Report on UK "Faith Schools"

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Sam Vara
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Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:18 pm

There have been concerns developing about so called "faith schools" in the UK, which although state funded are free to teach whatever religious faith they want, and which often have close links with religious organisations. Since their inception in the late 1990s, people have claimed that such institutions were divisive and sometimes neglecting basic literacy and numeracy in favour of what is often seen as religious indoctrination. A new report on schooling in the UK is not impressed with them:
A rising number of religious schools are actively undermining British values, with children exposed to 'sexist and sectarian' books, the head of Ofsted has warned.

Amanda Spielman, the watchdog's chief inspector, said 'shared values and tolerance clash with community expectations' in some parts of the country.

Figures show 58% of the 160 independent Muslim schools inspected are either inadequate or require improvement, more than 80 schools nationwide.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... alues.html

The newspaper concerned reports this as a "failure of multiculturalism". I tend to agree.
'When I see books in schools entitled Women Who Deserve To Go To Hell, children being educated in dank, squalid conditions, children being taught solely religious texts at the expense of learning basic English and mathematics, I cannot let it be ignored.

'We have a proud tradition in this country of respecting religious freedom. But there are occasions when multiculturalism can and does comes into tension with the expectation that students should be prepared for life in modern Britain.'

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retrofuturist
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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:23 pm

Greetings,

It's an interesting one, because obviously there's certain aspects in traditional religions which will not gel well with the current PC interpretation of what "tolerance" means. The conflict is less that these schools are doing something inherently wrong, but that their very existence and their priorities draws attention to an underlying conflict in perspective between religious institutions and secular PC culture.

Frankly, I can think of a lot of things that should be taught in schools before religion even comes into the curriculum. It's better to teach kids how to think for themselves, and give them the analytical tools to let them choose their own views and beliefs, rather than be indoctrinated in someone else's.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by SarathW » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:42 pm

It's better to teach kids how to think for themselves, and give them the analytical tools to let them choose their own views and beliefs, rather than be indoctrinated in someone else's.
Agree.
Somehow we like to brainwash our children to the way of our thinking.
This is due to our insecurity.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by paul » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:11 pm

Buddhist schools also exist in western countries:
http://pal.nsw.edu.au

Such schools should not be looked upon as religious, but rather an expression of the culture of the community they represent. According to the millennial characteristic, diversity of minorities will dominate the new demographic, so such schools can be expected to increase in number until they become the norm.

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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:45 pm

Greetings Paul,
paul wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:11 pm
Such schools should not be looked upon as religious, but rather an expression of the culture of the community they represent. According to the millennial characteristic, diversity of minorities will dominate the new demographic, so such schools can be expected to increase in number until they become the norm.
So, basically by the end of the process, you have a series of culturally isolated, un-integrated ghettos of ethnic sub-communities?

If that's the point of multi-culturalism, it seems pretty pointless.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by DooDoot » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:19 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:18 pm
A rising number of religious schools are actively undermining British values, with children exposed to 'sexist and sectarian' books, the head of Ofsted has warned.
Naming-calling of "sexist" is the 1st red flag. Also, what exactly are "British values"? :shrug:
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:18 pm
Amanda Spielman, the watchdog's chief inspector, said 'shared values and tolerance clash with community expectations' in some parts of the country.
"Spielman". A British name? What exactly does it mean to be "British"? :shrug: What does the internet say about Spielman?
Private Jewish school fails third Ofsted inspection for not teaching LGBT issues

Vishnitz Orthodox girls' school failed three inspections on the grounds it did not meet requirements set out in the Equalities Act

A private faith school in London has failed its third Ofsted inspection for refusing to teach its pupils about homosexuality.

Inspectors visiting Vishnitz Girls School in north London last month said the Orthodox school does not give pupils “a full understanding of fundamental British values”, The Telegraph reported.

