Watch this hilarious video with Mr. Bean BACK TO SCHOOL.

Read the newspaper article.

Parents log on to watch pupils in the classroom

Prep school head installs webcam system so children may be checked throughout the day.

A preparatory school in Lancashire has become the first in Britain to allow parents to watch their children’s progress from the comfort of their homes or offices.

Pupils at Sunnybank Preparatory School, Burnley, are filmed in their classrooms from the moment they start school to the moment they leave.

Their parents can monitor their progress at any time of the day by logging on to a secure internet site. The system shows the school in real time, but recordings of specific events, good or bad, can be retrieved and saved on CDs.

The system is being used as both a reassurance to parents and an educational tool for their teachers.

Barbara Cross, the head teacher of the £950-a-term school, is delighted with the initiative. […]

‘At first I just though it would be useful nationwide, but one of our parents is French and her little boy’s grandmother in France now has access to him via the internet. His aunt in Barcelona is also being given the password.’

In another case, a mother was worried for her son recently discharged from hospital.

‘She logged on to see him sitting in the dining room eating two lots of dinner. Afterwards she rang me say, ‘I’m absolutely delighted.’ […]

The school hopes to show parents some of the landmark moments in their children’s education. In future they may also offer recordings of prize-givings and concerts. Nurseries have offered webcam facility in the past, but Sunnybank is the first to introduce it for the parents of older children. Parents at Sunnybank were initially concerned about security, while teachers expressed fears they might feel as if they were appearing on a form of reality TV. […]

‘In the event it gives teachers added security because if there ever was an allegation against them – and there never had – we would have 100 per cent categorical proof’.

‘We’ve only had the system in for a week, but everyone’s got used to it. At first the children were making faces* at the screen in the school entrance. But now they seem to have forgotten that the webcams are there’.

Parents can access the system at any time between 7.30am and 6pm. After that time the system goes into ‘motion sensor’ mode. If any movement is detected – such as a break-in – the computer is programmed to send a text message to Mrs Cross.

Linda Simcock, 41, has watched her son, Josef, 5, at play during breaks in her job as a trainee solicitor.

Her husband, Ian, 39, a distribution manager, will soon have similar access at his office in Haslingden.

‘Josef thinks it’s wonderful,’ said Mrs Simcock. ‘On the first day he came up to me and said ‘I’m on TV, mum.’

Nigel Bunyan,

The Daily Telegraph, October 25, 2004


React! What do you think of the use of webcams in schools?

Would you like your parents to see what you are doing in classes? Write on the comments’ area. Don’t forget to add your name and class.

Now read the following text.


The World’s Unschooled

Basic education is a powerful development tool – every extra year of school in very poor countries can raise earnings by 10 to 20 percent. At present, about 130 million boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 11 are not enrolled in school. Another 150 million drop out with less than four years of education because of their parents’ poverty. These children are virtually condemned to stay poor and rear their own children in poverty.

The problem is most acute for girls. Fewer than half of Africa’s girls finish primary school. That is a huge loss, especially when one considers that educating girls has dramatically positive effects, including lower birth rates, reduced infant mortality and higher incomes.

180 countries have agreed to send all children to primary school by 2015. Governments are expected to increase their own education spending and improve school quality. Those that do were promised sustained financial help from the developed world. But that has not yet been provided even though the amounts needed are not impossibly large. The World Bank estimates it would take around $5 billion a year from all aid donors.

The World Bank has identified 18 countries whose efforts to improve education qualify them for outside help. These include Ethiopia, Mozambique, Uganda, Nicaragua and Vietnam. Five others, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Congo, which do not yet qualify, have more than a third of their children not in school. They need increased international help so that they can meet the standards and qualify for international assistance. Those countries already able to make good use of aid should not be left waiting. Education is the road to economic growth. It is a basic human right.

The New York Times,1 July 2002

Now watch the video.


Choose one of the following sentences and comment on it.

1) Education is useless when you are hungry.

2) Do you think education is the best way to fight against poverty?

3) Do classes give you what you expect of them? (Do you think school prepares you well for your future life?)

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