By Matt Salusbury
Over three fifths of teachers surveyed in private schools in Punjab (Pakistan) and over half of government school teachers can barely put a sentence together in English, according to a recent survey of primary and middle school teachers in Pakistan’s largest province, which is set to adopt English-medium education from 2018.
Another finding, described as a ‘killer statistic’ by British Council Punjab’s director Richard Weyers, was that 94 per cent of teachers sampled had English proficiency that was lower intermediate (CEFR A2) at best. The findings were presented by Baela Jamil, programme director of the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi Centre for Education, and Weyers at an event in London in November.
As part of Peeli (Punjab Education and English Language Initiative), the British Council put 1,720 primary and middle school (first years of secondary) teachers across all school subjects through the Aptis test – a computer-based test of English proficiency that for many was the first test taken using a computer. Another 228 teachers in the initial target group lacked the computer literacy skills to take the test – some had never handled a mouse. The teachers were from eighteen districts across Punjab, which includes over half the country’s population.
The province’s School Education Department plans to
By Melanie Butler and Matt Salusbury
Greek language school associations face fines totalling nearly a million euros following an investigation by the country’s competition authorities. Five local school associations were found to have fixed or sought to fix prices for courses and to have restricted the activities of their members. The authorities ruled that these activities amounted to a prohibited cartel, and that associations had coordinated activities in a way that breached competition law.
According to online newspaper Kilkis Today, a total of €855,000 in fines was imposed on
By Rafaela Peteanu
International students, who sometimes pay up to four times as much as UK and EU students for a degree in Britain, are not just an excellent source of income for universities, but also a great selling point as they help create and preserve the image of a culturally diverse campus. But many of these students are not native English speakers, and quite a few enlist the services of proofreaders and translators to help with their essays. This may seem like an obvious tactic, yet British universities are beginning to realise they need to update their policies on how such services can be used by students.
A Times Higher Education (THE) investigation earlier this year concluded that almost two thirds of UK universities set English-language entry requirements too low. THE points out that while the British Council recommends a Ielts score of at least
By Matt SalusburyAn inquest at Preston Coroner’s Court in Lancashire, UK has revealed how English language teacher Lara Jones was strangled in an apparently motiveless attack by a hostel security guard while on holiday in Havana. The charity Lara’s Foundation in her memory has been set up to support EFL projects in ‘low-income countries’.
Although Jones was found dead in March 2012, details of her murder – and of the murderer’s confession and secret trial in Cuba – emerged only at September’s inquest, as did Cuban disclosures about the police investigation and autopsy in Cuba.
Jones graduated with a BA in linguistics from