Pupils were not taught about LGBT issues such as “sexual orientation”, which are in breach of equality laws.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/educa ... 09221.html
One wonders how energetically Ofsted is imposing the LGBT agenda on the UK’s 156 Muslim schools. In recent months, of the 95 persons killed in British terrorist attacks, 92 were victims of Islamic terrorism — that’s a total of zero from Jewish orthodoxy. But regardless of the facts (or common sense), Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman seems intent on using the shabby disguise of counter-terrorism to enforce the LGBT agenda upon schools. When asked exactly what were the success/failure parameters for the promotion of ‘British values’ Amanda Spielman failed to give an explanation. This allows Ofsted to rule on an ad hoc basis, guided only by its own prejudices.

Can Jewish and Christian schools exist in any meaningful sense under Ofsted? The evidence suggests not — and some might suggest that is perhaps the intention.

http://www.dignitatishumanae.com/index. ... y-stealth/
Based on the above, Christianity has ceased to be a British value but LGBT is now a British value. :bow:
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:18 pm
When I see books in schools entitled Women Who Deserve To Go To Hell
Lol... sounds the same as many verses in the Pali suttas. Maybe it is best to actually read or post what is written in this book before passing judgment.

Image
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:18 pm
...children being educated in dank, squalid conditions, children being taught solely religious texts at the expense of learning basic English and mathematics, I cannot let it be ignored.
If genuine, sounds like it is obviously of concern.
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:18 pm
'We have a proud tradition in this country of respecting religious freedom. But there are occasions when multiculturalism can and does comes into tension with the expectation that students should be prepared for life in modern Britain.'
Whatever problems exist, it is primarily the fault of the British government, who should oversee all education institutions. I just don't understand why Islam keeps getting blamed for matters created by British & European bureaucrats. :shrug:

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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by chownah » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:38 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:19 am

........ the British government, who should oversee all education institutions. I just don't understand why Islam keeps getting blamed for matters created by British & European bureaucrats. :shrug:
This article is about what Ofsted has found out about faith schools....Ofsted is a gov't agency to "inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages."

I don't see the article singleing out muslim schools at all....however the largest number of faith schools is muslim and the muslim faith schools had a larger degree of non-compliance than did the jewish or christian faith schools. These are just the facts that were presented....I don't see alot of blaming either....do you?
chownah

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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by DooDoot » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:55 am

chownah wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:38 am
This article is about what Ofsted has found out about faith schools....Ofsted is a gov't agency to "inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages."
Sure. Schools should be inspected & regulated for matters concerning dank, squalid conditions, children being taught solely religious texts at the expense of learning basic English and mathematics, etc. However, once faith schools are required to teach about LGBT in ways contrary to their religious beliefs, this is totalitarianism & restriction of religious freedom.
chownah wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:38 am
.I don't see the article singleing out muslim schools at all....however the largest number of faith schools is muslim and the muslim faith schools had a larger degree of non-compliance than did the jewish or christian faith schools. These are just the facts that were presented....
The article made allegations of sexism & condemned Muslim teachings about hell. This seemed to be a direct attack on Islam & religion, including Buddhism.

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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by chownah » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:53 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:55 am
chownah wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:38 am
.I don't see the article singleing out muslim schools at all....however the largest number of faith schools is muslim and the muslim faith schools had a larger degree of non-compliance than did the jewish or christian faith schools. These are just the facts that were presented....
The article made allegations of sexism & condemned Muslim teachings about hell. This seemed to be a direct attack on Islam & religion, including Buddhism.
You seem to obviously disagree on the gov'tal requirements that faith schools must meet....I have not disputed your issues in that.
What I am disputing is your claim that muslims and islam have been singled out by the article. I searched the article for "muslim" (there were surprisingly few usages) and did not find any condemnation of muslim teachings and I searched the article for "hell" and did not find a reference to any particular religion. Perhaps I missed somethings. Can you go to the article, find the things you think are singling out muslims or islam and show us those excerpts with enough surrounding text to provide context?
chownah

