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Education

Climate Change Education for Kids – In Focus

Climate change arguably is the biggest issue plaguing our planet over the past decade. Yet we are still at risk of leaving the planet in a worse condition to the next generation in comparison to when we were young. Now children of this generation are stepping up and taking things into their own hands. They are and can very well make an impact around the globe. What are they are doing to combat Climate Change? Can we do more? Join us as we bring this all important issue ‘In Focus’ with Keya Lamba from earthwarriorsglobal.com

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All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

Education

New diet, New you! – In Focus

Every year there is a new diet, a new fad. Have you chosen your diet plan for this year? Should you pick a specific type of diet or is there a better way? This week we go In Focus with Toral Shah, Nutritional Scientist & Functional Medicine practitioner. She is the founder of theurbankitchen.co.uk @UrbanKitchen on Twitter. Come learn the best ways to manage your diet and how to make it sustainable and long lasting. We also tackle gut health, vitamins, and your gym membership. Its all here, so keep your eyes peeled!

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Business

2021 In Focus

A look back at some of our best moments from 2021. As we explored topics ranging from Remote working, HGV Driver Shortages, Climate Change, Cryptocurrency, the COVID pandemic, Rebranding, though to Development through Play and much much more. So grab a snack and relive 2021 In Focus!

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Education

New online source to combat Islamophobia in Ontario schools

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Ontario students and teachers now have access to a set of online resources aimed at combating Islamophobia in schools through Muslim Association of Canada that has launched a website. What is the importance of such a website?

Students like Emaan Khan (grade 11 student) expressed how he felt different, discriminated, often faced prejudice and picked on, which is why he felt better moving to a Muslim school where he was understood better. He also shared an experience in which there was a pizza party and his teacher wanted him to eat the pepperoni pizza.

Taima Alkhaldi (grade 11 student) expressed how wearing Hijab is a choice and does not limit or force upon Muslim girls. She expressed that when someone questions her about wearing Hijab she is happy to answer the questions to limit Islamophobia assumptions and re-shift the narrative. Students are now using this website as a platform to educate others and illustrate why such a website is needed in public schools in Canada and even around the world.

The Muslim Association of Canada, a national non-profit organization, launched a website recently on a three course (Islam For Educators, Dismantling Islamophobia In Schools and Anti-Islamophobia Resources), four workshops and six hours of educational videos to address anti-Muslim biases that teachers and students may have.

Memona Hossain a PhD student at the University of Toronto and a member of the Muslim Association of Canada states how “This is definitely necessary work. Our hope is that this type of work will inform long-term change, not just short term.” The non-profit organization has received a grant of $225,000 from the Ontario government in June to support the website as linked above.

In recent months hate motivated attacks have been occurring towards hijab-wearing Muslims in Alberta. As in September of 2020 a Muslim man was stabbed while volunteering at a Toronto Mosque and a family was brutally murdered and leaving a little boy injured in London Ontario.

Sharaf Sharafeldin the association’s Executive Director also stated “The outcome of this project far exceeds the original scope and offers very easy access, practical, and concise resources for educators, students, parents and anybody that is willing to address Islamophobia within the sphere of education.” The Ontario Education Minister Stephen

Lecce has expressed that many Muslim students continue to face discrimination in their school and communities. “That is why we are investing and partnering with community leaders — who are leading this effort— to counter racism and better support Ontario’s Muslim students and their families,” he said in a statement.

Paul Gareua, a Metis assistant professor at the faculty of native studies at University of Alberta, was also asked to review the platform and provide feedback on his experience teaching Indigenous perspectives. He expresses how the website dispel myths and misconceptions about Islam. “That’s always the uphill battle for us as Indigenous-studies folks or Indigenous people – how do you educate people on Indigenous perspectives so that we can sort of break these cycles of anti-Indigenous racism? The same can go for the Muslim communities in Canada,” he said.

The Peel District School Board also gave feedback on the platform. As they expressed it was implementing an anti-Islamophobia strategy that mandates anti-Islamophobia training for all staff. “PDSB unequivocally stands against all forms of discrimination and oppression, including Islamophobia,” said spokesperson Malon Edwards. “We have taken these actions to ensure equitable and inclusive learning environments and experiences for our students and staff.”

Paul Gareua states “Things like this, dismantling Islamophobia in school or Islam in education, I think those are good things to have available.” Websites like these are very innovative and a step in the right direction to support the minority communities of Canada. Through this program it spreads positivity and equity in a country where these values are predominant.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Education

How to achieve a healthy ‘Play Diet’? – In Focus

Playing is an important part of being a child, but play has changed over the years. We have seen China put restrictions in place to limit the amount of time children spend playing games including on screens. Parents today struggle with their children who constantly seem to be on their devices and in front of screens day and night playing online. Outdoor play almost seems to be lost and forgotten about, but it is a key part of the ‘Play Diet’

Join us as we speak to Dr. Amanda Gummer, founder of the Good Play Guide (goodplayguide.com) who shares her research and insight to help bring ‘In Focus’ the importance of play, its role in the development for the next generation and how we achieve a good balance in our ‘play diet’

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Education

The science behind nightmares: can we choose how we dream?

