Pakistani Educational Leadership Project Celebrates Ten Year Anniversary at Plymouth State University

June 24th, 2013 by blyndes

 

 

Left to right, Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen accepts an intricately embroidered shoulder bag from PELP participant Gul Rakhshanda. The bag, handcrafted in Pakistan, signifies a token of remembrance from the PELP students to the University. The gift was presented at a recent ceremony which included PELP participants, community members, PSU staff and faculty.

PLYMOUTH, N.H. – A vibrant cross-cultural and educational exchange program that brings together U.S. and Pakistani citizens is celebrating its tenth year on the campus of Plymouth State University. PSU welcomed 19 Pakistani educators earlier this month as part of the Pakistani Educational Leadership Project (PELP). PELP enables Pakistani educators to learn about American innovations in education for adaptation in Pakistan. The month-long institute helps Pakistani educators immerse themselves in an inspiring and creative learning environment and work to enhance leadership capabilities.  Upon return to Pakistan, the educators effect positive change in the education sector and their schools and communities through their PELP training. PSU President Sara Jayne Steen said PELP is beneficial for everyone involved.

“The participants in this program have the ability to transform lives and build an educated citizenry,” Steen said. “We are a learning community, because after our alums go home, they stay connected with each other and they stay connected with us–and they are an extraordinary benefit to us. We thank you for all you bring to our community and our understanding of the world.”

Pakistan has one of the world’s lowest literacy rates, and spending on education is less than two percent of the country’s gross national product. Recognized for their leadership abilities, these educators represent both the public and public/private sectors and teacher training institutions. Predominately female, most of the PELP participants work in Pakistan’s remote and rural areas. Project Director Blakeman Allen said the PELP collaboration crosses boundaries and connects learning communities in New Hampshire and Pakistan.

“Plymouth is a very special place for this face-to-face institute; this town and this place is very much about democracy in action and citizen stewards, and that is so important,” Allen said. “New Hampshire serves as a dynamic learning lab…providing an authentic, first-hand experience for our Pakistani guests, who are grass roots leaders in an ever-changing world.”

PSU staff, graduate instructors and community members have worked with more than 200 educators from Pakistan since the inaugural institute in 2004. According to statistics compiled by ITA, alumni of the program acting as master trainers in Pakistan have shared their enhanced knowledge with more than 100,000 educators and students.

The project is funded by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), and hosted by Plymouth State University.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU News Services Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

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