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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:04 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:19 am
Whatever problems exist, it is primarily the fault of the British government, who should oversee all education institutions. I just don't understand why Islam keeps getting blamed for matters created by British & European bureaucrats. :shrug:
Many thanks for your thoughts on this, many of which I agree with. I have no wish to have "LGBT...etc." taught in schools, but would recognise the concerns raised in the report regarding issues of sexual orientation. If schools are teaching that some sexual orientations are somehow "wrong", then I think they should stop doing so. Tolerance of minorities is certainly a "British Value" in that some of the best British people have worked hard to promote it, and some of the best British writers have advocated it. I do draw the line, though, at "celebrating" diversity, which - although not mentioned in the newspaper report - is something which is foisted upon schools.

As others have said, I would prefer that all schools keep away from issues like hell and the afterlife. Schoolteachers should, in general, steer clear of speculative metaphysics; it's not what they were trained to do.

The question of whether "Spielman" is a "British name" is a puzzling one. People are British. The state make no requirements as to what they call themselves. There are no lists of prescribed names in the UK, and legally one's name is what one is customarily called. "Spielman" is therefore no more nor less "British" than "Smith", "Cameron", or "Patel".

I don't think anyone is blaming Islam for anything, although it's quite possible that the Daily Mail would like its readers to make that particular inference. I haven't seen the Ofsted report in its entirety yet, but can virtually guarantee that Islam will not be "blamed" in it. That would be a very sensitive political point, Ofsted reports focus entirely on school governance and classroom practice, with occasional side-swipes at government policy.

You view that the British government should oversee all educational institutions would be very difficult to implement in the UK. Providing the laws of the land are not broken, one can set up a private school (i.e. independent of government funding other than being awarded charitable status according to tax law) and teach whatever one likes. The issue here for me is whether publicly-funded schools (which thereby fall into the Ofsted remit) should be teaching religious dogma and neglecting more useful knowledge and skills.

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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by DooDoot » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:41 am

chownah wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:53 am
Perhaps I missed somethings.
https://www.muslim-library.com/english/ ... o-to-hell/ :roll:

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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by DooDoot » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:02 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:04 am
I have no wish to have "LGBT...etc." taught in schools, but would recognise the concerns raised in the report regarding issues of sexual orientation. If schools are teaching that some sexual orientations are somehow "wrong", then I think they should stop doing so.
For me, I disagree here. I have no issues with religious schools being required to teach British law pertaining to LGBT however I think religious schools should be able to also teach a homosexual way of life is contrary to their religions; just as killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying & persecution of LGBT is contrary to Buddhism. Imagine if Buddhist teachers were prohibited from teaching Buddhist non-violence because it was against the British laws about military service & conscription or contrary to a British war.
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:04 am
I do draw the line, though, at "celebrating" diversity, which - although not mentioned in the newspaper report - is something which is foisted upon schools.
I have no issues with celebrating diversity however I think religions who do not recommend the LGBT way of life are also part of this "diversity". Celebrating diversity means both pro-LGBT & anti-LGBT are embraced (as long as they do not break the law pertaining to violence. But once law becomes 'thought-police', this is totalitarianism).
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:04 am
As others have said, I would prefer that all schools keep away from issues like hell and the afterlife. Schoolteachers should, in general, steer clear of speculative metaphysics; it's not what they were trained to do.
Personally, I do not believe in metaphysics (life after death) however I think religions should be allowed to teach metaphysics in religious schools because that is the reason why parents send their children, which often is more costly, to religious schools. The Pali suttas say to believe "there is this world & the other world... that are results of kamma" is right view for ordinary people (MN 117; MN 60; etc).
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:04 am
The question of whether "Spielman" is a "British name" is a puzzling one. People are British. The state make no requirements as to what they call themselves. There are no lists of prescribed names in the UK, and legally one's name is what one is customarily called. "Spielman" is therefore no more nor less "British" than "Smith", "Cameron", or "Patel".
Maybe, just as Christianity (which is the 1st word in the British nation anthem, namely: "God save our gracious Queen") is British.
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:04 am
I don't think anyone is blaming Islam for anything, although it's quite possible that the Daily Mail would like its readers to make that particular inference.
It certainly seems the article is inflaming Islam. In Australia, which has British governance roots, all/most schools receive some funding from the govt & are required to follow govt policy, including religious schools.
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:04 am
Your view that the British government should oversee all educational institutions would be very difficult to implement in the UK. Providing the laws of the land are not broken, one can set up a private school (i.e. independent of government funding other than being awarded charitable status according to tax law) and teach whatever one likes.
If this is so, imo, this is wrong. I found it hard to think its like this in Britain but if so, i think this is very wrong. All schools should teach the basic subjects of English & Maths and offer a full selection of academic subjects required for further education, such as physics, chemistry, economics, etc, plus physical education.
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:04 am
The issue here for me is whether publicly-funded schools (which thereby fall into the Ofsted remit) should be teaching religious dogma and neglecting more useful knowledge and skills.
In Australia, most if not all religious schools receive govt funding. I went to a religious school for the last five years of my schooling and, although I was an outspoken atheist, I regarded the religious school far superior to the govt schools I previously attended. People send their children to religious schools because there is discipline & morality in the schools and not a pre-occupation with the opposite sex. If I had children, I would probably send them to a same-sex Catholic school, similar to as I attended (unless they were able to attend a select govt school). At least in Australia, the average mixed-sex high school is like a party overloaded with teenage hormones.

