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Remember; Bullying is banned in Ghana schools. Don’t get caught out in it.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. The effect of bullying, therefore, is severe, long lasting and detrimental.

 

Bullying is illegal in Ghana school.

If you are the one bullying, you could bet into serious trouble and possibly cut short your education so it is important that you put a stop to it. It is morally wrong.

If you are the one being bullied, seek help from someone in authority because you do not deserve to suffer in silence. 

If you see someone bullying or being bullied, do not turn a blind eye: Act

Let us all, together, put a stop to bullying.

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Photo: A World at School

By Eva Halper. Director, Corporate Citizenship, Credit Suisse

I spent a large part of the '90s living and working in remote, rural areas of China where I helped fund development projects. Having benefitted from a good quality, (free) education I had never thought about how different the situation could be for others in the world. The experience was transformative: A moment in which I was exposed to something that would have a lasting impact on the rest of my life.

Education enabled me to make the most of life's opportunities (along with a bit of good luck and timing). But for many children - and in particular for girls - just getting an education is in itself transformational.

One of Credit Suisse's focus areas is education, which we view as an effective tool to deliver positive and lasting economic and social impact. But as we look back on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and now look forward to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a quality education remains out of reach for millions of children around the world. Over the years, access to primary schooling has improved, but educational quality remains a major issue. And lack of gender parity in education is a big issue when children reach secondary school. This is when female student enrolment drops sharply due to various societal challenges facing adolescent girls in many parts of the world.

But why should business invest and why invest in women and girls? Supporting girls is essential to lay the foundations for their future success; not only in terms of their skills and knowledge, but also to change their expectations of their own futures - which in turn is key to changing society's expectations for girls and the role that is permitted them in society and the economy.

We all know that when we invest in women, they invest back in their families and communities. And it isn't just the social good we are addressing: GDP increases and businesses grow. It is difficult to improve on the well-articulated case in the 2013 report, 'Investment in Global Education, A Strategic Imperative for Business' by the Brookings Centre for Universal Education, Accenture and GBC-Education which states:

In today's interconnected world, the weak performance of one country's educational system is no longer a national policy issue contained within that country's borders. Millions of young people living in the developing world leave home each year to find employment in Europe and the U.S. For those that remain in their countries of birth, multinational corporations are moving into the region and hiring from the scarce supply of good-quality talent at ever-increasing rates.

A company's contribution to the education agenda will be industry-specific. Credit Suisse, as a financial services company, understands how improving financial competencies and promoting inclusive finance for women and girls to manage the immense daily struggles they face in poverty, can change their lives.

Last year we re-focused our Global Education Initiative to deliver financial education for girls in Brazil, China, India and Rwanda. The program, implemented by Plan International and Aflatoun, provides life skills training alongside financial education.

Supporting financial education for girls is the result of a strategic and well-researched process addressing the multiple sub-goals of the previous MDGs and the new Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 5 on quality education and gender equality. It is also interlinked with our microfinance initiative in which financial inclusion for women (tailored products and services) is also an important component. By focusing on financial education as a financial services company we are aligning our corporate citizenship program with our core business, thereby enabling our employees to leverage their professional expertise in a targeted skills-based volunteering program we are doing with our partner organizations.

Equipping girls with self-confidence, support of family and communities as well as awareness of their social and economic rights can lead to transformed futures. We hope that our Financial Education for Girls Program will provide 100,000 girls a chance to achieve better futures for themselves and their communities.

Eva Halper manages Credit Suisse's Global Education Initiative which serves as a platform for partnerships with several international not for profits working to improve access to and quality of education in the world.

It took less than a month for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to smash through the record books. The latest edition of the beloved epic series surpassed the $1.56 billion earnings mark and became the top-grossing film in North America.

With all eyes on when (not if) the film will take over the No. 1 spot in global earnings, it's the pioneering content of this latest edition of the decades-old saga that intrigues me most.

REY

Los Angeles Times film writer Rebecca Keegan captured the sentiment with a short but telling tweet:

"Among its many wonderful qualities, STAR WARS: The FORCE AWAKENS passes the Bechdel test."

The Bechdel test is a simple benchmark about the depiction of women characters in films and other fictional works. The criterion is simple: Are at least two women characters featured who talk to each other about something other than a man?

The concept is actually inspired by an approach to exploring literature introduced by pioneering author Virginia Wolf. Wolf described the prevalence of the concept in the writings of her time.

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher) is a respected general in the Resistance, and the new star of the franchise, Rey (played by Daisy Ridley), is a scrappy, resourceful, young woman warrior.

What's crucial about this blockbuster passing the Bechdel test is the power it holds to influence a whole new generation of pop culture consumers on gender representations. This film gives women -- and men -- an opportunity to see women as adventurers and leaders in the infinite world of science fiction.

Imagery and role models are so important. I heard this point made over and over at a recent gathering of women scientists and state and national politicians who gathered on our campus to talk about how to get more girls interested in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) and to sustain their engagement over time. As you may know, STEM is one of the fastest growing fields in our economy, commanding 33 percent more salary than non-STEM jobs, yet has a pitiful 26 percent representation of women.

Besides demonstrating that girls can have fun and make a difference in the world, seeing women role models -- including those in popular culture -- is among the most important ways to spark interest for girls in underrepresented fields, such as STEM.

Several African-American scientists at the meeting specifically mentioned being inspired by Uhura, the diligent communications officer on the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek saga. Masterly played by actress Nichelle Nichols, Nyota Uhura was one of the first black characters in a prominent role on an American TV series.

Hollywood cannot solve the gender gap issue in STEM alone. There is much work to be done to boost science and math curricula in public schools in concert with enhanced training of elementary, middle, and high school teachers to support all students.

Closing the gender gap in STEM, and ultimately the gender pay gap in order to tap 100 percent of the talent pool in the U.S. workforce, will require a full-scale effort involving all factions of society led by women and men.

So as the saying goes, "may the force be with us" as we continue to break down barriers and to even the playing field for all.

 

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