Portora Royal School Hold Off Wimbledon Challenge at Henley

Portora Royal School brought Ireland’s winning total to two on the first day of Henley Royal Regatta. The crew from Enniskillen got off to a good start against King’s College School from Wimbledon in the Princess Elizabeth for schoolboy eights and stretched their lead to one length. But the Wimbledon boys would not give up. They ate into the lead coming up to the line and lost by just two thirds of a length. Trinity had earlier won in the first round of the Temple Cup for student eights. Henley Royal Regatta, Day One (Irish interest) Temple Cup (Eights, Student): Trinity bt Pembroke and Caius Colleges, Cambridge 3¼ l, 6min 49 seconds Princess Elizabeth (Eights, Schoolboy): Portora Royal School bt King’s College School, Wimbledon 2/3 l, 7:04 Wyfolds (Fours, Club): Nottingham RC ‘A’ bt Lady Elizabeth BC 2½ l, 7:39

Scientists in School speakers urge students to take up science-related degrees

Speakers at the 2015 Scientists in Schools talk at the Makiling Botanic Gardens in the University of the Philippines' Los Banos campus last June 25 discussed the importance of preserving the environment and the country's natural resources. This year's speakers were Filipino scientists Dr. Damasa Macandog and Dr. Nathaniel Bantayan, who both studied in Australian universities. Macandog talked about her research on the Laguna Lake watershed, while Bantayan tackled the importance of our native forests. Both Macandog and Bantayan hoped the Scientists in Schools program would encourage more students to explore science-related courses in college, and not just the usual engineering or medical courses. Some students may not even be aware of the existence of courses such as B.S. in Forestry, so the Scientists in Schools program was a good way to open new avenues for them. "We need more foresters," Bantayan said, explaining that students tended to flock towards courses that could lead to high-paying jobs. "Sometimes di rin alam ng bata na may ganung option." The Australian embassy organized the Scientists in Schools program to raise appreciation and understanding of science research and education among high school and college students. As part of the program, Australian scientists, and Filipino scientists who studied in Australia, create awareness of the role science and technology plays when it comes to innovation for the future. Scientists in Schools was first launched in 2011 with a lecture by Australian scientist Dr. Ian Frazer from the University of Queensland. Professor Frazier was the mind behind the development of the vaccine for cervical cancer. — DVM, GMA News

More Latinos With STEM Degrees Needed, Here Are Top Schools Doing It

More Latinos are now graduating with postsecondary degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), but they continue to be significantly underrepresented in the total number of STEM credentials earned. A new report released Wednesday by Excelencia in Education found that Latinos earned more STEM credentials across all academic levels—including associate, bachelor and graduate degrees—over the last few years. However, only 9 percent of STEM degrees and certificates went to Latinos in 2013. The report lists the top 25 colleges and universities that are graduating Latinos in STEM. Those schools are primarily located in three states—California, Florida, Texas—and Puerto Rico. The majority of them are Hispanic-Serving Institutions, which means over a quarter of their student body is Hispanic. At the Bachelor degree level, top schools are the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Florida International University and the University of Texas at El Paso. At the Master's level, the top are the Universidad Politecnica in P.R., and again Florida International University and University of Texas at El Paso. At the doctorate level, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Texas at El Paso are awarding the most Latino degrees. The top three awarding Associate degrees are South Texas College, San Jacinto Community College and University of Phoenix-Online. Only 2 percent of all higher education institutions graduated 33 percent of Latinos who earned STEM degrees in 2013. Deborah A. Santiago, chief operating officer and vice president for policy at Excelencia in Education, said this "should make it easier" for employers to know where to find STEM-educated Latinos. "The reason we put the top 25 list together was to say to employers, 'If you're looking for Latinos, this is where they are graduating,'" said Santiago, whose group uses data to study best practices aimed at increasing Latino college completion. Increasing the number of Hispanics pursuing STEM careers is key to the United States' current and future workforce. One way to do that, Santiago said, is by getting Latinos engaged in STEM at an early age. That includes teaching them about the occupational opportunities available in the STEM fields and showing them the pathway to get there. THE UNDERREPRESENTATION OF LATINOS IN STEM FIELDS IS "SEVERE," SAYS HORACIO GUTIERREZ, CORPORATE VICE PRESIDENT OF MICROSOFT. This list will come in handy for employers, as occupations in STEM are projected to grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 1 million new STEM jobs will be created in the United States between 2012 and 2022. Even now, there are STEM jobs that are going unfilled.

