10 April 2008United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commended the people of Nepal for what he called their “enthusiastic participation” in today’s Constituent Assembly elections. In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said that the elections “took place in a generally orderly and peaceful atmosphere,” and appealed to all parties to remain calm while awaiting results.Mr. Ban’s Special Representative in Nepal, Ian Martin, also congratulated the people of the South Asian nation “who have demonstrated their commitment to democracy by turning out in large numbers to vote in today’s historic Constituent Assembly election.”The Election Commission’s initial estimate is of a 60 per cent voter turnout, and it has cancelled polls in 33 out of the more than 20,000 polling centres across the country.“Polling parties and their leaders now need to ensure that they accept the people’s decision through this election, or where they have challenges in relation to the process to pursue these through the proper legal channels,” Mr. Martin said in a statement issued in the capital, Kathmandu. Electoral staff from the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) will remain in the regions and districts until the count is complete.Once elected, the Constituent Assembly will be tasked with drafting a new constitution for the country, which has emerged from a decade-long civil war that claimed an estimated 13,000 lives before the Government and Maoist rebels signed a peace accord in 2006.
RATOATH COLLEGE IN County Meath been selected as one of only 80 schools worldwide to become a Global Microsoft Mentor School.A Microsoft Mentor School is chosen by Microsoft and helps school leaders discover and share best practices to foster a culture of innovation.EducationDescribed as “a model of innovation” Mentor Schools are recognised leaders who have achieved change within their own education systems, says Microsoft.Each year, a small number of innovative schools can apply to join this elite group of leading-edge schools from around the world as part of the Microsoft Mentor School program.The Microsoft Mentor School Program is an exclusive one-year program created to recognise innovative schools globally who are using technology to transform education. Mentor Schools will have access to technology, specialised professional development and will receive an all-expense paid trip to the next Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona.Irish schoolRatoath College is the only Irish school to be selected in this year’s round. The school is also one of the 48 Network schools in the Junior Cycle reforms network.Speaking to TheJournal.ie, ICT Coordinator and teacher, David Walsh said that the school has been recognised as being at the “cutting edge of innovation in education” stating that the news is a great reward and “global recognition for our innovative teaching and learning practices”.He said that he was happy that Ratoath College is among a very exclusive group of 80 school leaders.“Mentor schools are about embedding 21st century skills in young people. We live in a ever changing world and it is our job to prepare students for it. New and innovative tools in education keep students engaged and interested and creates new ways of learning,” he said.He said at Ratoath College they try and educate students in a rounded manner, stating, “some of the jobs that these students will end up doing haven’t even been thought about or invented yet, that is how fast things are moving, so it is important that we have an education system that has a cutting -edge approach to education”.Read: Chinese, coding and caring for animals: Junior Cycle is getting an overhaul>Read: 17 of the best incorrect exam answers of all time>