airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. There is also a fierce exchange of gunshots in the dead zone. According to US intelligence, ISIS has an estimated 18,000 strong, young fighters. However, with much campaign and propaganda, the group could muster a force totaling to at least 31,000 able fighters.
It has been America’s campaign to fight terrorism. There is no bargaining to terrorists. The Americans learned the hard way during the 9/11 attack. Since then, rigid campaigns against terrorism were launched.
When will terrorism end? As long as hatred exists, the war on terrorism continues. In some extremist schools in the Middle East, young boys are indoctrinated that the Americans are their enemies. At a young age, they are already brain washed.
Terrorism’s impact on economy
Terrorism brings about an atmosphere of fear. Businesses are affected. In the Middle East region, you cannot see businesses thriving. Even online businesses are in the brink of extinction in that part of the world. If you have an online business, say for example you are the owner of Babandoo.com, gaining a market in that part of the world is difficult. Accessibility is paralyzed by the fierce and unforgiving battle between terrorists and the military.
The Effect Of Falling Oil Prices To Clothing Retailers
Over supply and the reduced demand for oil has resulted into a significant drop from the previous $110 per barrel to about $49. This has boosted consumer spending because they have lots of leftover from the money that should have been spent on fuel. After the big couple of reductions another 50 cents is expected come February.
After the big 5.5% drop in December, domestic petrol prices fell by 9.9% in January. The continued growth in US fracking has substantially raised supply levels and OPEC or Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has not reduced their output in spite of the glut. The demand from China has softened as well as the European countries that are more involved in exploring renewable energy.
The biggest benefits accrue to consumers because they now have more money in their pockets while the biggest beneficiaries will be clothing retailers like TV Store online. Clothing retailers are set to benefit because over the past three years they have absorbed the effects of the weaker rand on imported goods and they have not passed the cost to their customers. It is expected that this unanticipated bonanza resulting from the drop in oil prices will allow the clothing retailers to replenish their margins. During the economic downturn, there was a protracted period of margin squeeze in the retail sector and the low transport costs that consumers are now enjoying will allow the retailers to replenish their margins to a certain extent.
Sharp declines in the prices of petrol are not unheard of because between July 2008 and early 2009, the local prices for fuel have fallen by 55% after a reduction in international oil prices. If the money spent for fuel is about 5% of total household spending, it will certainly provide a welcome relief for consumers. On the other hand, lower income groups will not exactly feel the low prices of fuel. Prices usually rise very quickly when there is an oil price hike but prices do not go down as quickly when fuel prices go down. Another additional advantage that can be expected is the very little chance for interest rates to go up for a long time.
Pope Francis Gathers Six Million Devotees For A Record Breaking Mass In Manila, Philippines
Manila — It is a wrap for Pope Francis’ tour of Asia as papal visit to the Philippines concludes with a record setting outdoor mass. The Pope had visited a number of countries in Asia including South Korea and Sri Lanka but the culminating point of the tour was an open air mass held at the Rizal Park in Manila, Philippines.
About an unprecedented number of six million to seven million devotees were present during the outdoor mass, making it the biggest gathering for a papal event, surpassing Pope John Paul II’s five million at the same venue in 1995.
The weather was really terrible during the Pope’s visit, forcing him to cancel most of the activities planned for him in the Philippines. But the bad weather and constant rain didn’t stop Filipino devotees from attending the mass on Sunday. Most of the devotees had been waiting since 4 in the morning just to see the Pope. Many even came from far off provinces just to be a part of what they deem as a historic event that could be their only opportunity of seeing the Pope in their lifetime.
Pope Francis arrived at location riding his ‘popemobile,’ a vehicle inspired by the local jeepneys, followed by his entourage. The people were ecstatic and were truly overjoyed just to be near the presence of the Pope.
One child had even remarked that he has seen god in the Pope’s eyes.
Pope Francis left the Philippines for Rome the next morning surrounded by singing and dancing crowds to bid him farewell.
On his six day tour of Asia, Pope Francis also visited Tacloban, the area ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan last 2013. He was supposed to conduct a lunch in with the typhoon victims but it was cancelled due to the bad weather. Instead, a mass was held with the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in attendance.
Pope Francis had truly left a mark of hope in the lives of many Filipinos. The support for him is overwhelming and in his short visit, he was able to impart knowledge and wisdom to Asia’s largest Catholic country with 80% of the total population considering themselves a Catholic.
Tax Raise For The Rich
President of the United States, Barrack Obama, will give his State of the Union speech on Tuesday. The speech is said to discuss tax raise on the wealthy in order to aid those on the middle class spectrum.
Officials say that the increase will result to $320 billion in one decade. The said amount will be used as funding for benefits like tax credits.
The State of the Union speech will be the center of political talks and is expected to reveal the legacy which will be left behind by President Obama. The speech is also expected to shape the coming 2016 election.
The only problem the President’s proposal is the resistance by the Houses of Congress which is both controlled by Republicans. As the economy of the United States grows, it is only right that ordinary families living in the US be able to receive certain benefits.
The tax raise is said to be given much thought and the proposal covers the following:
– Making sure that the richest in America will not be able to pass some of their assets as tax-free
– The earnings of the richest will receive an increase of 4.2% in capital gains tax from the previous 23.8%
– US financial firms, estimated to have total assets of around $50 billion, will get new fees
The proposal will be able to raise fund in order to provide for benefits designed for those citizens who belong in the middle class. Some of these benefits include tripled child tax credits, providing assistance for families whose spouses are both working and giving extra incentives for citizens to be able to save for their retirement.
White House has gained more confidence from the people since the increase in America’s economic growth. Despite the recovery, there is still the issue regarding wages for Americans who are in the middle class. It is the aim that the economic growth will benefit all Americans and provide them with outlet for success.
President Obama is not running for another term in the 2016 election despite the positive outcome on the state of the economy.