Regards

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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by chownah » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:52 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:41 am
chownah wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:53 am
Perhaps I missed somethings.
https://www.muslim-library.com/english/ ... o-to-hell/ :roll:
The article did not single out this book as being muslim....it is being singled out as an example of things which (evidently) are contrary to what the law requires of faith schools. As I have said before, I have not taken issue with your thinking that what the law requires of faith schools is inappropriate....and I still do not take issue with that. If you think that the things contained in that book are appropriate for presentation in a faith school then I am not taking issue with that. Where I think you are completely wrong is in your assertions that muslims are being singled out. The very fact that the book was not identified as being muslim but only brought as an example of an unacceptable element for curriculum actually argues for the fact that the article was not singling out muslims and actually took positive steps to be careful to not single out muslims. Thank you for helping to prove my point.
All in all I think that the article is remarkably well balanced and I think this is a result of a concerted effort by the author and I congratulate her success at achieving a balanced article and in avoiding singling out anyone.
chownah

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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:20 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:02 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:04 am
I have no wish to have "LGBT...etc." taught in schools, but would recognise the concerns raised in the report regarding issues of sexual orientation. If schools are teaching that some sexual orientations are somehow "wrong", then I think they should stop doing so.
For me, I disagree here. I have no issues with religious schools being required to teach British law pertaining to LGBT however I think religious schools should be able to also teach a homosexual way of life is contrary to their religions; just as killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying & persecution of LGBT is contrary to Buddhism. Imagine if Buddhist teachers were prohibited from teaching Buddhist non-violence because it was against the British laws about military service & conscription or contrary to a British war.
Yes, I see your point, and to some extent I'm sympathetic. For me, the difference would be whether the "wrongness" of a sexual orientation is taught as meaning that one should not engage in certain sexual activities as a practitioner/member of the faith; or whether it actively claims that those with an unfavoured orientation are somehow "bad" and should be discriminated against. This would set the religious minority at odds with the law. I have little problem with Buddhism or Anglican Christianity in this respect, because both are capable of enormous respect towards minorities. For example, I've never known a more gay-friendly environment than certain corners of the Church of England; and Buddhists don't seem to care much about sexual orientation either way. I can't imagine non-violence within Buddhism (or Hinduism, or atheism, come to that) ever being proscribed in schools. There has always been a very strong tradition of Pacifism in the UK, with conscientious objectors being given rights in law.
I have no issues with celebrating diversity however I think religions who do not recommend the LGBT way of life are also part of this "diversity". Celebrating diversity means both pro-LGBT & anti-LGBT are embraced (as long as they do not break the law pertaining to violence. But once law becomes 'thought-police', this is totalitarianism).
Agreed. My objection is that it is a waste of valuable school time, and if people want it they can pay rather than using my taxes.
I think religions should be allowed to teach metaphysics in religious schools because that is the reason why parents send their children, which often is more costly, to religious schools.
In this case, the education is free. The state pays. If people believe in an after-life, then they are probably better at inculcating the basics than a harassed school-teacher. My wife, who is an Anglican priest, despairs at the "theology" taught by the local Church School. I could see this leading to all sorts of problems...
Maybe, just as Christianity (which is the 1st word in the British nation anthem, namely: "God save our gracious Queen") is British.
It depends on what is meant by "being British". Christianity didn't originate here, of course, but Anglicanism and many of its offshoots and nonconformist parallels certainly did. And which names are unequivocally British? How far back to we go in order to eliminate all those Norman and Roman invaders? The point is, it is very welcome here, as are the Patels, Kellys, Goldsteins, and so on.
If this is so, imo, this is wrong. I found it hard to think its like this in Britain but if so, i think this is very wrong. All schools should teach the basic subjects of English & Maths and offer a full selection of academic subjects required for further education, such as physics, chemistry, economics, etc, plus physical education.

