The Cost of Adoption

167Haiti Searching for Mom

Source: Tony Witton, Associated Press.

“I gained an education, I was able to attend private school, I’m a college graduate, I have my master’s degree, I am a teacher. I have two beautiful children. I have a husband,” she said. “And I lost my family…I never had that choice, but that’s what I did.”

Article (re)defined by GT.

Summary:

Haiti has had a long history that raises numerous questions around the area of adoption. Mariette Williams’ story is a prime example of why there’s so many questions on this issues. Williams who lived in a Haitian orphanage and was adopted by a Canadian couple in the 1980’s goes on a quest to find her birth family after 30 years and discovers the hidden truths about her adoption and life before moving to the U.S.

Comments:

There are so many issues with this story that I don’t even know where to begin. According to Ben Fox, from the Associated Press, in her quest to find her birth family, Williams discovered that her birth mother didn’t actually consent to giving up her daughter for adoption. In fact, she didn’t even know that a family had come to take her daughter away to the United States until she arrived at the orphanage and found that her daughter had disappeared. Stories like this used to happen too often in Haiti, until after the 2010 earthquake when the government decided to tighten their protocol for adoptions. Continue reading

Gender, Culture, and Imperialism: The Marriage Gap

See Bonus! section for the extended version of this post.

Child-Marriage-Stats-04

Source: Care International.

Article (re)defined by JB.

Summary: 

Girls in Africa are getting married due to “harmful cultural practices” instead of enjoying fulfilling childhoods and receiving an education.  This trend will continue with child brides tripling by 2050 across Africa according to a recent UNICEF report.  The article uses statistical information from this report to support its argument against culturally accepted early marriage practices highlighting stories of individual girls in South Africa and Mozambique.  Photos include young women from Malawi and the article references statistical data on child brides in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.

Comments:

A riveting article that pulls on the heartstrings of the Western world in particular, this framing of marriage trumps gender over cultural establishing Western marriage practices as the norm and any other practice as backwards.  By no means does this blog post intend to espouse the viewpoint that all cultural practices should be preferred to gender-sensitive practices; however, the Number of Child Brides in Africa Expected To Nearly Triple: UN is a clear example of Western imperialists playing the morality card.   Extracting a statistic with limited context, choosing visual images and specific word choices that degrade and dehumanize the very girls on whose behalf the article purports to advocate, and failure to capture the economic and educational circumstances in the countries mentioned throughout the article is a harmful journalism practice. Continue reading

Mauritius Leads by Example in Fight Against Brain Drain

sashae-5

The Calixto Garcia Hospital in Havana. Source.

Article (re)defined by SM.

Summary:

The article in the Jamaica Observer discusses the new travel permits introduced in Cuba wherein doctors will now have to request permission to travel outside of the country for personal reasons. Cuban authorities noted that health centers are being “seriously affected” by the shortage of medical specialists such as anesthesiologists, surgeons, and cardiologists who have been leaving the island for better paying jobs abroad. This law, according to the government, will help to reduce the number of doctors leaving the country and address the significant impacts of brain drain on the economy.

Comments:

My previous blog posts discussed how postcolonial societies struggled and continue to grapple with increased numbers of skilled individuals like teachers, nurses and farmers leaving their home country and seeking opportunities overseas. This post, however, examines the other side of this discourse by exploring how countries are working to address the impacts of brain drain. With the recent restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and United States, more Cubans–particularly medical specialists–are leaving the island in search of a better livelihood. Although this policy may be considered extreme in that individuals should be free to travel at their own discretion, Cuba is one of the first islands in the Caribbean to develop tangible ways to tackle brain drain. Jamaica, for example, has recorded an unemployment rate of 38% among young people and the government has yet to identify how it plans to improve this situation. Therefore, young people describe life in the Caribbean as “living without hope” while they desperately look for ways to migrate.  
Continue reading

Caribbean Teacher’s Unions: Rules and Rule-Breaking

 

alaine-5

Virginia Albert-Poyette. Source: St. Lucia News Online.

Article (re)defined by AJ.

Summary:

Caribbean teachers unions have called for the resignation of Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyette as General Secretary of the Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) because she accepted a position with Education International, thus breaching the CUT’s constitutional mandate regarding board members’ employment. In a December 2, 2015 article, St. Lucia News Online examines this story from their perspective.

Other articles from The Jamaica GleanerThe Jamaica Teacher’s Association, and St. Lucia News Online contextualize teacher experiences in the Caribbean, and speak to the role that unions play in encouraging teacher activism in the face of government austerity.

Comments:

Caribbean teachers in former European colonies tend to be highly unionized because public school teaching offers low wages and a relatively low status. Jamaican teachers must contend with salary freezes predicated on current IMF agreements, and although the IMF recently agreed to loosen financial restraints which would potentially provide “an opportunity to increase public spending on capital outlays that boost growth and job creation”, teachers’ salaries have continued to suffer. In response, Jamaican teachers, through union support, have employed various forms of activism in order to force a government response. Continue reading

Haiti Elections- Using Schools as a Channel to Further Corruption

guerdi4

Source: Dieu Nalio Chery, Associated Press.

Article (re)defined by GT.

Summary:

With the second round of elections in Haiti under way, allegations of fraud and corruption continue to arise. This article from Haiti Sentinel reports on the Haitian Tet Kale Party, the current party of the Martelly presidential administration, deceiving parents and caretakers of school children into participating in a presidential campaign rally. Caretakers were under the assumption that they had to attend a mandatory school meeting to register for a social assistance program. Cases like this are further increasing the lack of faith in the entire political process currently taking place in Haiti.

Comments:

The Haiti Sentinel is a local newspaper in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti that reports on the current events taking place in the country. Unlike mainstream news outlets that report on Haiti in the United States, this newspaper shares stories of the everyday lived experiences of the local Haitian people. Continue reading

The Ugly Truth of the United States’ Post-Colonial Higher Education System- #ConcernedStudent1950

University of Missouri Turmoil

Source: Associated Press Photo/Jeff Roberson

“Time, promises, and token efforts to change won’t magically make the hate and ignorance that spawned the racial offenses at their schools disappear.”

 

Article (re)defined by GT.

Summary:

Recently, the president at the University of Missouri was forced to resigned after students took matters into their own hands to address the racial turmoil that was taking place on campus. What occurred at Mizzou was being mirrored nationwide, raising several questions and creating many realizations. The most important question  being–what solutions are there for colleges that flunk the Racism Test?

Comments:

A few weeks ago, I blogged about the Fees Must Fall movement in South Africa, where university students were protesting the potential hike in college fees and also raising the world’s consciousness about the ugly truths of the lack of racial diversity in South Africa’s higher education system. With all that has been going on recently here in America and with the purpose of this blog, I felt that it was justified to take some time and shed some light on our present circumstances. Continue reading

The market push for math teachers…

math-mendoza

Source: Los Andes.

Article (re)defined by FG.

Summary:

Los Andes, a conservative newspaper from the city of Mendoza (fourth biggest city in Argentina), reports that the enrollment of students pursuing degrees in Mathematics (both bachelor and teaching degrees) has decreased significantly.

Comments:

It is usually assumed by some sectors of the educational development community that it should be the demand for qualified labor that sets the educational policies and goals. The argument goes along the line that, unless there is a good rate of return for the investment of education, parents will be reluctant to send their kids to school as they will probably be earning more money while working at home (or that the expenses of going to school are too high for the eventual economic improvement that arises from being educated). Thus, it should be the economic sectors with investing powers that determine what kind of educative policies should be adopted: by creating jobs in given areas, the demand for qualified labor will force kids into school driven by the promise of a good salary. Continue reading