Global Newsstand: Diverse teaching staffs are valuable, and more

See what the global press had to say this week about stories shaping the world.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
First graders raise their hands at an elementary school in Buffalo, New York, on Oct. 11, 2018. According to some observers, a diverse teaching staff is just as important as a diverse student body.

The Guardian / Sydney

Diverse teaching staffs must be valued

“These are banner times for the education system across Australia and North America,” writes Jessie Tu. “... In the past few years, the lack of cultural diversity in mainstream media, sports and government has been a contentious topic of discussion. ... But what about the individuals who stand in front of them, day in day out? ... When the teaching population does not reflect the racial diversity of our schools, what impact does this have on the future of education in this country? What perspectives, stories and diversity of attitudes are our young people missing out on? ... Language and stories have power, and that power does not begin in the boardrooms or in parliament. It begins in the classrooms.”

The Hindu / Chennai, India

Gandhi’s thoughts on politics have been sidelined

“One thing is evident today: while [Mahatma] Gandhi is hailed as the founding father of the Indian republic and one of the architects of democratic politics in modern India, it is not recognised equally well today that we can draw valuable lessons of political action and democracy from him,” writes Ramin Jahanbegloo. “... This is perhaps because politics in contemporary India, as everywhere else in the world, finds itself prisoner of the administrative system and the corporate mindset, both of which suffer from a severe absence of self-examination. ... Considering the profound spiritual nature of Gandhi’s personality and his deep ethical view of politics, we could say that if he was among us today, he would have certainly boycotted the elections. ... Unfortunately, in today’s world, political circumstances and temperaments do not allow politicians to concentrate any more on the education and duty of citizens.”

The Globe and Mail / Toronto

Migrant workers need more protection in Canadian policies

“When it comes to migrant-worker exploitation, Canada lost its innocence years ago,” writes Fay Faraday. “... The line between labour trafficking and temporary labour migration is blurry. ... The abuse is normalized because federal and provincial governments ... have constructed labour migration laws and policies that deliver a predictably exploitable work force to Canadian employers. ... Workers are needed to fill jobs in Canada at all levels of the economy, but working-class migrants must come to Canada with precarious temporary status, without their families. ... If these experiences of exploitation are not the outcomes we want, we must demand that Canadian governments choose again and choose differently. ... For the sake of these workers, we can no longer claim we are shocked. We must act in order to end the abuse.”

BusinessDay / Johannesburg

Boeing needed to act sooner

“It was long in coming, but Boeing finally responded to the crash that killed 157 people in Ethiopia with something that resembled accountability,” states an editorial. “... From the start, the reaction from Boeing and the [Federal Aviation Administration] seemed to be more concerned with the company’s commercial interests. ... There might be an argument that it was prudent to wait for the investigation into the latest crash to make a pronouncement on the cause, but the one in Indonesia took place five months ago. If it was downed by the same fault that condemned the Ethiopian Airlines jet, why wasn’t the fault identified then and something done to correct it? ... For Boeing, the road to regaining public trust is probably going to be a long one.”

Stabroek News / Georgetown, Guyana

Social media can encourage destructive groupthink

“In 1841 the Scottish writer Charles Mackay published a prescient survey of the dangers of what we now describe as a herd mentality,” states an editorial. “... History, he argued, showed that ‘whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit. ...’ Is there a better way to describe the passions which have surfaced on both sides of the Atlantic? ... ‘None of us is as smart as all of us,’ went one catchphrase. ... During the last ten years, such optimism has been replaced by an awareness that digital platforms can weaponize a society’s social and political divisions. ... In such circumstances it has become more important than ever that parliamentary democracies offer meaningful alternatives to the angry populism – on both sides of the political spectrum – that now threatens to become the new norm.”

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