In practice, most do, of course. But there is no compulsion to. Children do not have to go to school at all, and there is no limit (other than case law and issues of cruelty, etc.) on what one teaches or doesn't teach one's children.
People send their children to religious schools because there is discipline & morality in the schools and not a pre-occupation with the opposite sex.
Yes, it's the same in the UK. The issue here is that this tendency was spotted and encouraged in the 1990s, because middle class parents who lacked the money to privately educate their children wanted more discipline and a better ethos. As the report suggests, though, the law of unintended consequences has kicked in and the fear is that religious indoctrination is being prioritised, and the taxpayer is paying for it.

Again, thanks for your insightful and civilised discussion.

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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by Dhammanando » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:40 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:19 am
Also, what exactly are "British values"? :shrug:
I looked it up. Apparently some committee in the Department for Education came up with a list of five "British values" that need to be promoted in schools. They were officially adopted in 2013 and comprise:
Culturally rootless leftist bureaucrats wrote: 1. Democracy
2. The rule of law
3. Individual liberty
4. Mutual respect
5. Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cons ... -in-school
A pretty dull and impoverished list, imo. Had I been the Education Minister, I would have taken care to stack the committee with crusty old-fashioned Tory grandees, classics scholars, House of Lords peers, High Church Anglican bishops, public school headmasters, and suchlike. Then hopefully the list would have looked something like this:
Dhammanando's wonderfully inspiring list of British values wrote: 1. Royalism and patriotism

2. A keen sense of the nation’s history, both actual and mythic

She is not any common Earth,
Water or wood or air,
But Merlin’s Isle of Gramarye,
Where you and I will fare!


3. Noblesse oblige

4. Reticence and modesty.

5. Respect for privacy.

6. Upper middle-class social graces.

7. A preference for litotes and irony over all other rhetorical forms.

8. Anglo-Saxon sang-froid, Scottish courage, Ulster loyalty, and Welsh hwyl.

9. Lockean negative tolerance, i.e., “Live and let live,” rather than the positive tolerance and cultural relativism imposed by loony left multiculturalists.

10. For boys: the virtues of the Nine Worthies: Hector, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Joshua, David, Judas Maccabeus, King Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey of Bouillon.

11. For girls: the virtues of the Nine Worthy Women: Deiphille, Synoppe, Hippolyte, Menalyppe, Semiramis, Lampetho, Thamarys, Teuta and Penthésilée.

12. The Ten Commandments of Chivalry, omitting the first and sixth.

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Re: Report on UK "Faith Schools"

Post by DooDoot » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:07 am

Dhammanando's wonderfully inspiring list of British values wrote: ...........
Too witty. :bow: :D
witty
adjective
showing or characterized by quick and inventive verbal humour.

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