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The Right to Learn 2007 VWO

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					     Text. I      The Right To Learn

     In America, higher education has long been considered not a privilege but a right. The
     1862 passage of the Land-Grant Colleges Act brought education to the people by
     establishing universities in every state, geared toward providing not only liberal-arts
     education but training in pedagogy, agriculture, engineering, the law, medicine and other
 5   professions. After World War II, the new Bill further democratized access to higher
     education, turning it into a basic right worthy of public funding. Since 1972, millions of
     low-income students have paid for their education with more than $ 150 billion in federal
     Pell Grants.
        Now that same concept of education as a right is spreading throughout the world. Even
10   the citizens of countries still in transition from their colonial legacies or emerging from
     war and civil strife demand that their homelands provide university-level education.
     Individuals increasingly recognize that their lot in life depends on their level of education
     and training. And countries view free or affordable higher education as essential to their
     modernization and successful participation in the global market place. Many countries
15   have tried to meet this growing demand by establishing as many institutions of higher
     education as possible. But creating a quality university system is easier said than done;
     though good schools can solve social ills from poverty to unemployment, a thousand
     practical problems and policy constraints stand in the way of developing them.
        Indeed, simply establishing a school is not the same as having the requisite personnel,
20   equipment, material, technological know-how and finances to sustain it. In developing
     nations, there may be enough political will for equal opportunity in higher education, but
     not enough resources for excellence. There are other challenges as well: in developing
     parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America, some of the best universities are under pressure
     to admit students from across the continent, in part–as in the United States–to increase
25   their prestige and revenue. Often, this provokes debate within the university and the
     society at large about whether a nation should reserve its limited educational resources
     for its own population, or welcome students from across the region in the hope of
     prompting solidarity with neighboring states.
         Some have turned to “virtual universities” or distance learning to help solve the
30   problem. Widespread access to the Internet has made this feasible. But it also raises a
     number of concerns: to what extent, for example, does personal interaction with teachers
     matter? How much does mixing with other students contribute to an understanding of
     different ethnic groups, races and ideologies? What about the whole environment created
     by being part of a learning community over the course of four years?


     Eindexamen Engels VWO 2007                                                                 1
35      A first-rate faculty is key to building a successful university. But strapped for cash,
     time and expertise, many institutions simply import visiting professors or rely on part-
     time graduate students to teach. Such hires usually remain outsiders among the university
     community, receive few benefits and are often neither adequately trained nor highly
     skilled. The opposite extreme–hiring academic “stars” in order to gain prestige but then
40   leaving empty the coffers needed to hire young, high quality professors–is also a recipe
     for institutional weakness. Ironically, universities suffer further when governments, along
     with local and international corporations, raid their best and brightest teachers.
          In many globalizing markets, student expectations far outstrip the capabilities of
     fledgling university systems. China, for instance, has made remarkable efforts to provide
45   ample educational opportunities for its talented young people. Yet everyone wants a top
     degree; students who attend second-tier universities eagerly pay extra to have their
     degrees bear the name of a better university–and have been known to riot when denied
     that opportunity. Some recent Chinese college graduates have refused to move out of
     their dormitories after failing to find either jobs or affordable housing.
50       Similar frustrations are evident in other developing countries, where a science degree
     is no guarantee of a job in that field. Under-employing a country’s best-educated citizens
     is counter-productive, demoralizing and devastating to the yearning for upward mobility.
     A physicist working in a customs house is a symbol of national stagnation, not
     advancement. It also makes painfully clear that the right to an education doesn’t
55   automatically translate into the right to a suitable challenging, high-paying job.
          Even when universities do everything in their power to provide excellent, high-
     quality education, the need to respond to the forces of globalization by developing
     technology or building international ties often leads them to neglect their own nation’s
     social agenda. If a nation is to progress, it needs well-educated teachers, doctors, lawyers,
60   social workers, journalists and business leaders, among others. And these individuals
     must be not only trained but retained, requiring incentives to keep them at home.
     Otherwise, we see, for example, an exodus of trained health-care providers from
     developing nations to Western hospitals. Britain has been a huge beneficiary of nurses
     emigrating from Malawi. Similarly, the United States has eased its shortage by
65   welcoming nursing graduates from the Philippines. Namibia, meanwhile, cannot provide
     the financial incentives to keep its nurses; 30 percent of its nursing slots are vacant.
     Taking these trends together, one conclusion is clear: throughout the world, the role of
     the university is critical to national development and central to the progress of society.

