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U.S., Britain faulted on child welfare

by oldfrog Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 06:38:28 PM EST

U.S., Britain faulted on child welfare By DAVID McHUGH, Associated Press Writer


BERLIN - The United States and Britain ranked at the bottom of a U.N. survey of child welfare in 21 wealthy countries that assessed everything from infant mortality to whether children ate dinner with their parents or were bullied at school.

The Netherlands, followed by Sweden, Denmark and Finland, finished at the top of the rankings, while the U.S. was 20th and Britain 21st, according to the report released Wednesday by UNICEF in Germany.

One of the study's researchers, Jonathan Bradshaw, said children fared worse in the U.S. and Britain -- despite high overall levels of national wealth -- because of greater economic inequality and poor levels of public support for families.

"What they have in common are very high levels of inequality, very high levels of child poverty, which is also associated with inequality, and in rather different ways poorly developed services to families with children," said Bradshaw, a professor of social policy at the University of York in Britain.



France is nr 16, which is something not to be proud about.

the whole report can be read here :


what sinks France is not really health or material welfare (even if it could be much better) but educational well-being and subjective well-being. I won't discuss the later, but the educational part is interesting in the light of the current political debate, specially since in the subjective well-being the question "like school a lot" is an important one.

It's clear for me that national education the way it is managed in France today is a failure. This is explosive material and nobody really wants to take a grasp of the holy cow (or "mammoth" as some say here). Thus sacrificing coming generations.

education is a total failure.

from a teacher POV, the only thing that matter are the 5 months of holidays.

it is just a shame, if you cannot learn within the ~30 weeks, if you dont fit the square, you are ejected form the system. Around 400,000 childrens are lost by this monstrous system each year.

i was dam lucky of having both parents MD/Phd and not being arab (and i stress this point, being arab or foreigner with illiterate parents is a condamnation)

we should have only 6-8 weeks of holidays, and maximum 4 hours per day of academic learning. And ofcourse not being so ridiculously strict with the punishing "redoublement" (unlike all teachers, i know what is it to struggle at school i lost 5e/3e/terminal).

Few years ago, a study (of 40,000 schoolies) shown that only children of Teachers and MD(and other intellectual professions) were benefiting of the system.You can see the result in all our "grande ecoles" where 60% to 80% of students have at least one parent teacher.

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 07:11:31 PM EST
in Sweden the teachers have 5 weeks vacations as everybody else. Of course they are not teaching when the children are on leave, but they they are either preparing their courses or on formation.

Having been in contact with both kind of systems I must say that the Swedish system is far more efficient with slightly more funding than the French one.

  1. teachers work and their formation is better.
  2. teachers teach often two disciplines (which is anathema in France)
  3. The school day is shorter, homework less important
  4. the pedagogic material is pragmatic and modern - in France the manuals are mostly verbal diarrhea.

The results are that kids of the same age are on average better in their own language, second language, maths and natural sciences compared to their French mates.

If (when) I say that to a French teacher I am called a fascist or in the best cases a petainist.

by oldfrog on Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 07:56:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
teachers teach often two disciplines (which is anathema in France)

Really? That's rather interesting. I'm in Finland, but all through junior high / high school (ages 13 - 19) most of my teachers taught in at least two different disciplines, in combos like Maths/Physics/Chemistry or Biology/Geography or Biology/Chemistry or Philosophy/Theology etc.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 03:11:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw this report hit the headlines, really glad to see that someone has done a diary on it, I didn't have time.
I still need to chew over the findings before I can give a proper comment, but thanks for the diary.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 02:34:42 AM EST

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