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International Newsletter: December 2010
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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

 International Network for School Social Work


School Social Work to Start in Hungary

MISZME (Association of Hungarian School Social Workers)
MISZME (Association of Hungarian School Social Workers) was founded in 2007 to encourage establishment of social work services in schools. In collaboration with Kodolányi János University of Applied Sciences (KJU) (, MISZME’s mission is to establish the legal framework for bringing social work into schools for the successful integration of marginalized students. The University conducted the first course in school social work this year and now the government is working with consultants (including MISZME) to initiate social work services officially in Hungarian schools. We will hear news about developments as the plans progress. In the meantime you can take a look at the Association’s website (, soon to be translated into English, and watch social work students interacting with young people in Hungarian schools using art, discussions, games and dance (

 Reaching the Marginalized

Education for All Global Monitoring Report
UNESCO’s 2010 report shows that much progress has been made in the Education for All goals over the last decade. The Monitoring Report shows gains (even in some of the poorest countries) in early childhood care and education, universal primary education, adult skills and learning, adult literacy and quality of education. Yet in every country there are groups that remain marginalized in education. These are the children, youth and adults who most need the attention of social workers to bring them into the mainstream and to provide the support they need to succeed. UNESCO’s report states:
There is no single formula or blueprint for overcoming marginalization in education. Policies need to address underlying causes such as social inequality, gender disparities, ethnic and linguistic disadvantages, and gaps between geographic areas. In each of these areas, equalizing opportunity involves redressing unequal power relationships. The inequalities that the marginalized face start in early childhood and continue through school age years. They are deeply engrained and highly resistant to change. Yet progress is possible with sustained political commitment to social justice, equal opportunity and basic rights.
Some highlights of the Global Monitoring Report:
  • The number of primary school children who are out of school has declined by 33 million
  • The share of girls out of school has dropped from 58% to 54%
  • South and West Asia have halved their out-of-school population
  • Sub Saharan African countries reduced their out-of-school population by 13 million
  • Progress has slowed since the global economic crisis
  • Sub Saharan African countries accounted for nearly half of the out-of school population.
UNESCO is an enormous source of data related to education. Now there is a new way to review and understand this mass of information.  Using the Gapminder (
website you can track changes in indicators related to education over a span of several years.

Gapminder for a fact-based worldview

To use the graphics in the Gapminder website:
  • Go to Gapminder World tab
  • Click on How to Use for a 2 minute tutorial and demonstration
Now you can choose various indicators such as female literacy or primary school completion and watch an animated graphic of change over the last decade. As well as education indicators, there are hundreds of indicators of health, economy, work, environment and social trends. You can also access data in spreadsheet format from the UN and many other international organizations.
Since our next international school social work conference will be held in Ghana, use Gapminder to take a look at the steady improvement in education indicators in Ghana during the last decade, where Government programs for education of girls, increased funding and reduction in fees have produced results. For example, the change in the literacy rate of females ages 15 through 24 shows steady improvement over the last decade from 65 to 76 percent. The ratio of girls to boys enrolled in elementary school increased from 89% in 2000 to 95 % in 2007. The total adult literacy rate has increased from 58 % to 65 % in just 7 years.
The 5th International School Social Work Conference, April 10 – 13, 2012
Accra, Ghana
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