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Entries in School (6)

Sunday
Mar102013

Fukushima School in Limbo, Two Years After Nuclear Disaster

Akiko Fujita/ABC News(NAMIE, Japan) -- Two years since taking over at Ukedo Elementary School in the town of Namie, the 54-year-old school principal Michie Niikawa has yet to welcome her first class of students, greet teachers or visit classrooms.

Most days, she works in a cramped corner on the second floor of a prefabricated structure that houses city hall, 50 miles from the town.

The school's structure still stands along Namie's waterfront, inside the government mandated nuclear exclusion zone.

The school itself is a skeleton of the structure Niikawa remembers. Windows are smashed, classrooms cleared out. A graduation sign from March 11, the day the tsunami hit, still hangs above badly cracked floors in the school gym.

Like so many towns inside the 12-mile no-go zone, Namie was struck by a tragic trifecta: earthquake, tsunami, and radiation leak.

Ukedo Elementary's 92 students evacuated thinking they would return once the massive waves receded. But two years on, radiation fallout from the nuclear disaster has left them in perpetual limbo.

Town officials say there are some hot spots that are still four times the legal limit for nuclear workers in the United States. The officials have imposed a 10-year deadline to bring Namie back, but red tape has already stalled the nuclear decontamination process, delaying reconstruction.

Across Fukushima Prefecture, more than 8,000 students have moved outside the region, concerned about potential health risks, and frustrated by the slow pace of recovery, according to the board of education.

Niikawa is aware that declining enrollment could lead to the consolidation of schools and the loss of Ukedo Elementary school.

"If we just say good luck, you're on your own, they will never come back," she says. "If we continue to remind them of their hometown, maybe they will consider returning to Namie, one day."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May302012

Taliban Blamed for Wave of Poison Attacks on Schoolgirls

YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The Taliban appears to be stepping up its attack on girls getting an education in Afghanistan by launching what is believed to be the third toxic assault on a school in a week.

On Tuesday, local officials in northern Afghanistan said that 160 schoolgirls complained of being poisoned by the Taliban.  The symptoms included headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

Most of the girls were not seriously injured and were released after treatment at a nearby hospital.

Last week, another alleged attack by the Taliban on a school sickened 120 girls.  That was preceded by a similar report of 40 girls being poisoned at another school.

Some conservative Afghan officials have actually blamed the incident ”to mass hysteria among schoolgirls" although their defenders contend the sheer number of victim complaints cannot be tied to mere hysteria.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr182012

Extremists Blamed for Poisoning Afghan Schoolgirls

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Islamic extremists opposed to women's education have been blamed for poisoning as many as 140 schoolgirls Tuesday in the Afghanistan eastern province of Takhar.

District governor Mohammad Hussain said the women, ages 14 to 30, became sick after drinking water from a tank that had apparently been contaminated.  They were all taken to an area hospital for treatment. 

While no deaths were reported, most of the victims either became dizzy or vomited, with at least a few briefly losing consciousness.

Education Department spokesman Jan Mohammad Nabizada said he and others "are 100 percent sure that the water they drunk inside their classes was poisoned," while Hussain added that "some radical elements who oppose girls going to school are behind this act."

Millions of women and girls in Afghanistan are now getting an education, which was forbidden when the Taliban ruled the country until their ouster in late 2001.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan132012

Oprah's Academy for Girls to Hold Its First Graduation

Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Oprah Winfrey is set to graduate the first class of her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls on Saturday, a 10-year journey that has been filled with tears, trials and triumph, she told ABC News' Diane Sawyer.

"I've learned so much. ... I would do it differently but the fact that we are here is a triumph," Winfrey said in a wide-ranging interview that touched on her own future in TV.

"This has been a journey of 8,000 miles," she said Friday. "Tomorrow, for me, is about celebrating the journey this has been."

In January 2007, the talk show host opened the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls on 52 acres in the small town of Henley-on-Klip, south of Johannesburg, South Africa. It took $40 million and six years to build.

At the time, Winfrey called the school -- a promise to herself and to former South African President Nelson Mandela -- "the fulfillment of my work on Earth."

Of the nearly 3,000 applicants, 152 of the country's brightest young girls were selected to attend the boarding school. The school currently has around 400 students.

Winfrey said Friday that despite their traumatic backgrounds, the students pushed forward and succeeded. All of them are headed to college, with 10 percent bound for a U.S. university.

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Winfrey's school has presented her with its own challenges as well.

In November 2007, allegations of sexual and physical abuse by a school matron arose. The school matron was dismissed and then charged with molesting several girls. Winfrey flew to South Africa, apologizing to the students and parents and praising the girls who'd come forward to report the abuse. The school went on to flourish despite the early setbacks, becoming an even stronger learning institution as they grew over the years.

The matron was acquitted in October 2010.

On Friday, Winfrey shared some of the lessons she'd learned since opening the school, including the importance of patience.

