Vài tháng trước, tôi có chuyến đi Lào Cai - một khu vực có nhiều dân tộc thiểu số sinh sống ở miền núi phía Bắc Việt Nam- để giám sát một cuộc khảo sát thí điểm. Tôi đã tình cờ gặp một người đàn ông lớn tuổi - một người điển hình trong số rất nhiều người mà chúng tôi đã gặp – đó là một người nông dân chỉ vừa đủ sống, có trình độ học vấn tối thiểu chỉ biết nói tiếng dân tộc và hiếm khi ra khỏi bản làng.
Người dân tộc thiểu số chiếm 15% dân số của Việt Nam nhưng chiếm tới 70% nhóm đối tượng cực nghèo (được đo lường theo chuẩn cực nghèo quốc gia). Trong suốt hai thập kỷ tăng trưởng nhanh của Việt Nam, người dân tộc thiểu số ở quốc gia này đã có mức sống được cải thiện lên một cách toàn diện, song thành quả được hưởng của nhóm đối tượng này còn kém xa so với dân tộc chiếm đa số là người Kinh.
Imagine what the world would look like if there were no teachers, what our life would be like, and what your surroundings would look like. Is it a modern world like today or just jungles with no civilization? Take your time and imagine.
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Belum lama ini, Menteri Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan mengumumkan perpanjangan program wajib belajar dari 9 ke 12 tahun. Dibalik pengumuman ini tersirat keinginan untuk meraup keuntungan dari bonus demografi ini secara maksimal.
Beda dengan negara-negara sekawasannya, Indonesia adalah bangsa yang relatif muda; sepertiga dari populasinya dibawah usia 14 tahun. Jika program perpanjangan wajib belajar ini diterapkan dengan sukses, maka penduduk muda tersebut akan mendapat manfaat dari peningkatan akses pendidikan. Anak-anak ini membawa peluang yang sangat besar. Ketika mereka bergerak menuju pasar tenaga kerja, mereka memiliki potensi untuk meningkatkan pendapatan per-kapita nasional sebelum usia penduduk mengalami penuaan dan tingkat ketergantungan meningkat. Untuk meraih keuntungan dari bonus demografi ini, generasi yang disebut-sebut “generasi emas” oleh Mendikbud ini harus diberi pendidikan yang lebih baik, dan kesempatan belajar hingga sekolah menengah.
The Yangon Circular Railway is the local commuter rail network in Yangon, Myanmar. In this recording, World Bank Country Manager Kanthan Shankar boards the train on a three-hour ride around the city. "You see a panorama of life unfolding before you and you feel a part of the picture," he says, reflecting on the daily lives of the people in Yangon, "There's a huge opportunity for commerce and private sector growth. Yangon and Myanmar is lucky that it has basic infrastructure in place. It's a matter of rehabilitating these and aiming for a smoother ride to pave the way for commerce,"
I am here this week in Majuro in the Marshall Islands – where leaders from the Pacific Island Forum have gathered to discuss the impacts of climate change and to push for global action to mitigate the effects.
Here in the Marshall Islands, the highest point above sea level is only 3 meters.
In May this year, an unprecedented drought in the northern atolls of the Marshall Islands left many without enough food and water.