                                     Slightly adapted from Newsweek, August 21/28, 2006




     Text: II                      The Real Thing: Coca

     Bolivian President Evo Morales implored the United Nations last week to give the coca
     leaf a new name. A former coca farmer himself, Morales asked the General Assembly to
     focus on coca’s possible future as the raw material for a lucrative consumer-goods


     Eindexamen Engels VWO 2007                                                                 2
     industry─not its nefarious present, as the source of the international cocaine trade. “This
 5   is the coca leaf, it’s green and not white like cocaine,” Morales lectured, waving one little
     limp leaf at the hall of surprised dignitaries. Why, he demanded, is it “legal for Coca-
     Cola “ but not other consumer or medicinal uses?
            Morales is trying to roll back a 45-year-old U.N. ban on trade in coca products.
     Under pressure from the United States, which has spent billions to eradicate coca as part
10   of its war on drugs, Morales has reluctantly destroyed more acres of coca than his
     predecessors. While the Bush Administration says he is still not doing enough, Morales
     wants to double to 24,000 hectares the amount of land that Bolivia set aside long ago to
     grow coca for legal uses. Armed with scientific studies, Bolivian officials are attacking
     the perception that coca is harmful to health.. They argue that legal products could be a
15   viable alternative to growing the plant for use in cocaine, and far more effective than
     trying to wipe out the “ hoja sagrada,” or sacred leaf that has been a staple of Andean
     daily life and religious rituals since ancient times
            Meantime, in the coca-producing countries of Bolivia, Peru and Columbia, dozens
     of businesses are developing new coca-based products, from toothpaste to wine. In
20   Bolivia, industrial production of coca tea began in the 1980s, and since 2000, small
     companies have put out some 30 different products─coca bread and pastas, toothpaste
     and shampoos, ointments, candies and liquors. The Morales government recently set
     aside $1 million to further develop legal coca products. One company now has a soft
     drink called “ Evo Cola” in the works.
25          In Peru, the state coca company, Enaco, has been turning out local teas for years
     and is now expanding. Earlier this year Enaco closed a deal to export 153,000 packets of
     coca tea to South Africa (which never signed the U.N. convention). Enaco also sells coca
     leaves to private Peruvian companies, including a coca cookie maker and an energy drink
     company. Abroad, it supplies coca for use as an anesthetic in Japan and Belgium, and as
30   a flavoring to Coca-Cola. (an exception to the U.N. ban, believed to have been negotiated
     for Coca-Cola, allows exports of coca from which certain active ingredients have been
     extracted.) In Colombia, the Nasa Indians recently introduced a soft drink called “ Coca-
     Sek”, already a national best seller.
            The economics of legal coca make sense for farmers, says Ricardo Hegedus,
35   general manager of Windsor, one of Bolivia’s largest companies. Windsor buys 13 metric
     tons of coca leaf annually for use in tea, and is introducing a coca iced-tea mix this year.
     Hegedus says it pays about $6 a kilo for coca growers, more than the $5 paid by coca
     traffickers. Some Bolivian companies are now “growing a lot and using new
     technologies,” says Hegedus, adding that coca tea in particular is likely to do well on the
40   world market “if we can gain the freedom to export.”
            Recently, the U.N. has shown some willingness to reconsider the health questions.
     A 1975 Harvard study found that coca is rich in iron, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin A and
     riboflavin. A 1995 World Health Organization study found no health problems related to
     the cola leaf, and recommended study of its potential health benefits. Roger Carvajal,
45   Bolivia’s vice minister of Science and Technology says coca has been found to ease
     stress and aid circulation and breathing.
            The United States has not responded officially to the legalization campaign, but is
     unlikely to support it, after spending so much to destroy coca. Bolivian officials say
     controls could be put in place to make sure coca plants are not diverted to the cocaine



     Eindexamen Engels VWO 2007                                                                 3
50   trade, and that a legal coca industry would reduce the supply available to traffickers.
     Roberto Laserna, a Bolivian social scientist, says that since eradication has failed to cut
     the cocaine supply, the United States ought to consider a new approach. Over a harmless
     cup of tea perhaps.

