One third of a school kid’s yearly education set back by COVID-19

 - COVID-19 - Jan 31 SHARE ON:
One third of a school kid's yearly education set back by COVID-19

School closures and the shift to online learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have had a devastating impact on students’ learning, with a European study finding that children aged 5 to 18 lost the equivalent of 35% of a typical year’s worth of education. 

The study, the largest review of its kind, analysed 42 studies across 15 countries, including Europe, South America, the US, South Africa, and Australia, and found that students from disadvantaged backgrounds and in poorer countries were hit hardest. 

The researchers found that the majority of learning losses occurred during the initial school closures and that efforts since then have prevented further losses, but have not made up for the ground lost.

“The learning crisis is an equality crisis,” said Bastian Betthauser, the lead author and researcher at France’s Sciences Po university. He warned that this generation, which experienced the pandemic in school, will face a “real problem” and called on governments to take policy initiatives to help recover their losses.

The researchers found larger “learning deficits” in maths compared to reading, which they attribute to parents being better equipped to help their children with reading than with maths exercises. 

Betthauser called on policymakers to stay focused on the issue, warning that attention may be diverted by other events, and more research is needed to understand the scale of the problem in less developed countries.


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School children with ADHD will now have a book that helps them control emotions

 - Local - Jan 30 SHARE ON:

Knockout Sam – A book for children with ADHD

Żurrieq Primary School – Minister for Inclusion Julia Farrugia Portelli together with the Minister for Education Clifton Grima,  launched the book called ‘Knockout Sam’ for children who are in the first, second and third year of the primary school.

The book, written by the author Doris Schembri and financed by Aġenzija Sapport, talks about Sam, a boy, who has the condition of ADHD and who was finding himself in difficult situations because of his anger. This anger was creating many problems for him, his friends, and family. Sam wished he could control his anger and not let it control him. He had to find a solution and started a sports discipline. Sam finally managed to control his anger and express it constructively without hurting himself or others.

Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli said that this book presents us with a very important lesson, that of being aware of our emotions. On the other hand, Minister Clifton Grima spoke about the importance of helping children with hidden conditions reach their full potential. The CEO of Aġenzija Sapport, Oliver Scicluna, said that “Aġenzija Sapport is supporting this publication to emphasise the its commitment to deliver inclusive messages from a young age.

Permanent Secretary Nancy Caruana, Żurrieq Mayor Rita Grima, and national boxing champion Billy Carito, were present for this book launch.


AI creator re-imagines celebrities as pensioners

 - Celebrities - Jan 30 SHARE ON:
AI creator re-imagines celebrities as pensioners

AI creator has used Artificial Intelligence to age up some A-list celebrities – and the results are astonishing. 

With everyone from Harry Styles to Dua Lipa, the creator has given us a glimpse at how these famous faces might look a couple of years down the line.


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Despite many of them being currently very young, it won’t be long before we’ll get to see an aged Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. After all, time does fly!

The creator also worked on the as-if-nothing-happened, which recreates late artists to see what they would have looked like if they were still around. 

What do you make of these? 


Malta has 11 new lawyers; Minister Jonathan Attard presents warrants

 - Local - Jan 30 SHARE ON:

Justice Minister Jonathan Attard presented the warrant to 11 new lawyers after they demonstrated their competence to exercise the legal profession.

In a ceremony held at Auberge d’Aragon, Minister Attard congratulated the new lawyers while stressing that it is their duty to guarantee access to justice and good legal representation to every citizen. He also said that they should perform their duty with full respect to the constitution, laws and all regulations of the country.

The ceremony was also addressed by the Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg.


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