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Improving US STEM Achievement with Global Education

Fellows in the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (TGC) are trying to encourage student participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields with a global context. STEM education helps students think critically and prepare for the possibility that their ideas might be used in innovation and technology – helping to answer the need for STEM professionals and pushing the US forward among other nations.

According to the US Department of Education, the United States ranks 25th in mathematics and 17th in science among industrialized nations, representing a dire need for students to study and achieve in those areas. Fellows in the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (TGC) are trying to accomplish that by encouraging student participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields with a global context.

Journalism Students Bring Attention to Georgian Minority Communities

For more than 20 years, students at a school in the village of Tazakendi, Georgia were in the dark with few books to read and no electricity. That all changed when two journalism students at the Georgia Institute of Public Affairs, sponsored by the G-MEDIA program and funded by USAID, wrote a story about the school’s isolation for the newscafe.ge website. Soon after the story was published, the missing books had arrived, including Azerbaijani literature. The school had also solved their electricity problems.

For more than 20 years, students at a school in the village of Tazakendi, Georgia were in the dark with few books to read and no electricity. That all changed when two journalism students wrote a story about the school’s isolation for the newscafe.ge website. Soon after the story was published, the missing books had arrived, including Azerbaijani literature. The school had “also solved their electricity problems.”

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Students shoot video content through GIPA

Expanding Higher Ed E-Learning in Turkmenistan

More than 2,700 education innovators in Turkmenistan now have the tools and training to teach and learn more effectively and cheaply in the digital age.
Developing information and communication technologies is top priority for government in Turkmenistan. Classrooms and labs nationwide gleam with cutting-edge instructional equipment as a result, but few really know how to take full advantage of the resources. Locals also aren’t aware of quality open-source technologies that are free, compared to more costly products hawked by a flood of commercial companies rushing to the country.

More than 2,700 education innovators in Turkmenistan now have the tools and training to teach and learn more effectively and cheaply in the digital age.

Liberian Community Groups Venture into Social Entrepreneurship

“We can provide the training and mentoring,” said Bill Burke, Chief of Party for the Civil Society and Media Leadership Program in Liberia (CSML), at IREX’s Social Enterprise Development competition last month. “What you do with it is what counts.”

In Liberia, 17 civil society organizations (CSOs) and community radio stations (CRSs) heeded Burke’s advice while competing for a chance to receive funding for their social enterprise businesses. In a country ravaged by civil war and its long-lasting repercussions, the organizations showcased innovative approaches to economic development ranging from farming to motorbikes. 

“We can provide the training and mentoring,” said Bill Burke, Chief of Party for the Civil Society and Media Leadership Program in Liberia (CSML), at IREX’s Social Enterprise Development competition last month. “What you do with it is what counts.”

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CSO & CRS members at IREX's Social Enterprise Development competition in Liberia

Youth Leader Bringing Change to Kosovo

College student Biljana is an active local community leader, motivated to effect change in Kosovo. Since returning from a year of study in the US, Biljana has organized various youth initiatives and served as a leader on her campus and within her community on projects promoting youth engagement, conflict resolution, and environmental management.

College student Biljana is an active local community leader, motivated to effect change in Kosovo. Since returning from a year of study in the US, Biljana has organized various youth initiatives and served as a leader on her campus and within her community on projects promoting youth engagement, conflict resolution, and environmental management. Biljana is a member of the U.S.
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Biljana facilitating a leadership workshop in Kosovo

From Unemployed to Employer – One Woman Creating Opportunities in Malawi

Rosebill Satha has a mind for business, an eye for opportunity and a passion for giving. So it is no wonder this 29-year-old Malawian business woman was named 2013’s Most Promising Young Entrepreneur by Under35CEO, an Africa-based organization that promotes youth entrepreneurship. But life hasn’t always been so easy.

Rosebill Satha has a mind for business, an eye for opportunity and a passion for giving. So it is no wonder this 29-year-old Malawian business woman was named 2013’s Most Promising Young Entrepreneur by Under35CEO, an Africa-based organization that promotes youth entrepreneurship. But life hasn’t always been so easy.

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Rosebill Satha at Dunia Marketplace in Boise, Idaho.

Azerbaijani Photographer Creates Compelling Multimedia Website

Despite the increasing penetration of the internet in Azerbaijan, there continues to be a paucity of websites and media outlets pursuing multimedia reporting. For a bright up-and-coming young photographer like Aziz Karimli, this was a problem. 

Despite the increasing penetration of the internet in Azerbaijan, there continues to be a paucity of websites and media outlets pursuing multimedia reporting. For a bright up-and-coming young photographer like Aziz Karimli, this was a problem.

“In Azerbaijan, there are a lot of websites that only use text,” Karimli said. “But people want to see, to watch. It’s hard to deliver people’s emotions just with text.” 

First-time Tanzanian Fellows Share Education Perspectives

Reserved but eager, Tanzanian secondary school teacher, Malima Pima Chisumo, described the acute challenges facing teachers and students in his country without hesitation.

“Education in [Tanzania] is quite different from the United States. In our country, for example, the classes are too big,” Chisumo said. “You might find one teacher teaching in a class of more than 200 students.” 

Reserved but eager, Tanzanian secondary school teacher, Malima Pima Chisumo, described the acute challenges facing teachers and students in his country without hesitation.

“Education in [Tanzania] is quite different from the United States. In our country, for example, the classes are too big,” Chisumo said. “You might find one teacher teaching in a class of more than 200 students.”

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Teacher fellows from Tanzania gather at the ILEP Welcome Event in Washington, DC

Increasing Internet Access in Remote Azerbaijani Villages

A new survey suggests Internet use and demand among remote Azeri villagers is up where IREX has installed information kiosks. IREX, with support from USAID, installed a network of 30 kiosks in remote post offices throughout the country in 2012. Data gathering efforts and anecdotal evidence from 2013 seem to indicate more and more people are using the kiosks to talk to family members abroad, access news and social media, and make online payments to service providers and government.

A new survey suggests Internet use and demand among remote Azeri villagers is up where IREX has installed information kiosks. IREX, with support from USAID, installed a network of 30 kiosks in remote post offices throughout the country in 2012. Data gathering efforts and anecdotal evidence from 2013 seem to indicate more and more people are using the kiosks to talk to family members abroad, access news and social media, and make online payments to service providers and government.

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Youth from Azerbaijani villages use Wi-Fi hotspots installed at local post offices.

Improving Health Reporting in Mozambique

In honor of World AIDS Day, we are highlighting our Media Strengthening Program in for Mozambique. The media can play a vital role in improving public health by addressing needed changes in behavior, highlighting resources available to address public health issues, and ensuring that the efforts of governments, donors, and civil society are transparent and accountable. With funding from USAID and PEPFAR, IREX is working to improve health related reporting including sponsoring young journalists focusing on health and publishing an annual health in the media report. 

In honor of World AIDS Day, we are highlighting our Media Strengthening Program in for Mozambique. The media can play a vital role in improving public health by addressing needed changes in behavior, highlighting resources available to address public health issues, and ensuring that the efforts of governments, donors, and civil society are transparent and accountable. 

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Participants in the Media Strengthening Program for Mozambique
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