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|ภาพถ่าย slate กระดานฉนวน โดย Napat Chaichanasiri ผ่านการใช้ลิขสิทธิ์จากครีเอทีฟคอมมอนส์|
ช่วงเวลาที่ผ่านมา มีข่าวน่าสนใจจากบทความที่มาจากหลากหลายแหล่ง ตั้งแต่ จากเคนยา เรื่อง “โรงเรียนประถม 6,000 แห่งได้รับเลือกร่วมโครงการแล็ปท็อปฟรี” หรือ จากแคลิฟอร์เนียเรื่อง “ลอสแอนเจลิสเตรียมแจกไอแพดฟรี 640,000เครื่องให้นักเรียน” นี่เป็นแค่สองเรื่องจากที่มีอยู่มากมาย ที่ชี้ให้เห็นถึง การนำคอมพิวเตอร์พกพา (แล็ปท็อป และแท็บเล็ต) มาใช้ในโรงเรียนทั่วโลกอย่างรวดเร็วขึ้นและเป็นจำนวนมากขึ้น ถ้ามองจากค่าใช้จ่ายเพียงด้านเดียว ซึ่งอาจจะมีมูลค่ามหาศาลได้แล้ว ข่าวเหล่านี้บ่งชี้ว่า การนำเทคโนโลยีมาใช้ในโรงเรียน เริ่มที่จะเข้ามาเป็นศูนย์กลางของนโยบายและกระบวนการวางแผนด้านการศึกษา ในหลายประเทศทั่วทุกทวีป ไม่ว่าจะร่ำรวยหรือยากจน
โครงการแบบนี้เป็นความคิดที่ดีหรือไม่? นั่นก็ขึ้นอยู่กับปัจจัยหลายๆ อย่าง ผมพบว่า โดยส่วนมากข้อเสียของโครงการลักษณะนี้จะซ่อนอยู่ในรายละเอียด (และการวิเคราะห์ความคุ้มทุน) อย่างไรก็ตาม ไม่ว่าจะเป็นเรื่องดีหรือไม่ดี ก็ปฏิเสธไม่ได้ว่า โครงการเหล่านี้กำลังเกิดขึ้น บ้างให้ผลดี บ้างก็มากับผลเสีย ทั้งยังเกิดถี่ขึ้น และจำนวนมากขึ้น เห็นได้จากคำถามต่อไปนี้
|By 2016, around 12.4 million Filipinos would be unemployed, underemployed, or would have to work or create work for themselves in the low pay informal sector by selling goods like many seen here in Quiapo, Manila.|
The Philippines faces an enormous jobs challenge. Good jobs—meaning jobs that raise real wages or bring people out of poverty—needed to be provided to 3 million unemployed and 7 million underemployed Filipinos—that is those who do not get enough pay and are looking for more work—as of 2012.
In addition, good jobs need to be provided to around 1.15 million Filipinos who will enter the labor force every year from 2013 to 2016. That is a total of 14.6 million jobs that need to be created through 2016.
Did you know that every year in the last decade, only 1 out of every 4 new jobseeker gets a good job? Of the 500,000 college graduates every year, roughly half or only 240,000 are absorbed in the formal sector such as business process outsourcing (BPO) industry (52,000), manufacturing (20,000), and other industries such as finance and real estate.
|Two members of the Black and White club join an arm-wrestling competition with the slogan 'Arm-wrestling to blow away corruption' at a youth event in Hanoi in November 2012 to promote fair education environment.|
I often hear that corruption is everywhere and nothing can be done about it. I used to believe it. I still hear people saying the work on anticorruption is a waste of time. I disregard these cynical statements now. Who made me change my attitude? The youth.
I started being inspired several years ago when a group of young women from the Vietnamese NGO Live and Learn (L&L) developed the idea of ‘a sustainable and transparent society in the hands of youth’. As clear as the idea tells, these young women wanted to engage more with youth, educate them about sustainable and transparent development and how young people can become catalysts for change and for a less corruption-prone country. The idea was among winning initiatives of the Vietnam Innovation Day (VID) 2009 More Transparency and Accountability, Less Corruption, which was co-organized by the World Bank and the Government Inspectorate.
As part of the project idea, L&L would help connect and create a network of student and youth groups (Green Generation network, volunteer clubs, youth organizations, Be Change Agents, etc.) in Hanoi. These groups would be more informed of development issues such as sustainable development, corruption, and their responsibilities, and eventually would act together to build a corruption-free society. The journey was not without difficulties. During the first six months of the project, L&L was not able to get into many universities to talk with students about transparency nor integrity, let alone corruption. Even if universities were open to the idea, not many students showed interest. Some events attracted only 8 young people.
|Hai thành viên của CLB Đen và Trắng tham dự thi vật tay với khẩu hiệu "Vật tay thổi bay tham nhũng" tại một hoạt động của giới trẻ tại Hà Nội vào tháng 11/2012 nhằm thúc đẩy môi trường giáo dục công bằng.|
Tôi thường nghe mọi người nói rằng tham nhũng ở khắp nơi và chẳng thể làm gì để thay đổi nó. Tôi đã từng tin vào điều này. Tôi còn nghe mọi người nói rằng chống tham nhũng chỉ lãng phí thời gian mà thôi. Giờ thì tôi không còn quan tâm tới những phát ngôn tiêu cực kiểu này nữa. Ai đã khiến tôi thay đổi thái độ của mình? Chính là các bạn trẻ.
