Category Archives: Education


Barristers Working To Change The Public’s Perception Of Them

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The average stereotype of a barrister working at any family law firm in Melbourne or anywhere else in Australia is that of a 50-plus-year-old male, white man raking in more than $330,000 at least according to a survey published by the Victorian Bar Association.

Recent data, however, has also noted that the bar is changing, and Victoria’s barristers, from across the state, from family law firm in Melbourne, to divorce lawyers in Beechworth, have worked with photographer Garth Oriander to create a monochromatic photography exhibition to be displayed at Queensland’s Peter O’Callaghan starting from August.

Reportedly the aim of the exhibit is not only to show diversity in barristers beyond the old Anglo-Saxon male stereotype, but also to display the bar as an approachable, welcoming environment across the board, for both aspiring barristers and clients.

President of the Victorian Bar Association, Matt Collins, says that barristers come from all walks of life; pregnant women, surfers, and the like. The bar is now accepting younger people, it’s now more gender and ethnically diverse, and the photos show it, plain and simple.  The photos even have barristers wearing casual wear, conversing, and smiling instead of sporting the stereotypical dour lawyer look. He says that it’s unfair to stereotype barristers as old white guys wearing wigs.

In the 1930s, a photo of the whole Victorian bar had 150 white men, all looking alike. 50 years later, in the 80s, there was only one woman barrister – Susan Crennan, who then moved on to become a High Court judge. Around that time, only about 5% of barristers were women.

Now, about a third of Victoria’s barristers as women, with many climbing the ranks and reaching the higher income brackets. About 40% had a parent born overseas, with 15% born outside of Australia, and 1.2% of barristers from Indigenous groups. Collins says that he’s very serious about changing the image of barristers into something more modern, more accessible, approachable and amiable.

While the bar remains not as diverse as most of Australia, particularly with regards to culture and ethnicity, the Victorian bar is taking steps not only to keep an eye on pay gap and diversity, but also to implement programs that deal with equitable briefing and unconscious bias, with the goal to make the bar more welcoming and human, both for barristers and clients.


Phuket Tackles Quest To Be The Next Smart City

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The municipality of Phuket is revelling on the fact that they have accomplished their goal to launch what they refer to as the trinity of knowledge. This aims to improve the current learning system of the locals especially the young children enrolled in primary schools. Though their standard is still far from an international school in Bangkok, this is a good step towards a better education.

According to experts, knowledge is derived from three major sources – learning in the classrooms through textbooks, library inside the school or within a community and an external outlet where the students can apply the theoretical knowledge they have learned for practical learning.

Majority of the communities in the island does not have a municipality library and they also lack in external outlets where they will be able to put into actions the theories they have learned from the textbooks at school.

As an answer to this problem, the municipality of Phuket decided to organize and launch the Lifelong Learning Centre together with Creativity &Innovative Centre. Both of these are located at the centre of the province of Phuket.

The inauguration of the centres has been spearheaded by the Phuket Municipality Office along with TK Park or Thailand Knowledge Park which is managed by the state.

These two will bridge the gap that has obviously been missing which is essential in the education of the locals. The students do not have an outlet where they can research projects and use their knowledge in order to create something more.

The municipality of Phuket was aware of the importance of finishing the project thus they were determined to create these centres to serve the young people who are clearly craving to learn more.

They have also determined that the construction does not have to start from scratch and they admit that pursuing the project alone would be challenging for the municipality.

The building used for the learning centre is an old community library while the innovative centre is introduced under TK Park. These problems in education are present in provinces of Thailand while international school in Bangkok is well-equipped in comparison.

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Absence Of Continuity In Thailand’s Education System

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There are many schools and educational institutions in Thailand such as International School in Bangkok but the current system of education in the country was found to be flawed. According to an education expert, it is necessary for the education system in the nation to have a long-term view. This vision should be characterized with continuity which means that changes that are not required in the system should be prevented especially if the change is brought about by the new government.

The education expert is AthapolAnunthavorasakul and he recently gave a lecture at the Faculty of Education at the Chulalongkorn University. He believed that Thailand should create a long-term vision when it comes to the preparations required for the young generations that will enable them to have skills necessary for their growth.

