Atle Hetland

  • TIt was exciting to read the new government’s ‘National Education Policy Framework’, which was launched just about one and half weeks ago. The government has taken on one of the most important areas of the new and future Pakistan early in its time in office. It is proof of the ...

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  • TThere is nothing more important than education – well, after the three basic-needs areas of security, food/shelter and health have been taken care of. One can argue that since these sectors are intertwined and depend on each other, they can only be improved if looked at holistically and as a ...

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  • TIt is a general pedagogical principle that we in the learning process talk about going from what is known to what is unknown, from what is near to what is further away, from what is concrete to what is abstract, and so on. When we learn new things from far away, it is always essential that we can ...

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  • TWhen I was 19, I became a school teacher at a lower secondary school in the industrial town of Sauda on Norway’s west coast. I had myself just completed upper secondary school at Bergen Cathedral School, and then I went on to teach at three different schools for two years before beginning my ...

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  • TLast week, on 1 November, and earlier, on 4 November, I wrote about prosperity through education and the importance of good teachers. Today, I will cast the net wider; I will re-emphasise the importance of basic education and schooling, but also include literacy, youth and adult education, giving a ...

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  • TFrom my schooldays in Norway, I recently came to recall a few proverbs we used to talk about. One went something like this: “One must have a strong back to carry prosperous days”. The other one was: “Knowledge is a light burden to carry”. The third one was more a religious: ...

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  • TIn today’s article I shall write about this life and the hereafter as I have come to reflect on it because a dear friend became ill, was treated but didn’t become better, and then in the early autumn, it all turned into serious and terminal illness, ending with the last weeks spent in ...

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  • TIn the West and elsewhere where populist right-wing political parties and other extremist groups organise, mainstream politicians and regular people seem unable to understand what goes on. We somehow seen unable or unwilling to believe the unorthodox right-wing political trends. There are also ...

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  • TIs it important to be modern and follow trends? Yes, I think so. We should live in our time and follow the moods and trends, even the whims of the time. To be part of the going Zeitgeist is important, although that can sometimes also mean that we raise questions as we don’t have to agree with ...

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  • TTomorrow, 5 October, is the World Teachers’ Day, also called International Teachers Day. So, when we celebrate teachers everywhere, let us note that a global teacher is also a local teacher. A teacher to the world is also a teacher to the local community, yes, first we are local then we can ...

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  • TIn the new government of Pakistan, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, education will be a key area for reform and improvement. It will be ‘Job No. 1’. Already, policies and plans are in preparation. Education must be given this high priority in a land where the literacy rate is among the ...

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  • TIn my column last week, I wrote about Sweden’s general elections on 9 September 2018, suggesting that many countries cold learn from the level-headed Swedes. The Social Democratic PM for the last four years has said that there is a need for political dialogue and cooperation across old blocks ...

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  • TThe world has grown smaller, with more contact and cooperation. We all live under one capitalist economic system, even with similar political trends. The elections in Europe, indeed in the world’s best democracy, notably Sweden, have become interesting and important to all of us – ...

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  • TThe Norwegian King and Queen celebrated their golden jubilee of fifty years of marriage last week – and strange as it may seem, there are interesting lessons to learn for people even in Pakistan from the life of the Norway royals. The main event in Norway was a large religious service in Oslo ...

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  • TDear Reader, belatedly I would like to wish you Eid Mubarak, indeed if you belong to the Islamic faith and live in Pakistan, but also if you belong to another faith, especially one of the Abrahamic faiths. Eid-ul-Azha, is also called the ‘Greater Eid’ in both local and foreign ...

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  • TPresident Barrack Obama once said in an interview: “You have got to faith”. In addition to ideology, political conviction, plans, strategies, programmes, projects, and more, the leaders and the people must believe in what they are doing, indeed have a vision and picture of the final ...

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  • TNikolai Astrup is a relatively new minister for development cooperation in my home country Norway. He is himself a rich man and he represents the centrist-conservative party ‘Høyre’ in parliament. He has recently suggested that Norway should play a ‘global leadership ...

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  • TLast Sunday, I had the opportunity to listen to a Shiblee Kamal and hear him answer questions from the audience about the land he admires more than any other country, it seems, notably Norway. He is a senior Norwegian oil exploration engineer, born in Rawalpindi, but having moved up north with his ...

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  • TToday, as the elections are barely over, let me reflect on the outcome, as well as the campaigns and the future of the country. I will draw some lessons from home and abroad, the actual elections and some other examples and theories. First, I would like to offer congratulations to all Pakistanis ...

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  • TThorvald Stoltenberg (1931-2018) was a prominent and loved Norwegian politician. He passed away last Friday after a brief illness. In his early working life, he was active in assistance to refugees, including from Hungary after the 1956 invasion by the Soviet Union. He was a key member of the ...

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  • TFollowing several interesting conferences and meetings last week, discussing international issues, research, education, and politics in the midst of it, I decided to share some stories and thoughts with you –so you can think more and deeper, and so we can begin to see some of the change and ...

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  • TWhen I discuss issues related to education (my main academic field along with development and migration studies), I often emphasise that we as teachers, parents and others guiding children and youth, we must always contribute to making them feel confident and proud of themselves. That is the most ...

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  • TIt is often difficult to get a grasp of the facts about international migration. Statistics are inaccurate and interpretation of figures and facts are tilted. Different sub-groups of migrants are lumped together, be it voluntary, forced and trafficked people; be it children, adults, men and women, ...

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  • TSince both Pakistan and Sweden have general elections this summer, their countries’ main political issues will be focused on, so that the voters can choose between the political parties. Sweden’s election is on 9 September, and politicians who want voters to come to the polls say that ...

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  • TIn the year 2000, I spent my first Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr in a Muslim majority country and community, notably in Islamabad, Pakistan. Below, I shall share a few stories from my meeting with Islam, living in multi-cultural lands, and how much I have appreciated it. In the end, I also reflect on ...

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  • TIn Spanish, a beautiful hymn is entitled ‘Un Pobre Forastero’, which in English translates to ‘A Poor Stanger’, or maybe better, ‘an outsider who is coming in’, a wayfarer who makes a stop, rests his tired soul and body, and brings gifts to his or her hosts, and ...

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  • TLast weekend, I came across two exciting programmes on PTV World, one after the other. The first one was an interview with a renowned Pakistani social scientist and educator, Professor Anees Akhtar, who is a former rector of the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) and he is currently ...

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  • TThe role of religion varies from society to society and over time. In most societies, one religion has been either the majority religion or the only allowed religion. It is only in the last one or two hundred years, or even much less that we have become more multi-religious. We can reflect on ...

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  • TWhen I was a student in the social sciences at the University of Oslo in the early 1970s, it was required that we read anthropology professor Arne Martin Klausen’s book ‘Kultur: Variasjon og sammenheng’ (Oslo: Gyldendal 1970), which in English would translate to something like, ...

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  • TWhen I last week wrote about ‘Sweden in the world’, with reference to its national day, I had thought I would continue with another article this week, telling more stories and going into some further details. However, I have postponed that now, since I remembered that Sweden’s ...

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