Tôi bắt đầu được khích lệ vài năm trước đây khi một số thành viên nữ của một tổ chức phi chính phủ tại Việt Nam có tên là Trung tâm Sống, Học tập vì Môi trường và Cộng đồng (L&L) đưa ra ý tưởng về ‘một xã hội bền vững và minh bạch trong tay thế hệ trẻ’. Như tên ý tưởng đã thể hiện khá rõ, những bạn trẻ này muốn kết nối nhiều hơn với thanh niên, hướng dẫn cho họ về phát triển bền vững và minh bạch, và về cách mà thanh niên có thể trở thành chất xúc tác cho sự thay đổi và hướng tới một xã hội ít tham nhũng hơn. Đây là một trong những ý tưởng được trao giải Ngày Sáng tạo Việt Nam 2009 với chủ đề Nâng cao tính trách nhiệm và minh bạch, giảm tham nhũng, do Ngân hàng Thế giới và Thanh tra Chính phủ đồng tổ chức. 
Theo ý tưởng dự án này, L&L sẽ thiết lập và kết nối mạng lưới các nhóm sinh viên và thanh niên (Thế Hệ Xanh, các câu lạc bộ tình nguyện, các tổ chức thanh niên, chương trình Be Change Agents – Tác nhân thay đổi) ở Hà Nội. Các nhóm này sẽ được cung cấp nhiều thông tin hơn về các vấn đề phát triển như phát triển bền vững hay tham nhũng, cũng như trách nhiệm của họ, và trên hết họ sẽ cùng hành động để xây dựng một xã hội không có tham nhũng. Hành trình này đã không hề dễ dàng. Trong 6 tháng đầu tiên triển khai dự án, L&L đã không thể tiếp cận nhiều trường đại học để nói chuyện với sinh viên về minh bạch hay liêm chính, chứ chưa nói gì đến tham nhũng. Ngay cả khi các trường đại học cởi mở với ý tưởng này thì cũng không nhiều sinh viên tỏ ra quan tâm. Một số sự kiện chỉ có 8 người tham dự.
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หน้าฝนมาเยือนเมืองไทยอีกแล้ว มาพร้อมกับความทรงจำถึงน้ำท่วมครั้งใหญ่ในปี 2554 ที่ส่งผลกระทบต่อผู้คนกว่า 13 ล้านคน มีผู้เสียชีวิต 680 ราย และสร้างความเสียหาย 46.5 พันล้านเหรียญสหรัฐฯ ผลกระทบของน้ำท่วมที่มีต่อธุรกิจและห่วงโซ่อุปทานของโลกที่มีการบันทึกไว้เป็นอย่างละเอียด และเป็นข่าวพาดหัวตลอดทั้งปี 2555 แต่ว่าคนยากคนจนล่ะเป็นอย่างไรบ้าง?
น้ำท่วมคราวนั้นเปลี่ยนแปลงชีวิตชายและหญิงหลายแสนคน โดยเฉพาะผู้ที่อยู่ในสภาพง่อนแง่นไม่มั่นคงอยู่แล้ว สองปีผ่านไปเกิดความเปลี่ยนแปลงอะไรขึ้นบ้าง?
จากการที่ได้ไปเยือนโครงการพัฒนายกระดับชุมชนแออัดสองแห่งในกรุงเทพฯ ตอนเหนือเมื่อเดือนก่อน ก็ได้พบเห็นเรื่องราวที่เป็นประเด็นสำหรับเมืองอื่นๆ ในเอเชียที่กำลังเผชิญกับการเพิ่มขึ้นของจำนวนประชากรอย่างรวดเร็ว พลังอำนาจของภัยธรรมชาติ และความแปรปรวนของสภาพภูมิอากาศ