See through the smog

An instant pack of classroom ideas on the smog engulfing south-east Asia was fired off last week by Global Express, the rapid response information series for schools.

Global Express is written and produced by the Development Education Project in Manchester and the Panos Institute. An edition on climatic changes had been planned for later this term, but the smog, which some scientists suggest could change the global climate, was exactly the type of unplanned event they are trying to address.

"We monitor news events here and as soon as we thought this was going to be a long-running story we went for it," says Sangeeta Haindl, a spokeswoman for Panos.

The information sheets, sent free to subscribers, looks at the possible causes, such as the burning of forest waste after logging and the role of Western companies in the plundering of tropical woods. It suggests classroom activities and recommends related resources.

The aim of Global Express is to enable young people to gain a greater understanding of the context in which news stories from the developing world happen - as they break. Editions have so far included the Rwanda massacres, the general election and the Montserrat volcano. Subscriptions are Pounds 15 per annum. Panos, tel: 0171 278 1111

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