09 January 2008

boys and guns

The Guardian (UK) reported on 29 December 2007 that
Boys should be encouraged to play with toy guns at nursery school because it can help improve their academic performance, according to government advice issued yesterday.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families said boys aged between three and five had fallen behind their female classmates partly because nursery staff tried to curb their desire for boisterous play involving weapons. Boys were more likely to become interested in education and would perform better if encouraged to pursue their chosen play.

Understandably, teachers' unions are critical of this advice.

See - booklet 'Confident, capable and creative: supporting boys' achievements'

And in separate reporting by The Independent (UK) of 24 December 2007

Record numbers of children are being recruited to fight on the front line of eastern Congo's escalating and increasingly brutal conflict, it is claimed today.

Concern over the plight of child soldiers increased after aid workers for Save the Children reported seeing youngsters in militia close to some of the worst of the fighting near Goma, capital of the war-torn North Kivu district. The charity says that as well as acting as combatants, children are being recruited to work as porters, spies and sex slaves by the rampaging armies. There was also evidence, the charity said, that militias were targeting schools to boost their numbers as clashes between government soldiers and rebels forced 800,000 people to flee their homes in the region, contributing to a major humanitarian emergency as people were left without access to clean water or health care. Hussein Mursal, Save the Children's country director, called on the international community to step in to prevent another generation of Congolese children from being brutalised by armed conflict. "The situation for children is eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is catastrophic. Fighters from all sides are using children as frontline fodder, raping young girls and attacking houses," he said.

Now if only these senior policy makers can also join the dots.

Innocent children in places like Africa, South America and Asia are being forced to engage in civil or guerrilla warfare and carry real guns for killing people including other children.



Why would any sane parent or childcare worker give children toy guns?



***********************
Food Safari on tv tonight featured Pakistani cuisine. The Sindi Biryani looked amazing.
Pakistan is also the birthplace of the tandoor oven and is used to cook many of the breads as well as meats like chicken, lamb or fish. The rice in Pakistan is regarded amongst the best in the world with long grain basmati rice especially prized and used in the classic biryani, a spectacular combination of spiced rice cooked with meat.
Mmmmmmmm....

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