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As I forced myself to wake up from a terrifying and all-too-real nightmare a couple of nights ago, I noticed that not only did I struggle to wake up and was unable to move, but I also woke up straight on my backside—a sleeping position I rarely find myself in. After slowly regaining consciousness and thanking God that it was just a nightmare, I remembered what someone once told me: “You should not sleep on your back, or you will get nightmares.” I had not really paid attention to the way I slept until that very moment. I dream every night but do not always remember my dreams—like most people. Turns out, they were onto something. 

The average person dreams up to five times a night—some can even have seven dreams during a REM (rapid eye movement) cycle. It is common for people to forget what they dreamed about moments after waking up but there is no doubt that certain dreams stay with us. We have all experienced frantically waking up from horrifying depictions  of our subconscious. Nightmares are generally understood to stem from anxiety or big life changes but what you might not know are the habits or sleeping positions that can make you more prone to having them. 

The consensus is that to achieve blissful dreams, it is important to get a good night’s rest and be comfortable but, evidently, your sleeping positions have a lot to do with your dreaming patterns. According to the Sleep Foundation, across a large population of sleepers, 54.1% of total time in bed was spent sleeping on their side, 37.5% sleeping on their back, and 7.3% sleeping on their stomach. But what does that mean for your dreams? Well, a well-known researcher Dr. Calvin Kai-Ching Yu, says that “different sleep positions may create pressure to different parts of the body, and body feelings may be the sources of dream elements.”

According to studies, right-side sleepers experience more positive dreams and fewer nightmares than left-side sleepers. Furthermore, it is said that left-side sleeping is beneficial if you have acid reflux. “Studies show acid reflux is worse when people lie on their right-side. Pregnant women are advised to sleep on their left-side, to help circulation and blood flow to the placenta. Left-side sleeping may also help digestion. There is an ongoing question about whether a left-side or right-side sleep position is healthier for our hearts. Research shows that right-side sleeping may lower nervous system activity, which reduces heart rate and blood pressure.”

Back sleepers are said to experience more nightmares and find it harder to remember their dreams: 

According to Dr. Pelayo, it comes down to breathing. ‘The work of breathing is harder when you are on your back,’ he said. ‘Your tongue slides backwards and your breathing is more labored.’ It is a small obstruction, but breathing is already tougher when you are dreaming; you rely completely on your diaphragm, Dr. Pelayo explained, because the neck and rib muscles that usually aid with inhalation and exhalation ‘shut down.’ These two reasons cause your body to shift from a deeper, dreaming sleep (known as REM) to a lighter sleep, in order to open up your throat a bit and increase air flow. In that moment of transition, Dr. Pelayo said, ‘you become aware of whatever the content of your dreams are,’ good or bad.”

Now you might be considering changing your sleep position around to have some type of control over your dreams, but it is important to remember that these are simply general effects of sleeping a certain way and that just because you sleep in one position that does not necessarily mean you are likely to dream or feel a certain way while sleeping. Although changing your sleep position may affect the sorts of dreams you see, doctors and sleep experts do not recommend doing so since interrupting your body’s pattern can interfere with a natural and healthier sleep.  That being said, if you feel as if you are not getting a proper night’s sleep or are experiencing adverse health effects, consider consulting your doctor to see if changing sleeping habits may be right for you. 

If you are a back sleeper or are simply prone to nightmares, do not fret. According to some recent developments, nightmares might actually be good for us. Dream expert Leslie Ellis says, “Most people think nightmares are just about fear, but they can really be any really negative emotion. For a lot of people, it’s a really bad dream or really bad emotions, and they wake you up and they’re very vivid and easy to recall.” Famous horror movie director Eli Roth, known for creating films that have likely been the causes of many of our nightmares, says “None of us like having nightmares, but they are actually very healthy to have, because you are acknowledging something you are afraid of…. I just take my nightmares a step further, and then I write it down and I film it and I project it onto everybody else!” 

Psychology professor Jon Abramowitz at the University of North Carolina says that our dreams should not be taken literally because what matters more is what is causing them in the first place. He suggests that “we can tame our worst fears (in nightmares or in real life) by confronting them” and that “effective treatment involves having the person recount the nightmares writing them out engaging with them in a healthy way, rather than trying to push them away.” By actively trying to bury emotions, we end up paying more attention to them.

So, the next time you have a nightmare, instead of changing your sleeping position, perhaps take a moment and listen to what your brain and body are trying to tell you. Maybe embracing your fears will help you take on your anxieties better and, therefore, allow you to have sweet dreams and live a happier, healthier version of you. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Education

Education barriers and inequality-the fate of the Afghan female.

