Home' Teacher : October 2010 Contents well, because Punjab and Sindh provinces
have long been able to provide for them-
selves, local relief agencies and personnel
were thin on the ground.
The United Nations Educational, Scien-
tific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
reinforced its office in Islamabad with
experts from its other areas of action, nota-
bly education, to work with United Nations
(UN) partners to evaluate what needs to be
done to get children back into classes as
quickly as possible.
UNESCO's early estimates were that
5,457 schools had been damaged or
destroyed, 4,419 of them in Punjab and
Sindh. At least one million school children
were affected by the floods. Most schools
have become makeshift shelters, putting
education in doubt for the rest of the school
year that began in August.
The government of India vowed to offer
all possible assistance, beginning with USD5
million in aid after Indian Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh spoke with Pakistani
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani in August.
'We are willing to do all that is in our power
to assist Pakistan in facing the consequences
of floods,' Hardeep Singh Puri, India's Envoy
to the UN told the UN General Assembly on
the second day of a special meeting on the
floods in August. Also at the UN, Pakistan
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi
accepted the offer of aid.
Western media, however, criticised Paki-
stan's government for alleged corruption,
'political posturing' and ignoring the plight
of the flood victims. Writing in the Vancou-
ver Sun and Toronto Star, Craig and Marc
Kielburger, co-founders of the Free the Chil-
dren charity, accused Pakistan's government
of 'gauging global response before accepting
USD5 million from its rival India.'
According to Hasnain Kazim, report-
ing for Der Spiegel, urban centres that
have escaped the flooding have swollen into
refugee camps, where schools have become
centres for emergency relief efforts. Kazim
visited a makeshift shelter for 500 refugees
at Government Muslim High School, in the
city of Multan in Punjab province. 'There
are no signs at this school of people who are
dispirited and ready to fall into the arms of
Islamist extremists, as some articles in West-
ern newspapers have reported,' he wrote.
'And the usual allegations that the govern-
ment is corrupt and does little also has little
traction with the people in the shelter.'
The fear now is of a rising death toll from
waterborne diseases that are expected to hit
children hardest. Cholera outbreaks have
been reported in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
province, and experts say flood waters con-
taminated by faeces will lead to the spread
of fatal diarrheal disease.
LINKS: To make donation s, visit
A 2007 World Health Organisation
Pakistan: Flood Hazard Distribution Map,
shown with the disputed area cross hatched,
predicts high and very high flood risk areas,
shown in orange and red respectively, along
the Indus River. August's flooding into east-
ern parts of Baluchistan province is more
severe than the WHO map predicts.
Results of the 2010 National Assessment Pro-
gram Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)
tests and comparisons with NAPLAN test
results for 2009 and 2008 were released by
the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and
Reporting Authority last month.
Students from the Australian Capital
Territory, New South Wales and Victoria
obtained on average the highest achieve-
ment scores, ahead of Queensland, Western
Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.
Students from the Northern Territory
obtained on average the lowest achieve-
Queensland appears to be closing the
gap, showing relatively rapid improvement.
Results for the other states and territories
from 2008 to 2010 remain relatively con-
From 2008 to 2010, Queensland's Year
3 students improved on average by 4.8 per-
centage points in reading, 1.3 in writing,
3.1 in grammar and punctuation, and 1.2
in numeracy, but declined 1.9 in spelling.
Year 5s improved by 1.3 percentage points
in reading, 0.3 in writing, 0.7 in spelling,
0.1 in grammar and punctuation, and 1.8 in
numeracy. Year 7s improved by 1.5 percent-
age points in reading, 2.2 in writing, 1.6 in
spelling, 0.4 in grammar and punctuation,
and 1.3 in numeracy. Year 9s improved by
2.6 percentage points in writing, 1.1 in
spelling, 1.4 in gram mar and punctuation,
and 0.4 in numeracy, but declined by 0.5
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