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Fall 2003 - Spring 2004
New CIE Center Members

Spring 2004

Duc Le Nguyen

Duc Le NguyenHere I am in the US! My name is Duc Le, and I am a brand-new Master student in International Education at CIE this Spring. I came here alone but haven't felt lonely since arriving in Boston. I have been overwhelmed with the warm welcome and attentiveness from my Vietnamese fellows and other CIE members.

My country, Vietnam has little in common with the language and cultural background of my classmates. However, the thing I find that we have in common is the endless desire to learn, to care and to share with each other under the roof of CIE family. As for me, I am proud to be a UMass student in general and a CIE student in particular.

I received my Bachelor's degree in 2000 and was then appointed by the Ministry of Education and Training as an officer in charge of bilateral cooperation in education, training and research activities between Vietnam and the UN agencies like UNDP, UNIDO, UNEP, UNICEF, FAO, UNPFA. Being a young professional, I have tried to take the full advantage of upgrading myself in terms of general knowledge and working experience whenever a chance occurs. In 2003 I was offered a full scholarship by the Vietnam Government for my Master's training in the US. I've chosen UMass for the relevance to my graduate study interest but first and foremost, for its remarkable academic environment.

Like other young folks, I easily get crazy with music, dance, food and sports!

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Fall 2003


CIE welcomed fifteen new students in September of 2003 representing nine different countries. There are two new Doctoral candidates and thirteen Masters candidates. CIE continues its linkage with Malawi with a total of 8 new Masters candidates, three of whom are also associated with the program in Testing and Measurement at UMass. The fifth group of Edmund Muskie Fellows joins CIE this fall as well with students from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Belarus. Other new members come from Japan, Sierra Leone, China, Bangladesh and USA.

New Students Fall 2003

Place cursor over face for names; click to see their bio sketches

Testing and Measurement
Master's Candidates from Malawi

CIE also welcomes three master's candidates from Malawi who along with five candidates in Policy and Planning (shown above) are supported by a USAID-funded project at CIE. The Testing and Measurement students do much of their work in the Research and Evaluation program of our department.

Ella Banda Siegfried Mkandawire Augustine Gundula

Place cursor over face for names; click to see their bio sketches

Lindiwe Christina Chide

I come from Malawi, Lilongwe to be particular. I have been a teacher at Lilongwe Girls Secondary School for two years. I teach French, English and Computer studies.

I am the first born in a family of 4. I have 1 sister and 2 brothers. I went to a government Primary school right in the city of Lilongwe. For my secondary education I moved up north to a catholic girls secondary school, Marymount, were I did my 4 years of secondary education (1992-96). In 1997 I went to Chancellor College where I pursed a Bachelor of Education degree in Education Humanities. My Major subject was French and my minor was English. I graduated in 2001 and started teaching at Lilongwe Girls secondary school.

My hobbies include singing and dancing and doing sporting activities. I also like reading and talking to people. I believe that one learns a lot by being with people. Each person is unique and we can always learn something useful for our survival from each other. I hope to learn a lot from you both academically and socially and I also hope to share the little I know with you. It is my first time to the States and I hope it is going to be a nice experience.

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Hatsue Kimura

I am Hatsue Kimura from Japan. You might think I am a quiet person, but probably I am not. That is because of language, and it takes time to be accustomed to it. I am I hoping I will show you my real self someday.

Hatsue KimuraIn terms of skills and knowledge, they come from experiences as a volunteer and as a systems engineer. I can provide a wide range of information concerning information technology, education systems in Jamaica and life in developing countries, including the experience of working in harmony with the local people.

I was engaged in the project management of office work processing systems, especially for personnel management systems. I have been in charge of planning, progress, cost and evaluation. I also developed office work processing systems and analyzed them. Moreover, I was a part of a corporate in-service training project involving over 5,000 employees for office work automation, promotion and extension. I planned and taught a number of courses within this project, including basic personal computer use, networking and programming.

I also undertook volunteer work in Jamaica as a member of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) for two years. I was sent to a teacher training college, where I helped a local teaching professional develop and teach a computer studies program. In this sense, my role was as much to do with technical skill as it was with education. I worked with a Jamaican teacher in a
team-teaching situation, which was both rewarding and challenging.

On the holidays I enjoy traveling, playing tennis, skiing, hiking, camping, cycling, scuba diving, going to movies, going shopping.

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Antonie Chigeda

Antonie ChigedaI come from the southern region of Malawi. I did my first degree at University of Malawi, Chancellor College, and graduated with a Bachelor of Education in 2000.I worked as a secondary school teacher, and as a Textbook Evaluator for the Malawi School Certificate of Education new Curriculum. I took up a teaching post with the University of Malawi in 2002, as a staff-associate, teaching Philosophy of Education to undergraduate students. I have been involved in research work such as 'Malawi's Testing and Assessment Reform project'.

I have joined University of Massachusetts as a graduate student doing Masters in Education, focusing on Teacher Education and Educational Policy and planning. I am hoping to finish and continue working as a teacher trainer in the Department of Educational Foundations at Chancellor College. My research interest is in areas of Development and Improvement of teacher education in developing countries and also educational policy and planning in developing countries. I am married to Mavis and we like to go hiking together.

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Firuza Gafurova

I have come from Uzbekistan to earn my Masters Degree in Education. This is my first visit to the United States and actually it's the first time ever in any foreign country.

