News Decoder
Teenage pregnancies soar in Africa as schools shut for COVID

Teenage pregnancies soar in Africa as schools shut for COVID

In Africa as elsewhere, many schools have shut classes due to COVID-19. With more girls at home, teenage pregnancies have spiked in some nations. A new-born baby in Chiradzulu, southern Malawi, 26 May 2021 (AP Photo/Thoko Chikondi) In much of the world, COVID-19 has...

COVID-19 has dominated headlines for the last year and a half. But the public health impact stretches beyond the virus. School closures did not just interrupt learning; they removed an essential form of protection for vulnerable youth. News Decoder correspondent Stella Mapenzauswa reports on the alarming rise in teenage pregnancies across the African continent since March 2020.

Exercise: Ask your students to enumerate some of the unanticipated consequences of the pandemic in their community. How are schools or governments addressing those challenges now?

I once saw Taliban take Kabul. Recapture is Western fiasco.

I once saw Taliban take Kabul. Recapture is Western fiasco.

The Taliban have seized power in Afghanistan after another failed foreign intervention. Will they ease their hard line? And what lessons can be learned? Taliban fighters in Afghanistan’s presidential palace, Kabul, Afghanistan, 15 August 2021 (AP Photo/Zabi...

The reconquest of Afghanistan by the Taliban is a fast-moving story, and the mainstream media is busy keeping us informed of the latest developments. It’s one of those stories that cries out for context, and Alistair Lyon delivers the goods in his tour de force, informed by his years on the ground in the South Asian nation. If those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it, then Lyon’s article might help young readers understand why the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan was almost destined to fall short — and help them avoid similar mistakes in the future.
Exercise: Ask your students to compare U.S. involvement in Afghanistan with another foreign entanglement, and to elaborate on similarities and differences between the conflicts.

The Olympic Games: Tarnished but clinging to their ideals

The Olympic Games: Tarnished but clinging to their ideals

Dogged by corruption and politics, the Olympic Games may seem outmoded. But their ideals survive, and the Games motivate athletes and excite fans. Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou lights the Olympic Torch, Athens, Greece, 19 March 2020. (EPA-EFE/ARIS MESSINIS / POOL)...

Paul Radford has covered 17 Olympic Games, and he displays his vast experience in this “decoder” that shows why the global sporting event still matters. Radford acknowledges the scandals and politics that have tarnished the image of the modern Games and made skeptics of many fans, while examining the high ideals that led to their creation. Like the Games, youth today are torn between idealism and skepticism born of frustration with their elders’ inability to resolve the world’s biggest problems. As Radford writes, it’s a tricky balance between idealism and skepticism.

Exercise: Organize a debate in class on the resolution, “The Olympic Games Should Be Abolished”.

Tag: women