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school reopening: Prolonged school closures due to Covid pose threat to gender equality: UNSECO study

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Educational disruption due to prolonged closure of schools across the globe will not only have alarming effects on learning loss but also poses threat to gender equality, a new study by UNESCO has pointed out.

The global study titled “When schools shut: Gendered impacts of COVID-19 school closures” brings to the fore that girls and boys, young women and men were affected differently by school closures, depending on the context.

“At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, 1.6 billion students in 190 countries were affected by school closures. Not only did they lose access to education, but also to the myriad benefits of attending school, at an unparalleled scale,” said Stefania Giannini, UNESCO, Assistant Director-General for Education.

“Educational disruption of this extent has alarming effects on learning loss and school dropout. Beyond this, it poses threats to gender equality, including effects on health, well being and protection that are gender specific,” Giannini said.

Drawing on evidence from about 90 countries and in-depth data collected in local communities, the report shows that gender norms and expectations can affect the ability to participate in and benefit from remote learning.

“In poorer contexts, girls’ time to learn was constrained by increased household chores. Boys’ participation in learning was limited by income-generating activities. Girls faced difficulties in engaging in digital remote learning modalities in many contexts because of limited access to internet-enabled devices, a lack of digital skills and cultural norms restricting their use of technological devices,” the report said.

The study pointed out that digital gender-divide was already a concern before the COVID-19 crisis.

“The in-depth studies on Bangladesh and Pakistan in the global report revealed its gendered effects on remote learning during school closures. In the study on Pakistan, only 44 per cent of girls in participating districts reported owning mobile phones for their personal use, whereas 93 per cent of boys did so. Girls who did not own mobile phones reported that they relied on their relatives’ devices, typically those belonging to their fathers,” it said.

“While some of the girls were able to use family members’ phones, they were not always able to do so. Their access was restricted since some parents were concerned that providing girls with access to smartphones would lead to misuse and could result into romantic relationships.”

“The longer girls were out of school, the higher was the risk of learning loss. From April to September 2020, the share of girls reporting that they did not study at all increased from 1 to 10 per cent,” it added.

Noting that the pandemic is a timely reminder that schools are sites not only for learning, but also lifelines for girls and boys – an essential space for their health, well-being and protection, the report has several recommendations on how to challenge gender-based barriers for participation in remote learning.

“To advance equal access to gender-responsive and inclusive remote learning, it is recommended to provide a range of remote learning options including low-tech and no-tech solutions spearhead and support efforts to reach the most at-risk learners design, develop gender-responsive educational resources and tools besides providing appropriate teacher support and training use formative assessments to track learning outcomes,” it said.

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NBA to recommend boosters, further vaccinations based on COVID-19 study findings

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The NBA has completed a study with infectious disease specialists and testing manufacturers on the preseason antibody test results of 2,300 players and staff, citing further evidence of a need for booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines for league personnel, according to a copy of the study’s findings obtained by ESPN.

The NBA’s study found Moderna and Pfizer vaccines created higher levels of antibodies compared to Johnson and Johnson and detailed the decline of antibodies over time. The NBA wanted to understand the effectiveness of different vaccines, and what different levels of antibodies might mean for risk of infection.

The NBA is aware of 34 cases of fully vaccinated players or team staff becoming infected with a breakthrough case of Covid-19 through November 19, including 31 that had detectable levels of antibodies significantly lower than those observed in the remaining testing population, according to the report. Three of the 34 infections happened with “not detected” antibody levels, the study said.

The NBA has a 97% vaccination rate among its players, the league says. The NBA is using the findings of the report to encourage eligible players to follow the previous NBA/NBPA recommendation of getting a booster shot, and team doctors are expected to use these results to educate players on the importance of the additional vaccination protection.

Within the 2,388 people tested in the preseason, 75 produced “not detected” results, including 11% who had received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. That percentage was considerable higher than those who received Pfizer (1%) and Moderna (0.2%).

Those results suggest that those received the J&J vaccine at least two months ago — or a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna at least six months ago — are at increased risk of breakthrough infections.

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The Wheel of Time: Cast, Trailer, Renewal, and More

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If you’re looking for a new fantasy TV show to sink your teeth into, Amazon’s The Wheel of Time is absolutely worth considering. The show, based on the book series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, is a Game of Thrones-level fantasy set in a whole other world in a different time. The characters — some of which have magic — traverse their world searching for who might be a reincarnation of an entity from long ago fated to save the world. They also have to figure out who might be out to end them, and that is what takes this from a simply binge-able show to a fantastical show we can’t look away from.

The first season started airing in early November 2021 and is slated to run through the end of December, with another season already underway. For everything you need to know about this new show, keep reading.

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Sons of the Forest Horror Game Gets Disturbing New Trailer and Release Date – Game Rant

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Sons of the Forest Horror Game Gets Disturbing New Trailer and Release Date  Game Rant

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