Britain lagging behind in digital age: Google chief
London: Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has warned that Britain would fall behind in the digital age unless it makes drastic changes in its education system.
Schmidt said something had to be done to “reignite” children’s passion for science and technology, Sky News reported.
He praised British television as a success story but warned “everything” could still go wrong.
“If I may be so impolite, your track record isn’t great. Britain is home of so many media-related inventions. You invented photography. You invented TV. You invented computers in both concept and practice. It’s not widely known, but the world’s first office computer was built in 1951 by Lyon’s chain of tea shops,” he said.
“Yet today, none of the world’s leading exponents in these fields are from Britain,” he lamented.
“Think back to the glory days of the Victorian era. It was a time when the same people wrote poetry and built bridges,” Schmidt said, asking science and language teaching to be brought together.
He said he was “flabbergasted” that computer science was not taught as standard in British schools.
“Your curriculum focuses on teaching how to use software, but gives no insight into how it’s made. That is just throwing away your great computing heritage,” he said. (IANS)
Kid who lost all limbs named bravest in Britain
London: A six-year-old boy who lost all his limbs to meningitis – an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord – has been named the bravest child in Britain.
Harley Lane will be presented with the honour by Prince Harry at the WellChild Awards ceremony, the Daily Mail said.
Harley, from Greater Manchester, was struck by meningitis in May 2009. He was given prosthetic limbs in February 2010 and started school in September.
He is now learning to use his prosthetic limbs, and accomplish everyday tasks like getting dressed and brushing his teeth.
His mother, 25-year-old Samantha, said the family was delighted by the award.
“The award is given to kids who have shown exceptional bravery and for Harley to be chosen from hundreds of children makes us all very proud,” she said.
“Harley has been telling us that when he meets Prince Harry he won’t know what to say to him and said he is going to be a bit shy,” she said.
Harley was nominated for the award by the Meningitis Trust community development officer Christine Hughes.
“Harley overcame all of the odds to survive this devastating disease. He is so brave and a real fighter who is an inspiration to other families with children who have lost limbs,” said Hughes. (IANS)
Prince Harry – now in a comic strip
London: Prince Harry’s “escapades” and his “life and loves” are now the subject of a comic strip.
The 32-page comic describes the British royal’s life from childhood to his stint with the army in Afghanistan and finally his transformation to a helicopter pilot, the Daily Mail reported.
The comic’s creators have said they did not shy away from any of the prince’s infamous antics, including visits to lap dancing clubs, his decision to sport a Nazi uniform at a party and his outbursts against paparazzi photographers.
The comic will also speak about Harry’s love life, including the on-off relationship with ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy.
Darren G. Davis of publisher Bluewater Productions said he decided to commission the comic because he believed there was a renewed worldwide fascination with British royals since the wedding of Prince William.
“I have been interested in the royals since Princess Diana’s wedding and the world has become so fascinated again with the British royal family since Will and Kate walked down the aisle. I thought people would want to know more about the other family members,” he said.
“The Royals: Prince Harry”, a special collector’s graphic novel edition is also available on Amazon for 5.39 pounds.
The company plans to bring out a collector’s edition about Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, titled “Female Force: The Queen”. (IANS)
China promotes calligraphy as hand-writing gets sloppy
Beijing: China’s primary and secondary schools have been ordered to increase calligraphy classes as widespread use of computer keyboard has made children’s handwriting “sloppy”, the government said.
A notice issued by the ministry of education said elementary school students in grades three to six will have one hour of calligraphy classes every week, and high schools should set up calligraphy as an optional course.
“Primary and secondary schools should also introduce various after-school activities on calligraphy,” the statement said.
The courses will teach students to write standard Chinese characters in a proper way, using the right gestures, it said.
Students in higher grades should also learn to appreciate the work of ancient calligraphers.
The ministry urged schools to train teachers and establish specific plans for calligraphy instruction. It also encouraged hosting various calligraphy-related activities after school such as inviting experts to give lectures. (IANS)