1,400 school teachers in India resign amid probe into fake degrees

PATNA, India - Some 1,400 primary-school teachers have quit in an eastern Indian state in recent months amid an ongoing investigation into fake qualifications, an education official said on Friday. More resignations are likely before the end of an amnesty period that allows teachers in Bihar to quit to avoid legal action for falsifying their degrees, state education department principal secretary R. K. Mahajan said. The High Court ordered an investigation in May into the state's 350,000 primary teachers on concerns that up to 25,000 had joined government schools without proper training. Resignations poured in as the probe got underway, with officials scrutinising teacher CVs, before the court ordered the amnesty last month, which ends on July 9. "The 1,400 resignations have come before the court order on an amnesty," Mr Mahajan told AFP. "We will know the final number of teachers who took advantage of the reprieve after the completion of the amnesty period." Mr Mahajan said he did not think the final number of departures would be problematic, saying "there will be no vacuum in the education system". But he warned of severe action against teachers who decided to stay put with fake certificates, saying "this is a criminal act. They may face even jail". "The investigation is verifying qualifications of all teachers in the state who joined since 2006", following a mass recruitment drive by the state government. The issue made headlines last month after Delhi's Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar was arrested for allegedly lying about his degrees. The quality of education, particularly in rural areas, is a major problem in India. Many teachers also fail to show up to class regularly, leaving colleagues overburdened. More than half of children in rural areas are still unable to read basic text in their own language after completing five years of government schooling, an annual survey by leading Indian education and research group Pratham reported.

More students getting college degrees in high school

More than one-third of Americans have earned a postsecondary degree. Few obtain one as a teenager. But this spring, hundreds — if not thousands — of U.S. students received associate degrees before high school commencements. Brayan Guevara said he made a goal of earning an associate degree by the time he graduated high school. He was a student in Albany, Minn., and attended classes at St. Cloud Technical & Community College, or SCTCC. The native of Colombia said through the state's Post Secondary Enrollment Options program, he earned 66 college credits — a savings of two years and more than $10,000. Young adults with two diplomas are outliers in programs allowing high school students to earn college credits, which operate under various names and formats. They are growing in number at about 7% per year, according to the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships, or NACEP.

Riot after Chinese teachers try to stop pupils cheating

The relatively small city of Zhongxiang in Hubei province has always performed suspiciously well in China's notoriously tough "gaokao" exams, each year winning a disproportionate number of places at the country's elite universities. Last year, the city received a slap on the wrist from the province's Education department after it discovered 99 identical papers in one subject. Forty five examiners were "harshly criticised" for allowing cheats to prosper. So this year, a new pilot scheme was introduced to strictly enforce the rules. When students at the No. 3 high school in Zhongxiang arrived to sit their exams earlier this month, they were dismayed to find they would be supervised not by their own teachers, but by 54 external invigilators randomly drafted in from different schools across the county. The invigilators wasted no time in using metal detectors to relieve students of their mobile phones and secret transmitters, some of them designed to look like pencil erasers. A special team of female invigilators was on hand to intimately search female examinees, according to the Southern Weekend newspaper. Outside the school, meanwhile, a squad of officials patrolled the area to catch people transmitting answers to the examinees. At least two groups were caught trying to communicate with students from a hotel opposite the school gates. For the students, and for their assembled parents waiting outside the school gates to pick them up afterwards, the new rules were an infringement too far. As soon as the exams finished, a mob swarmed into the school in protest. "I picked up my son at midday [from his exam]. He started crying. I asked him what was up and he said a teacher had frisked his body and taken his mobile phone from his underwear. I was furious and I asked him if he could identify the teacher. I said we should go back and find him," one of the protesting fathers, named as Mr Yin, said to the police later. By late afternoon, the invigilators were trapped in a set of school offices, as groups of students pelted the windows with rocks. Outside, an angry mob of more than 2,000 people had gathered to vent its rage, smashing cars and chanting: "We want fairness. There is no fairness if you do not let us cheat." According to the protesters, cheating is endemic in China, so being forced to sit the exams without help put their children at a disadvantage. Teachers trapped in the school took to the internet to call for help. "We are trapped in the exam hall," wrote Kang Yanhong, one of the invigilators, on a Chinese messaging service. "Students are smashing things and trying to break in," she said. Another of the external invigilators, named Li Yong, was punched in the nose by an angry father. Mr Li had confiscated a mobile phone from his son and then refused a bribe to return the handset. "I hoped my son would do well in the exams. This supervisor affected his performance, so I was angry," the man, named Zhao, explained to the police later. Hundreds of police eventually cordoned off the school and the local government conceded that "exam supervision had been too strict and some students did not take it well".