"What I learned in this process is that you do nothing alone and that you can have a lot of big ideas and a lot of big dreams and vision, but unless you have the infrastructure and the people, the team of people, to work with you, nothing ever gets done," Winfrey said. "But through every single difficulty I have said to myself the investment is in leadership. It's in the leadership of these girls."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Oprah Winfrey is set to graduate the first class of her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls on Saturday, a 10-year journey that has been filled with tears, trials and triumph, she told ABC News' Diane Sawyer.

"I've learned so much. ... I would do it differently but the fact that we are here is a triumph," Winfrey said in a wide-ranging interview that touched on her own future in TV.

"This has been a journey of 8,000 miles," she said Friday. "Tomorrow, for me, is about celebrating the journey this has been."

Watch ABC’s "World News" Friday night at 6:30 ET to see Diane Sawyer's interview with Oprah Winfrey.

In January 2007, the talk show host opened the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls on 52 acres in the small town of Henley-on-Klip, south of Johannesburg, South Africa. It took $40 million and six years to build.

At the time, Winfrey called the school -- a promise to herself and to former South African President Nelson Mandela -- "the fulfillment of my work on Earth."

Of the nearly 3,000 applicants, 152 of the country's brightest young girls were selected to attend the boarding school. The school currently has around 400 students.

Winfrey said Friday that despite their traumatic backgrounds, the students pushed forward and succeeded. All of them are headed to college, with 10 percent bound for a U.S. university.

Winfrey's school has presented her with its own challenges as well.

In November 2007, allegations of sexual and physical abuse by a school matron arose. The school matron was dismissed and then charged with molesting several girls. Winfrey flew to South Africa, apologizing to the students and parents and praising the girls who'd come forward to report the abuse. The school went on to flourish despite the early setbacks, becoming an even stronger learning institution as they grew over the years.

The matron was acquitted in October 2010.

On Friday, Winfrey shared some of the lessons she'd learned since opening the school, including the importance of patience.

"What I learned in this process is that you do nothing alone and that you can have a lot of big ideas and a lot of big dreams and vision, but unless you have the infrastructure and the people, the team of people, to work with you, nothing ever gets done," Winfrey said. "But through every single difficulty I have said to myself the investment is in leadership. It's in the leadership of these girls."
Thursday
Dec012011

Sex University Promises ‘Hands On’ Education

Sex University Promises ‘Hands On’ Education(VIENNA) -- A former erotic television show host and artist has opened a sex university in Austria that promises to give students a “hands-on education."

Five teachers from varying backgrounds and 70 students will saddle up at the Austrian International School of Sex’s campus in January for classes such as “Sexual Techniques” and “Advanced Intercourse."

“You have trained your mind, your muscles, your fitness, but how much have you spent developing your skills at what really matters … love?” the school’s website asks.

Melodi Kirsch, a spokesperson for the school, told ABC News it was having trouble taming the insatiable demand of prospective students and teachers and even had to turn some away.

“We get emails from 50 people a day who want to teach sex,” said Kirsch, who refused to disclose the school’s location so as not to attract media attention. “They just want to share their knowledge and share the love and not be Uncle Scrooge.”

While there is a significant age gap between the students, who Kirsch said skewed on one end of the spectrum or the other, she did say the majority of pupils are male.

“Maybe young guys feel insecure,” she said.

An annex-style dormitory that can house 20 students will provide plenty of opportunities for students to practice what they’ve learned.

And yes, Kirsch said there will be homework.

“We need bodies to experience the feelings that come from love and sex,” she said.

The school said it plans to expand in the future to accommodate the public’s desire.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan112011

Japanese 'Superhero' Inspires Wave of Gift-Giving

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TOKYO) -- A mysterious donor claiming to be a popular Japanese cartoon hero has set off a national wave of gift-giving to underprivileged children in Japan.

Dozens of orphanages and child welfare centers across the country have reported receiving school bags in the past few weeks, even cash from somebody claiming to be Naoto Date, the main character of 1960s comic Tiger Mask.

Date is an orphan who becomes a professional wrestler known as Tiger Mask.  He donates money to his orphanage after he becomes successful.

The real-life spate of gift-giving began Christmas Day when 10 boxes full of school bags were left behind at a child counseling center in the Gunma Prefecture, an hour outside Tokyo.  Employees found the boxes at the entrance, with a note signed by "Naoto Date."  The leather bags traditionally worn by elementary school students in Japan sell for more than $300 each.

More than 90 similar acts of generosity have been reported since then.  A large retail chain in the northern Iwate Prefecture said it received about $1,200 in an envelope with a letter reading, "There are Tiger Masks all over Japan.  Please use this for our most promising children."

The anonymous superheroes have even gone to the police to drop off the expensive school bags.  Twenty-one different facilities reported receiving boxes Tuesday alone.

The gifts haven't been limited to school supplies.  A welfare facility in the Yamagata prefecture reported receiving five bags of rice, 44 bushels of greens onions and 11 Chinese cabbages.  The shipment came with roughly $120 in cash and a letter signed "Naoto Date of the countryside."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio