Bill Gates on Education Reform and the Budget Crisis

Bill Gates, the well-known founder of Microsoft and an avid philanthropist may be more notorious these days for his heroic efforts in the education reform sector. Gates has been outspoken about the need for U.S. educational reform from preschool to post-graduate school and his most recent commentary details his opinions on school’s monetary reforms. His suggestions run the monetary gamut: from ending pay increases for teachers who have earned master’s degrees or have acquired seniority to ending teacher’s efforts to reduce class sizes. Instead, suggests Gates, “rebuild the budget based on excellence-” or teachers’ overall ability to motivate students and raise student achievement rates.

In an economy still enduring a budget crisis (New Jersey, for example has a $10 billion deficit; Ohio is right behind with an $8 billion deficit) officials are trying to find ways to reform without much monetary support. U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, recently delivered a speech in Washington which drew on Gates’ recent comments and solution ideas. In his “Band for the Buck in Schooling,” speech, Duncan placed a great deal of importance on education reform despite financial shortcomings. To fix the education system, noted Duncan, real, transformational change must occur rather than seeking out short-term options to get school budgets back on track. Shortening school years, reducing bus routes and other short-term solutions won’t necessarily help either the education or financial systems long-term.

Gates advocates and secretary Duncan supports a more innovative approach, an approach which can both help to fix the faltering education system while restructuring and ultimately improving the nation’s public education budget. By holding teachers to a higher standard and paying them according to their level of student achievement, the education system can be transformed.

Gates has long advocated for improved student achievement, retention and graduation rates and the current budget crisis, he says, is making changes like these all the more necessary. The ideas may seem radical to some, but with both the national education and budget systems falling short, more innovative approaches, like those advocated by Gates and Duncan need to be considered.

Want to Do Business in Nigeria? Read This

Starting any form of business in Nigeria is practically not a piece of cake. If making cakes is easy, as the general notion agrees, in this part of the world, easy is not always the literal easy. Business and commercial environments are very tough and unfriendly. Many investors and entrepreneurs have had to withdraw from one business effort or the other. For those who could be counted as being successful, their stories are surely not going to be as interesting as the adventure novels you read at leisure.

Take it or leave, business theories we read in the books, most often do not agree to day to day activities here. There seems to be some unwritten rules that govern the business climate. Those rules; you could hardly find them in any recognized textbooks, are so permeating that the inability to follow them may be dangerous. Well, every society has its own peculiarity.

Scary as all these seem, Nigeria is still the investors’ dream land. For those who had and are still braving it and facing all the odds, they are smiling to the banks. Apart from the MTNs, GLOs, AIRTELs and ETISALATs of this era, countless other medium and small scale business owners are being grateful, to say the least, for investing in the most populous black African nation.

Contrary to all the negativities, this nation possesses one of the most significant factors of production. In simple honesty, it is not just one; there are numerous. She, undoubtedly, is endowed with an enormous population. When natural resources are to be considered, then Nigeria should be proud to boast of being blessed. Whatever the reasons for the unfriendly environment, could be issue for another text.

It is not entirely bad! You could still start and do business in Nigeria. Tens of hundreds are doing it, even if not all of them are succeeding. Perhaps those fallen into trouble waters did not consider the most important things to do before starting their businesses. Read along factors you must take into consideration when thinking of starting or even investing into a business in Nigeria.


There is nothing as stressful as going to a location without a meaningful description or an address. It is the same as mopping aimlessly in the dark. Knowledge of the business is primary. You must take your time to understand what the nature of the business is. A lot of interesting investment prospects abound in many fields that you do not have any knowledge of. That is not enough to scare you off. Ask questions about things: the past, the present, notable people in the business, their histories and achievements, their challenges, and many more. These days feasibility studies, even though, they are not all reliable, can form your guide. Mentorship is another trend gaining ground that you can tap from. Be watchful, however, people do not always want to release information freely. Whatever methods you apply is not as important as the fact that you need knowledge. Seek it!


Whoever fails to plan; plans to fail. Draw out schemes of what to do for the present, the foreseeable future and for any eventuality. Do not just think that the knowledge you have acquired will be enough to weather all storms; you could be shooting yourself in the leg. Business environment, as said above, is very unfriendly. Think of all possibilities and impossibilities. Put it down into writing what you intend to do, how you intend to do them and what time frames will be good to give accounts. Timing is significant for checking the progress of the business. Think and prepare for who you are going to get involved, both in the short and long term.


Be realistic in your planning and preparations. If wishes were horses, beggars will ride. You cannot do anything without the availability of capital. Cash must be ready in the measure of the size of the business. Do not start big when the cash available is meager. Credit worthiness is rare in our economy. Most banks are not ready to welcome your business idea, not to talk of putting their money on line. Once the knowledge of the business is in place, you start to plan with the little money you have. The truth is that you can start little and grow.


No man is an island! You cannot do everything by yourself. There will be need for other hands to help take care of one task or another. As much as you cannot do all alone and need people, you must make a duty to be available most of the time. Do not think it is appropriate to trust them with your business. Even family members are worse; complacency is usual the result. Managing strangers will be easier and better as there will be chance to apply rules and give orders to be followed. However, whichever the case may be, do not total trust to people.


Business is sweet when people patronize. Patronage comes from relationship built through quality products and qualitative service. Having clients is gradual, but should be lasting. That is also subject to the nature of business, the type of product and/service. Each customer’s attitude will be different and your ability to identify this will help your relationship with them in their numbers. Endeavor to have personal contacts with them, especially when just starting your business. Employees cannot handle all issues on their own. As part of building and keeping relationships, is to be aware of government oversight roles in all businesses. All levels of the government will, according to the law, impose one charge or another. When you keep good relationships, you will know what taxes and levies to be paid, and also how those governmental agencies can help your business. Be warned, you can never do without them.


Always live in reality. Know that you are doing business for the future. Even when you get instant results in sales, turnovers and profits, it could be one-off. Many businesses in the past had been like that. Their owners had fallen for it and failed to know that the future might be hard. Do not live in the dream by believing that all will be well. Life is not a bed of roses; there are to be ups and downs. Know that starting little, steadying the business through close management and prudent resource usage. Expecting your business to produce good results, instantly, is tantamount to building your castle in the air. Easy and steady, you can end with an outfit that can boast of having survived the rough and unfriendly Nigerian business environment.

Important Tips for Choosing the Best Nursing College

If you are interested in training to be a nurse, you’ll definitely want to choose a quality school to attend. There are many nursing colleges to choose from. This can make your decision difficult. To ensure you get the best education possible, here are several important tips that you can use to make sure you choose the best college to take your nursing courses.Tip #1 – Check into their accreditation
The very first thing you need to do when looking at nursing college is to check into their accreditation. Without accreditation, you won’t have the degree needed to take the state test to become licensed as a nurse. Be sure that the college you choose has an accredited nursing program. If they don’t, keep looking.Tip #2 – Look for Colleges with Modern Classrooms
Another important tip to remember as you look for nursing colleges is to look for colleges that have modern classrooms. You don’t want to attend a college that still has classrooms that are outdated. Modern classrooms provide you with a better education, which will help ensure you get the preparation needed to be a good nurse.

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Tip #3 – Ensure High Tech Labs and Equipment are Available
You should also ensure that the nurse colleges you are considering have high tech labs and equipment available. Today the medical field has become a field that is more high tech than ever. With high tech labs and equipment, you’ll get great training on the high tech equipment which you’ll probably be using on the job.Tip #4 – Find Out What the Student Teacher Ratio Is
It’s also a great idea to find out what the student teacher ratio is at the nursing colleges that you are considering. Usually you should look for a ration that is 20:1 or less. Why is this important? Well, the lower the ratio of students to teachers, the more personal attention you will get from your professors. Greater interaction and personal attention from teachers will provide you with a better education.Tip #5 – Take a Look at the Faculty
When considering several different nurse colleges, take a look at the faculty to help you make your final decision. Most colleges will have an area where you can take a look at the faculty teacher courses within the nursing program. Take a good look at their educational history, their achievements, and more. It will ensure that you have top quality faculty teaching you, you can be sure that you are getting the best possible nursing education.

