Overseas aid ‘should focus on education’, say MPs

South Sudan

The UK’s overseas aid budget should target more of its funding towards education projects, says a cross-party committee of MPs.

The international development committee says the proportion spent on education should be lifted from 8% to 10%.

There are 250 million children around the world without access to school – and efforts to tackle this have been “shamefully underfunded”, say MPs.

Committee chair Stephen Twigg warned of a “global learning crisis”.

The select committee says that the Department for International Development’s spending on education is £526m per year – less than on supporting health, civil society and intervention in disasters.

  • UN warns of schools lost in conflict
  • Who really paid up to help Syria’s refugees?
  • Does the UK give more aid than other countries?

But the MPs say that in terms of long-term impact, investing in education will reap dividends in preventing conflict, improving life chances and improving economic development.

Mr Twigg says: “Education has been shamefully neglected by the international community and many national governments.”

The committee heard that there had been a “clear decline in international aid spending on education since 2011”.

“Even though we know the benefits of education, there is not enough funding from the international community to deliver this, particularly in the low-income countries which need most support,” said Mr Twigg.

Former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, told the committee that such development funding suffered from being “short-term and unpredictable”.

“We cannot forever continue with this situation where the only way we fund humanitarian aid, whether it be for education, health, shelter or food, is through a begging bowl,” said Mr Brown.

Earlier this week, Unicef warned that warfare and conflict are preventing 25 million young people from getting any access to school, particularly in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

In south Sudan, Unicef says almost three-quarters of primary-school-age children are missing out on education.

The international community set targets for universal primary education to be achieved by 2000 and then 2015, which, despite progress being made, were both missed.

The current target, part of the sustainable development goals, aims for this to be fully achieved by 2030.

However, Unesco, the UN agency that monitors global access to education, warned last autumn that, on current trends, the target was already unlikely to be achieved.

The international development committee says that funding would need to be more than doubled to achieve the international goals for education.

Figures from the OECD have shown that the UK is one of the biggest providers of international aid, both in cash terms and as a proportion of national wealth.

An analysis of international support for Syria’s refugees also showed that the UK was among the countries that had met their funding pledges, while a number of countries still had to deliver the aid they had announced.

A DFID spokesperson said the department was “proud to have supported over 11 million children in primary and lower secondary education from 2011-2015”.

[“Source-bbc”]

Funnier Ways to Say “Sent From My Smartphone”

mobile email signature

You’ve received plenty of emails that ended with “sent from my iPhone” or another mobile email signature.

Whatever your opinion of these generic signatures, they do serve a purpose. When communicating with clients and business contacts via mobile, you may end up sending emails with typos or formatting errors.  Your message may be brief and sound abrupt, versus friendly.

A mobile email signature lets people know why. You’re sending from a smartphone!  Ah … that explains it.

However, there are more creative ways to tell your contacts that you’re using a mobile device to communicate with them. Some business people have figured out how to have a little fun with those mobile email taglines.

Blaming Technology

Certain smartphone features, such as autocorrect and voice recognition, are meant to make your life easier. But at times  they do just the opposite. Your colleagues and clients can likely relate to these issues, so making a note about them in your signature can be both helpful and funny.

Ivana Taylor of DIY Marketers has an email signature on her phone that reads, “Excuse any typos – darn autocomplete!”

And Mike Blumenthal of Local University, has a mobile signature that accomplishes a similar task, while placing the blame on a different smartphone feature.  It reads, “Sent from a typical smartphone. If this is illiterate, it’s the voice recognition’s fault.”

Missy Ward, co-founder of Affiliate Summit and FeedFront magazine, also pokes fun at the potential for typos.  Hers reads, “Sent from my iPhone.  Random auto-corrects and typos are my special gift to you.”

Claiming Smartphone Ignorance

Sometimes it isn’t the phone’s fault. Sometimes it can just be more difficult to communicate on the go or with such a small device.

Matthew Goldfarb of Corporate Renegade has a signature that jokes, “sent from my almost always misspelling iPhone.”

Becky McCray, co-author of Small Town Rules, contributes one used by Sheila Scarborough, of Sheila’s Guide. It says, “Sent from my phone;  if there are typos I will still be quite annoyed at myself.”

Even Small Business Trends’ own Chief Operations Officer, Staci Wood, has joked about creating a mobile email signature to highlight her minimal smartphone knowledge.  She said if she could figure out how, she’d change hers to: “Apologies for any spelling errors – sent from my stupid ‘smart’ phone.”

Having Fun With Siri

Siri, in case you’re not aware, is the voice-enabled command prompt and answering feature that Apple calls “the intelligent personal assistant.”  It’s available on the latest iPhones and iPads. Some people like to have fun with Siri in their email signatures on their iPhones.

Deborah Shane, branding consultant, has an email footer that reads, “Sent from Siri, My Personal Assistant.”

Small business author and all-around funny guy, Barry Moltz, also has fun with Siri. His reads, “Sorry so short … the keys are small on the iPhone 4S.  Uh, oh..there are no keys. Maybe Siri can help.”