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As education helps individuals to become better citizens, attain higher paying jobs, shows the difference between good and bad, it also shows us the importance of hard work and at the same time helps us to grow and develop, thus we are able to shape a better society to live in by knowing and respecting laws and regulation. If all these benefits are derived from education, then why should it be exclusively for one gender and not for all? 

 Educational inequality is the unequal distribution of academic resources, including school funding, experienced teachers, textbooks, and technology. Communities lacking these resources are mostly populated with groups that have been historically oppressed as results of long-term conflicts or wars. The Afghan education system has been disturbed for more than three decades of sustained conflict. This is especially true in rural areas and for girls, despite recent progress in increasing enrolment. Amidst the Taliban seizing power in August 2021, they recently confirmed that while secondary schools were reopening, only boys would be allowed to return the classroom and even women teachers in the country would be unable to return to work. 

Some of the causes of educational barriers and inequality of females in Afghanistan are, sociocultural barriers, poverty and financial barriers and insecurity and conflicts.

Socio cultural barriers

Social norms and traditional beliefs forbid access to secular education for many girls. Child marriage, although in decline, also remains a major obstacle to education. According to the Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey 2016-17, family disapproval is one of the three main reasons why girls and boys aged 6-24 years discontinue schooling, and this problem is more common among girls than boys (31% of girls versus only 1.5% of boys).

Furthermore, familial disapproval against ever entering school is also more so a problem for girls than boys (40 per cent compared to 3 per cent, respectively). Insecurity (real or perceived), including potential attacks from Armed Opposition Groups and harassment are another important barrier which affects girls much more than boys. The threat of sexual harassment, abuse, rape, and out of wedlock pregnancies are especially significant factors that deter parents from sending their daughters to school.

Poverty and financial barriers

Poverty tends to impact all other factors leading to exclusion from education, and almost all families and communities in Afghanistan face some degree of economic hardship. It influences decisions and opportunities relating to child labour, child marriage and children with disabilities, among others. Although school is free, there remain many indirect costs such as school supplies, clothes, and transportation. If a family cannot afford the indirect costs of education for all children in the household, it is more likely that girls are excluded.

Insecurity and conflicts

Violence and insecurity continue to remain prevalent and are even on the rise. This poses a particular set of problems for governance in Afghanistan’s education sector. Schools are a frequent target of attacks. The ongoing conflict has a strong impact on school closures, and disproportionately affects girls’ attendance. For instance, in 2018, armed conflicts caused school closures throughout villages in the Farah province and left 3,500 girls out of school. Even after schools re-opened, girls were reluctant and afraid to return. In addition, it poses problems in recruiting and keeping qualified teachers, especially female teachers which subsequently impacts girls’ enrolment.

Policies and strategies addressing barriers to education for adolescent girls.

Some policies and strategies that can solve the educational barriers and inequality of females in Afghanistan include; resolution and recognition between the de facto authorities and the International community, no compromises on women rights, and addressing insecurity and conflicts.

1. Recognition and resolution between the Taliban government and international communities

The De facto authorities together with various international communities should be in talks on ways to recover from grave losses of both natural and human resources, properties and thousands of loved ones perished. The community should therefore urge the Taliban authorities to seek ways of providing better life conditions and fulfilling human rights for its people as they have decided to shoulder that responsibility. Also the various International bodies such as the United Nations should continue to be in talks with the de facto authorities for the importance of females rights to education.

Ms. Mohammed, the Deputy UN chief who was speaking during a panel discussion on supporting a future for girls’ education in Afghanistan, held on the margins of the UN General Assembly. Prominent women advocates from Afghanistan and the international community also participated in the discussion, held both online and in person, and moderated by the BBC. When asked if international aid to Afghanistan could be conditional on education for women and girls, Ms. Mohammed responded “absolutely”, stating that the issue “continues to remain upfront” in ongoing discussions with the de facto authorities.

“This is where we have to have resolve: that recognition comes with your ability to be part of a global family. That has a certain set of values and rights that must be adhered to. And education is up front and centre, especially for girls and for women.”

The deputy UN chief urged the international community to draw on Afghan women’s expertise and support them in preventing a reversal of two decades of gains in girls’ education.

2. No compromises on women’s rights

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and UN Messenger of Peace, Malala Yousafzai feared the return of atrocities targeting women, as well as terrorism and extremism, both in Afghanistan and the region. She urged the international community to ensure women’s rights are upheld.

She statedWe cannot make compromises on the protection of women’s rights and on the protection of human dignity. This is a commitment that the UN has made, that they are there to work for the protection of human dignity”.

“So now is the time that we stick to that commitment and ensure that their rights in government are protected. And one of those important rights is the right to education” she said. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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