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The college that you choose for your education as a nurse is a very important decision. It will affect your entire career as a nurse, so it should not be a decision that you make lightly. Keep these tips in mind as you consider various nurse colleges. This way you ensure you choose a quality college that will prepare you for a wonderful career in the nursing field.

The Energy Healing Power of Natural Medicine

Natural medicine is a system that uses a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine. Alternative medicine is also known as traditional, naturopathic, natural or holistic medicine. Proponents of alternative medicine are not refuting the validity of discoveries in and the practical uses of conventional medicine, but are merely trying to put some things into perspective. Due to the widespread interest in natural medicine along with the disappointment and disenchantment with Western medicine, many people, especially in the United States and Europe, where conventional medicine has taken a dominant foothold, are seeking the advice and treatment from naturopathic physicians. These practitioners include herbalists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and others, who advocate preventative health measures as well as recommend wholesome foods and nutritional supplements for their patients and clients. Considering the growing popularity and effectiveness of alternative health treatments and products, certified and licensed professional practitioners of such medical practices should be given their rightful and respectful place in medical society. Natural medicine has been proven not only to be safe, but more effective than Western medicine in treating many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and many other diseases as well

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The history of Natural Medicine and its roots can be traced back thousands of years to ancient cultures such as India and China. Ayurvedic (E. Indian) and Chinese medicine, along with their diagnostic and herbal systems, are still used in these countries extensively, as well as in the United States, especially in Europe, where alternative medicine is well respected. Chinese herbal medicine has a documented history of over 2500 years in China, and is now widely used by practitioners all over the world. It has been legally practiced in the United States. since the mid seventies by licensed acupuncturists. Homeopathy is also a well-known form of alternative medicine discovered in the 18th century by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, but was practically stamped out in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century by the American Medical Association. In 1938, though, the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act finally recognized homeopathic pharmacopoeia as the legal equivalent of allopathic medicine.Another more contemporary and popular form of herbal medicine, called Western herbalism, can be traced back about two hundred years in America. Samuel Thomson, born in 1769, is considered the father of Western herbalism. He discovered over sixty different medically effective native plants by clinical testing, and on the basis of these findings, devised a theory of disease and botanical drug action. Randy Kidu, D.V.M., Ph.D., writes in his articled entitled A Brief History of Alternative Medicine: “The history of herbal medicine is interesting because herbs have been a part of our diet and pharmacy since man began roaming the earth. Coprophytic evidence (seeds and other plant part(found in preserved fecal pellets) points to herbal use by cavemen. Early herbalists practiced their trade since before recorded history in all parts of the world including China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, England, the Americas, and Europe. Many herbs are also mentioned in the Bible. Today, based on sheer numbers of folks who use one form of herbal medicine or another, it remains the most-used medicine worldwide.”Twenty-five hundred years after the advent of allopathic medicine, modern medicine is still grappling with the idea that herbal medicine could be an effective treatment, and not just quackery, although thousands of years of recorded history has proved its efficacy. A new model of understanding in medicine needs to be incorporated into the existing allopathic model. Because of the growing popularity and effectiveness of natural medicine, practitioners may eventually be given their deserved place in medical society. The incorporation of natural medical practices into the existing model of conventional Western medicine, including the training of new medical doctors, is now called Complimentary Medicine. In order to solve our health problems, this modern paradigm for treatment in medicine must be promoted. This can only truly emerge when bias, self-interest, greed and discrimination is discarded and diverse medical knowledge is promoted and shared, not only between university trained scientists and medical doctors, but among Alternative Medicine practitioners, philosophers, metaphysicians, and other intelligentsia of society as well.