After more than three weeks of intense training sessions, meetings at Harvard University and the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C., this year’s 15 participants of Plymouth State University’s Pakistani Educational Leadership Institute officially completed their program with closing ceremonies July 25 on the PSU campus, leaving for home the next day.
The PELI program focused on best practices in education and exemplary models in professional development and pedagogy. The institute experience also provided opportunities for citizen exchanges that reflect the essence of life in a democratic society.
In congratulating the institute members, University President Sara Jayne Steen spoke about the difficulties between the U.S. and Pakistan and said some people think the problems are too difficult and avoid them, but that education is about touching human lives and solving problems.
She talked about the ongoing reciprocal learning between the group members and the Plymouth State faculty and staff, describing that learning as “genuinely effective and mutually respectful.”
In closing, President Steen quoted Miranda, a character in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, “O brave new world, That has such people in’t!” and explained that in that speech Shakespeare challenges the reader to consider whether Miranda’s view is naïve or correct. She said, “Today is one of those moments when Miranda may be right. Sometimes people are extraordinary, and there are opportunities presented to us.”
Representatives of the participants affirmed the cultural exchange that occurred between the groups. Professor Mubasher Nadeem said, “We have brothers over here, we have sisters over here and we have friends over here.” Referring to the imminent parting, he quoted Robert Frost “The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.”
Nadeem’s colleague, 2004 and 2007 alumna Samia Rehman Dogar, highlighted the opportunity of working with distinguished intellectuals and thanked them for their “sincere efforts in providing our success in leadership that will help the people of Pakistan.” Each participant was called to the platform for presentation of an official certificate in a university diploma cover and a green and white sash with both Pakistani and university emblems.
PSU hosted the group of Pakistani educators for the fourth consecutive year as part of its Pakistani Educational Leadership Institute. Since 2004 PSU has trained 65 educators from Pakistan in three summer institutes; this group brings the number of program participants to 80.
According to statistics compiled by Lahore-based Pakistani partner Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi, alumni of the program acting as master trainers in Pakistan have trained almost 10,000 educators. The Department of State’s Education and Cultural Affairs Bureau (ECA) works closely with Plymouth State University and the Pakistani partner organization, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi, to ensure that the program curriculum reflects U.S.-Pakistan education cooperation goals.
PELI information, photographs and videos are available online at www.pelinstitute.org.
For more information about Citizen Exchange programs or other exchanges managed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, contact Darlene Kirk, (202) 203-7616.
More information on the U.S.-Pakistan education cooperation is available at: http://pakistan.usembassy.gov/
For more information about this release, contact PSU Public Relations Director Christopher Williams at (603) 535-2476 or firstname.lastname@example.org.