媒体英语会带大家一起学习 BBC 撰稿人在报道世界大事时常用到的单词和短语。
A teacher and children in a classroom
House prices are steady, unemployment has dropped, recession has been avoided. This was not meant to happen
Why are some schools in Asia top of the class for learning？
全球最大规模的学校排名刚刚公布，亚洲国家占据排名前五名，非洲国家排在末尾。新加坡居榜首，香港紧随其后，加纳排在最后一位。以下是 Sean Coughlan 的报道。
Jan 15, 2018 | By C.W.
It‘s claimed if you want to see the economy of tomorrow look at the school system of today。 And that’s going to be good news for some Asian countries with the world‘s highest performing education systems。
CHAOS was predicted. Following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) in June 2016, most economists believed that a recession was imminent. A government study published in the run-up to the referendum forecast that house prices would fall quickly, by up to a fifth, and that unemployment would rise by over 800,000. But there has been no recession. It is true that Britain has slipped down the international league tables of GDP growth since the Brexit vote, but growth in both 2016 and 2017 still averaged around 2%, roughly similar to 2015. Furthermore, house prices are steady and unemployment has dropped to a 42-year low of 4.3%. Disaster has been avoided. What went right?
Here in Singapore， teenagers are at the top of the biggest ever global comparison of ability in maths and science。 The country has worked hard to create a workforce ready for the global economy。 Using English as the teaching language and investing in keeping its teachers skills up to date。
The concept underlying the blood-curdling predictions before the referendum was “uncertainty”. No one has the foggiest idea about what Britain’s post-Brexit trading relationship with the EU will look like. Economists worried that heightened uncertainty would prompt households to rein in their spending and businesses to put investment plans on hold. With the benefit of hindsight this looks naive. Leave voters got what they wanted, so why should they cut back on spending? And for Remainers, Brexit remains some way off: the country’s status within the customs union in 2020 is a distant worry for the average Briton. Meanwhile, Britain remains an attractive place for foreign investors, in part because of its trusted legal system and low rate of corporation tax.
The league tables also show a strong performance by schools in Hong Kong in second place， South Korea third and Japan in fourth place。 And there are some surprises – Vietnam another Asian success story – comes twelfth – racing past the United States in 29th position。
The global economy has also helped. The Brexit vote coincided with the beginning of the first worldwide economic upswing in years. Global trade volumes have grown decently, despite Donald Trump’s scary rhetoric. Firms from Seattle to Shanghai have recovered some of their animal spirits and are willing to invest once again. Britain, an economy highly dependent on international trade, has been swept along with everyone else. And the country’s exporters have been given an extra boost by the depreciation of sterling, which is almost 10% below its pre-vote level. In the past year real-terms exports have risen by a tenth, though the British trade deficit remains in line with its post-financial-crisis average.
But some countries are less impressive。 Sweden， which used to be among the most successful， has declined sharply。
The question is whether this unexpectedly good performance can continue. As Britain’s departure from the EU in March 2019 nears, businesses may start to get more jittery, especially if they fear that a deal with the EU will not be reached. If investment spending is cut, then consumers will eventually start to feel the pinch. And Brexit itself, which is likely to leave Britain with severely reduced access to its largest export market, will have profoundly negative long-term economic consequences. For now, however, the British economy continues to sail blissfully into the unknown.
But what‘s the point of these league tables？ Are they just about creating a global report card with some countries passing and some failing？ While these league tables show how schools are performing now， their purpose is to create an economic road map for the future。
up to date掌握最新信息的，与时俱进的