Random Acts of Email Taglines

Just because you have a smartphone with access to email doesn’t necessarily mean you should have to respond to every single thing right away.  Ramon Ray of SmallBizTechnology.com has a mobile signature that says, “from my phone (hopefully not while I’m driving or with my family).”  It pokes fun at the over-reliance many Americans have on their mobile devices. But it also lets contacts know that there are times he may not be able to respond right away.

Joel Libava, who has created a trademarked brand around the moniker “The Franchise King” manages to continue the brand emphasis in his email tagline.  His reads, “The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, sent this from his Royal Droid.”

Brent Leary, technology analyst, conveys that he’s an equal-opportunity technology user. His tagline says,  “Sent from my BlackBerry, … or iPhone.., or iPad… or… well you get the idea … .”

Making Jokes

But you don’t necessarily need to be specific about which device you use, for people to get the point. You can simply make a joke that lets people know you’re sending the email from your mobile device.

“Sent via carrier pigeon,” or “Sent from my rotary phone,” or “Sent from my payphone,” let people know that you’re communicating on your phone. But you’re making a joke about technology that isn’t misconstrued as snobby or exclusive.

On the other end of the spectrum, “Sent from my iPhone because I’m better than you,” or “Sent from my $400 smartphone,” poke fun at using certain mobile devices as status symbols. Just be aware that sarcastic email lines can be misinterpreted as gloating if others don’t “get” your humor.

What Mobile Email Signature Do YOU Use?

Have you come across any funny mobile signatures? Or do you use one yourself? Share it in the comments below – we want to hear!

Shutterstock: smartphone

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Microsoft Finally Making It Easier to Say No to Windows 10 Update

Microsoft Finally Making It Easier to Say No to Windows 10 Update

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The new prompt will roll out to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users
  • The prompt will have clearer options to decline the upgrade offer
  • Microsoft will end its free Windows 10 upgrade offer on July 29

Microsoft is finally stepping back from making it difficult for users to say no to the Windows 10 update. The Redmond-based giant has for months received criticism from users for forcefully installing the update even when users weren’t interested in upgrading to Windows 10.

The move is interesting considering Microsoft is just less than a month away from ending the freeWindows 10 upgrade offer, which ends July 29. Microsoft will start rolling out an update to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users that will replace the prompt that currently promotes the free Windows 10 upgrade.

Microsoft’s Senior Director for Windows Lisa Gurry told Siliconbeat that the company heard complaints from users that the upgrade prompts were “confusing” and thus the company is changing them. “We’re working really hard to address it. We’re working hard to deliver a Windows that everyone will really love,” added Gurry.

Microsoft’s Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices Group, in a statement toldZDNet, “We started our journey with Windows 10 with a clear goal to move people from needing Windows to choosing Windows to loving Windows. Towards this goal, this week we’ll launch a new upgrade experience for millions of PCs around the world. The new experience has clearer options to upgrade now, choose a time, or decline the free offer.”

Myerson further explained that the new Windows 10 upgrade prompt will have “clearer options” to say no to the upgrade. “If the red-x is selected on this new dialog, it will dismiss the dialog box and we will notify the device again in a few days. We continue to recommend all of our customers upgrade to Windows 10 before the free upgrade offer expires on July 29. Thousands of engineers have been working on making Windows 10 the most secure version of Windows, helping to protect people from viruses, phishing, identity theft and more. We’d like our customers to upgrade and improve their experience with Windows and Microsoft,” added Myerson.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows, Windows 10, Windows Update
[“Source-Gadgets”]

three Of Bihar’s 243 Legislators Say they may return government’s presents

3 Of Bihar's 243 Legislators Say They Will Return Government's Gifts

On Friday, the country‘s schooling department had given microwave ovens really worth Rs. 11,225 eachto 243 legislators.
PATNA: a day after snap shots of Bihar’s 243 legislators being gifted a microwave oven each by using thekingdom‘s training department caused outrage, the competition BJP says its senior leaders will go backthe present.

Senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi introduced his intention on Twitter. “Lakhs of faculty teachers(are) without earnings for last 4 months. Prem Kumar, Mangal Pandey and myself will return presents like micro oven back to executive (sic),” Mr Modi tweeted.

protecting the exercise that has gone on for two decades, consisting of while the BJP was in strengthfor 8 years, education minister Ashok Chaudhary had stated, “Our MLAs want to tour to their constituencies to look into mid-day food. So when they pass, they are able to take the microwave oven with them and warmth meals and consume.”

“GOB has given ridiculous justification that Bihar MLA’s are terrible & will use micro oven to flavor Mid Day Meal. MLA’s paid 1.5 Lakh according to month,” Mr Modi said in another tweet.

It isn’t clear even though whether or not different BJP legislators will observe fit. The BJP has fifty threemembers in a house of 243.

The Bihar government though keeps to protect the pass to hand out microwave ovens to the legislators from a branch that is suffering to pay teachers‘ salaries in time. “it’s been a lifestyle from starting. Theitems given had been cheaper than last year. It become an revolutionary idea to display the middayfood,” Mr Chaudhary repeated today.