                                            Slightly adapted from: Newsweek October 2, 2002




     Text III.     One Baby Too Many
     Helen Beasley says she did not set out to become a surrogate mother. The 26-year-old
     legal secretary from Shrewsbury, England, a single mom with a nine-year-old-son, was
     thinking more about becoming a paid egg donor. When she bought her first computer and
     did some research on the Internet, the tales of childless couples she came across broke her
 5   heart, she says, and made her think of going one step further, as some 20,000 surrogate
     moms do each year in the U.S. “The more I thought about it,” she says, “the more I
     thought of happy endings.”
         Six and a half months after her first surrogate pregnancy began, as twin babies kick
     inside her, Beasley couldn’t be much farther from a happy ending. She’s mired in a bitter
10   legal battle with Charles Wheeler and Martha Berman, the San Francisco attorneys who
     found her classified ad on the Internet and flew her over last March for a trip to a fertility
     clinic. Pregnant with one more baby than Wheeler and Berman wanted, Beasley says she
     has received only $1,000 of the 20,000 they originally agreed to pay her. The fate of the
     twins she’s carrying but doesn’t want or have legal rights to will be decided by a
15   California court, in one of the most bizarre surrogacy cases yet.
         Beasley acknowledges that Wheeler and Berman, who have refused to talk to the
     media, made it clear in their discussions that they wanted just one child. What’s more,
     notes Stanford law professor Deborah Rhode, “theirs was a very extensive contract.
     There were 50 clauses providing for every contingency, “including the case of a multiple
20   pregnancy, a real possibility given that three donor eggs fertilized by Wheeler’s sperm
     were implanted in Beasley’s womb. The contract required Beasley to honor the couple’s
     decision about whether to have a selective reduction, the termination of one or more
     fetuses in a multiple pregnancy. Still, Beasley says, “I didn’t realize they would go so
     ballistic” over the idea of twins.
25       Beasley claims she would have gone through with the selective reduction had Wheeler
     and Berman made the arrangements early in the pregnancy. But, as she tells it, there was
     a lengthy e-mail row between the two sides after Beasley returned to England: it was a
     petty affair in which each accused the other of going on vacation without warning, but it
     took weeks to mediate. By the time Wheeler and Berman booked Beasley’s flight to
30   California for the reduction, it was week 13 of her pregnancy, she says.
          At that stage, Beasley felt that terminating a fetus was wrong. Plus, the late date
     increased the risk that both fetuses would be lost in the procedure. Her high blood
     pressure was already complicating the pregnancy. Beasley claims that Wheeler and




     Eindexamen Engels VWO 2007                                                                  4
     Berman’s lawyer, who declined to comment, presented her with two options: to terminate
35   one fetus as requested or terminate both and still get paid.
         Unwilling to do either, Beasley tried the compromise option of seeking other
     potential parents. She says both sides offered candidates but fought over what–if
     anything– the newcomers would pay Wheeler and Berman for their in-vitro fertilization
     and donor-egg expenses. In Britain the matter would have been simpler. There, surrogate
40   mothers have full legal rights to the babies they bear for at least the first six weeks. But
     since the contract was signed in California, Beasley, now living in San Diego, supported
     by her lawyer there, is suing to sever the couple’s rights over the children and claim
     unspecified damages. By last Thursday the blood was so bad that Berman had the man
     who came to serve her with papers thrown out of her office building.
45        This very public debacle has surrogacy supporters pretty steamed too. “The only
     victims I see in this case are those babies and surrogate parenting itself,” says Shirley
     Zager, director of the Illinois-based Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy, herself a
     surrogate mother. According to law professor Rhode, changes of heart happen in only 4
     out of every 10,000 legal surrogate arrangements; however, such cases usually involve
50   the surrogate mom wanting to keep her offspring after they’re born. And even though
     they have been through a lot together, Beasley has no such plans for the twins.
     “Financially, emotionally, I don’t have the means,” she says. Their happy ending will
     have to wait.
                                                               From: Time, August 27, 2001




     Eindexamen Engels VWO 2007                                                                5
                              QUESTION SHEET


Answer the following questions in complete sentences using your own words as far
as possible.


TEXT I.         The Right To Learn
   1.   What point does the author make in paragraph one? (Ll. 1-8. In America…Pell
        Grants.)
   2.   Account for the growing demand for affordable higher education.
   3.   What dilemma are developing countries faced with according to paragraph 3 ?
        (Ll. 19 -28. Indeed … states)
   4.   What could be the possible the disadvantages of distance learning?
   5.   Explain the irony expressed in paragraph seven. (Ll. 50-55. Similar … job.)
   6.   What is implied by the statement “And these individuals must be not only
        trained but retained, …” (Ll. 60/61)


TEXT II      The Real Thing: Coca
   7.   What point does Bolivian President Morales make in paragraph 1 ? (Ll.1-7 )
   8.   What arguments does Bolivia bring forward to back the legalization of coca ?
   9.   What conclusion can be drawn from paragraph 3? (Meantime …works Ll.18-24)
   10. Account for the statement “The economics of legal coca make sense for farmers.”
          in line 34.


TEXT III.       One Baby Too Many
   11. Explain the paradox in paragraph two? (Ll. 8 -15. Six-and-a-half … yet.)
   12. Why was Beasley unwilling to honor the couple’s decision to have a selective
        reduction ?
   13. Is it likely that Beasley will keep her offspring after they are born ? Account for
        your answer.




Eindexamen Engels VWO 2007                                                              6
Eindexamen Engels VWO 2007   7