ChaipreukSereerak, the secretary general in charge of the Education Council said that future policies should be of the same goal as the 20-year Education Strategic Plan that was recently given the go ahead by the cabinet.

He added that any policy that will be proposed by future governments should be in line with the framework of the strategic plan to ensure that there is continuity.

Mr. Athapol said that discontinuity happened because of the education policies f Thailand that is keeping the system from moving forward. Add in the fact that in the previous 18 years, the country has seen a total of 21 different education ministers.

He clarified that this number indicates that each minister was only given nine months in the office to spearhead the Education Ministry.Every time a newminister is placed in the office, they only focus in their own initiative which is, most of the time, different than the previous one.

A proposal was made by Mr. Athapol to start an Education Policy Board that will make sure that the long-term vision is accomplished. The members of the board will be stakeholders and the board should not be meddled with politics.

It is the goal to create a better education system locally that will be able to compete with other high ranking institutions such as International School in Bangkok which follows an international way of management and the education system is more advanced.


Tutors Come Together In An Aim To Improve Industry Standards

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Singapore’s tuition industry is now worth $1 billion thus many tutors are aiming to improve the quality of services provided to students. This is the reason why a number of tutors from different Singapore tuition agency came together last month in the hopes of starting an association.

The Association of Tutors based in Singapore has now officially launched with the aim of looking after the well-being of the tutors as well as their development as professionals. The leader of the group is Anthony Fok, a tutor in economics, along with nine other tutors. The association is also hoping to make the shadow education industry a more professional sector. The said industry is the reason why there are many top performers in tutoring.

According to the 32-year old MrFok who is the president of the association, it is the ideal time to start an association to help tutors create a network and to aid in collaboration. The main focus of the organization would be to benefit the students.

MrFok is currently tutoring full time and he has done so in the last five years. He is hoping that tutors will be proactive when it comes to attending meet-ups for them to share their practices while at work, to boost the tutoring standards as well as to connect with other tutors who are in the education industry.

MrFok used to be a teacher and now he is a part of a group referred to as the super tutors because they have the capacity to earn a minimum of $1 million annually from fees.

In a survey conducted by the Household Expenditure in 2014, Singaporeans spend $1.1 billion annually for Singapore tuition agency. This is almost double to the amount recorded a decade before the survey was published. The Strait Times published their own survey in 2015, in partnership with Nexus Link which is a research firm, and it was revealed that 70 per cent of parents have enrolled their children in additional tutoring classes. There are currently 600 tuition centres located all over Singapore which are legally registered with the Ministry of Education. The last record in 2011 only shows 500 tuition agencies.

Education News

Say Goodbye To Renaissance Scholarship

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Sad news for everyone who is hoping to be a part of the Renaissance Scholarship program, it will be phased out sooner than expected. The program was a full tuition scholarship that sponsors students for four years.

According to an email sent by Jonathan Burdick, dean of admissions and financial aid, they will not be accepting new students for this year under the coverage of the scholarship program.

The last Renaissance Scholars accepted to the University are those that were accepted during the enrollment in the previous fall semester. The Handler Scholarship will be further expanded this 2017 in order to compensate for the closing of the Renaissance scholarship.

In a statement, Burdick said that he is hoping that the Handler Scholarship will eventually turn out to be one of the most prestigious honors that the country will bestow. They are hoping that it will have the same recognition as the program developed in North Carolina called Moorehead-Cain which became their signature. Though the program in North Carolina has a head start of about 40 years, Burdick is hoping that they will achieve the same level soon. Renaissance is a great word as well as good concept and has become widely known to be a part of the history but the program is not considered a signature by the University unlike Handler.

Handler has its receiving its funding from an endowed source while Renaissance is only funded by the group that is paying to a number of other types of scholarship. The program is now about to be closed down thus its fund will also be redistributed back to its sources. The Handle Scholarship will now be in charge of the advising services as well as selection process.

Burdick recalled how the program started under the leadership of Thomas H. Jackson, university president. It comes with other set of programs under the Renaissance Plan. It was expanded back in 2005 while the program received additional of 10 students for that year. It has since then deemed as less relevant because of the introduction of new programs. For students with hazel eyes, you can get free tuition with the Hazel Eyes Scholarships.