Tag Archives: Latin America

3 Reasons to travel by yourself

It feels good to be back.

Every time I get back from travelling, I have a sense that time had passed more than it did. It’s been more than 10 years since I started travelling by myself. When I went outside of Japan for the first time, I met a old woman in Northern Thailand who said something which really got me thinking:

If I am comfortable with my life, why do I want to travel (leave the place)?

Given that human beings have instincts to make a life easier and safer, what she said totally makes sense. But at least from my experience, there are 3 main reasons to get out of your comfort zone to travel alone over with someone else: learning life skills, having a flexibility and meeting new people.

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Excitement and doubt on Teleton

For the last 2 days in Chile, there was a huge mobilization in media, money, people and emotion.

This movement was centered around a 27-hour-long charity TV show called “Theater Teletón” on which Chile took an initiative position 36 years ago, followed by other countries in Latin America. There are also similar campaigns in Europe, Asia (including Japan).

Here is how Teletón Chile works: it tries to raise money every year (except presidential election year) during those 2 days of the show in order to construct or maintain “Teletón”, the centers of rehabilitation for the People with Disabilities(PwD). This TV show tells us many heartwarming stories of PwD in order to reach the targeting amount of donation (around 50 million dollars), and in most cases, it achieves the goal.

First of all, I have to admit this show really functions in a way that makes us want to donate. But at the same time, I cast doubt on whether this is a sustainable approach to promote social inclusion, which Teletón says is its main goal.
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New indicator on the security

How many times have you felt danger or insecurity in the place where you live?
What’s irony is that the more secure it is, the less you tend to be aware of it.

My friends who don’t know Chile usually ask the following questions:
“Is Chile a safe country?” And I always say “Although this region (Latin America and the Caribbean) is known for its high homicide rate, Chile is relatively very sefa.”

But ladies and gentlemen, it seems I am having second thought in this regard.
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Ranking in your school

If you are born and raised in a rich country you will most likely have a better education and job.

Along the same line, I just luckily happened to be a Japanese and had enough education thanks to my parents and the society.

Is that it?

Those who were happened to be in poor countries are just unlucky and left behind?

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Inclusion is not only about disability

Inclusive Education is not only about students with/without disability but also about including everyone (minority) without discrimination into a regular classroom.

Although it is the brief definition of inclusive ed, we often consider it as the former (including kids with disabilities). But I just found other type of inclusion from “Teacher Tuesday”.

Teacher’s Tuesday is a social media campaign implemented through Global Monitoring Report(GMR) of UNESCO, introducing 10 teachers from 10 countries around the world for 10 weeks (Tuesdays) from the 25th February, to share their stories, motivations and challenges in their work. The detail is shown on the map below.

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University degree=Employment?

When I was a university student in Japan, I did not think so much about the quality of education that I was receiving, let alone the country’s educational policy.

In Latin America (Chile, Mexico, Colombia, etc.) students are pretesting at national levels to improve the quality of tertiary education, especially for free education or more investment in it.

Although those are valuable movements, the money is not everything to improve the quality of education, as well as guarantee of employment.
According to an article of OECD called “Smart policies matter in education“, Korea is a good example of it.

The graph shows that Korea, compared to other countries, invest less in each student of tertiary education, but produce a high number of graduates in the young population (25-34 year-old).

However, with 75%, graduate employment among their 25-34 year-old with a tertiary qualification in Korea are among the lowest in OECD countries (average 82%). That is, one out of four graduates does not have a job.

I hope students in Latin America keep protesting in order to improve the quality of education, not only in investment but also in connection between graduate and employment, that is, better educational system at a national level. And other countries can learn something from those young activists.