How Uruguay’s Internet Initiative Transformed Its Education System

By Sarah Simon

Education inequality in the United States was a problem long before the internet. With new educational tools requiring internet access, that inequality has only magnified. A 2018 study found that one in five US teens “can’t finish their homework because of the digital divide,” especially among Black teens and those from lower-income homes.

Making education more accessible, and at the same time adapting it to a digital era, is a universal struggle. But the small South American country of Uruguay—as it gains recognition for its “successful fight against COVID-19”—already had the skeleton of an emergency plan in place; the pandemic helped to flesh it out.

Uruguay isn’t often top of mind for average the American, so the fact that it is one of six countries to have successfully implemented the one laptop per child program (OLPC) offers essential food for thought: How couldn’t I have known about

Read More

How Beijing’s National Security Crackdown Transformed Hong Kong in a Single Month

After Beijing enacted a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong, the city’s leader tried to allay fears of a broad crackdown on dissent by promising the measure would affect only a very small minority of people.

But throughout July, the first full month under the new legislation, the measure featured prominently in a sustained effort to quell political upheaval in the enclave, while also ushering in a transformative climate of fear and uncertainty.

The law’s provisions — which punish crimes related to secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces — have been used as grounds for disqualifying political candidates, arresting students over social media posts and banning common protest slogans.

The blows to the city’s democracy movement over the past few weeks have extended beyond the far-reaching law itself. Academics who are key figures in the protests were fired from their posts, police raided the office of an

Read More