Firuza GafurovaI got my Bachelors Degree in Roman-German Philology from the World Languages Faculty of Namangan State University (Uzbekistan.) Right after graduation I applied and was accepted into the Masters Program for English Linguistics. Being a graduate student I had the opportunity to teach undergraduate courses at the English Language Department of my home university. I also worked part-time at the Academic lyceum where I led English classes for first and second year students based on interactive communication teaching.

During my short time of work experience I grew up professionally not only in terms of becoming a good teacher and instructor. Teaching at the university helped me understand the reasons for corruption and inefficiencies in the Uzbekistan educational system, which failed to provide the country with professionals and students with effective educational process. I believe one of
the major reasons for that is a lack of professionals in Higher Education Administration in Uzbekistan. That was one of the reasons why I chose Higher Education Administration as my field when I applied to Edmund S. Muskie Fellowship Graduate Program. International Exchange programs play an important role in the development of Uzbekistan and that is why my second sphere of interest is International Education.

As for my hobbies, I enjoy meeting new people, listening to music, singing, working out in the gym. I value my family and my friends, and am very proud I have these people in my life.

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I was born in Malawi in 1966 on November 23. I did my Primary Education in Chiradzulu district from1973 to1983. In 1983, I went for my Secondary Education at Dedza National Secondary School and I finished in 1987. In the same year, I was selected to study for a Degree in Education at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi. I graduated in 1991 with French and English as teaching subjects.

Dezie TriguI have taught at Chiradzulu and Zingwangwa Secondary Schools. My passion for French has taken me to France twice for short courses in the teaching of French as a foreign language. Besides working as a teacher I have also worked as Head of Department for Languages and Deputy Headteacher for Chiradzulu Secondary School.

I am currently working as an Educational Methods Advisor [Secondary School-Languages] with the Ministry of Education. My job entails: Observing lessons and advising teachers on content and methodology, curriculum development, inspection of Private Schools for registration and organizing in-service training courses for teachers.

I strongly believe that my Masters Program will strengthen my advisory skills so that I will be able to advise teachers effectively and efficiently. Consequently the pupil in the classroom will benefit a great deal resulting in the improvement of the Malawian educational quality and social-economic development.

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I was born on November 16, 1963 in small village called Singano situated just about a kilometre to the south of Chileka Airport in Blantyre district. This district is to the south of Malawi. We are in our family: 4 boys and 2 girls.

My parents never went to school and they are just subsistence farmers. Therefore it was not easy for me to go to school because of financial problems. However they tried their best to keep me at school.

Henry GwedeI finished my secondary education at Malamulo secondary school (an Adventist mission school) in 1985. I went to the University of Malawi, Chancellor College in 1985 and graduated in 1990 with Bachelor of Education degree (with credit). My major subject is English and my minor subject is Geography.

I taught in a number of secondary schools in the southern part of Malawi: Phalombe, Lunzu, Mwanza and Balka secondary schools. While teaching at secondary schools I was also appointed head teacher. Thus I was head of Mwanza and Balaka secondary schools. This was very challenging because at that point I had only worked for five years.When the Ministry of Education, through its Education Development Management Unit (EDMU), embarked on the implementation of the Secondary Education Project, the management at Ministry Headquarters requested me to assist in implementing the training component of the project. I was based at the Department of Teacher Education and Development in Lilongwe.

Finally but not least in September 2001 I took up another challenging job in Mulanje as District Education Manager. My duties, among other things, were to coordinate education activities in the district and implement Government policies from Education Headquarters. I was responsible for 148 primary schools and 26 Community Day Secondary Scools (CDSSs)

In short this is my profile.

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Jennifer Chin

Jennifer Chin hails from San Francisco, California. Shortly after spending her junior year abroad as an exchange student in Australia, Jennifer graduated with honors from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Cultural Anthropology.

She promptly left for Namibia as a Peace Corps volunteer and served as a Secondary Education English and HIV/AIDS teacher. In addition to classroom teaching, Jennifer worked on community development projects with a local women's sewing group, conducting ESL lessons and helping the women market their handcrafted goods. As a proponent of female empowerment, she became involved with Deep Roots, an all-volunteer-run nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the status of young girls in developing countries like Namibia, Zambia, Guatemala, and Nepal by providing full scholarships throughout their secondary education. Jennifer encouraged and assisted several of her students to apply and win scholarships. She has continued her commitment to Deep Roots stateside by volunteering on the Namibia committee, working to select new scholars and serving as the liaison between Jesuit Refugee Services to set up a scholarship fund for Angolan refugee girls currently schooling in Namibia.

Upon her return to the U.S., Jennifer worked for a nationally recognized, community-based nonprofit organization in San Francisco as the program coordinator for the career exploration and community service internship programs and general volunteer program. This experience with high school students furthered her commitment to effective youth development practices and strengthened her community outreach and program implementation skills.

Professionally and academically, Jennifer is interested in the role culture plays in shaping education policy, HIV/AIDS education, gender issues in the developing world, Southern Africa, and youth and community development. She is excited to be surrounded by CIE peers from such diverse backgrounds and is looking forward to learning from their experience.

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Sahadat Chaudhury

Sahadat ChaudhuryI am an "educated illiterate" from Bangladesh hoping to learn and unlearn many things while doing my doctorate at the interactive CIE. Since 1993, I have had a passionate attachment to Bangladesh NonFormal Education and Adult Literacy programs, managed by both the Government and the NGOs. My experience of work in the government Directorate of NonFormal Education (DNFE) in Bangladesh included - preparing budgets for local adult literacy projects; monitoring implementation of project activities at the field level; developing teaching-learning materials for literacy courses; working as core trainer for master trainers; preparing planning documents for basic literacy, post literacy and continuing education projects; and liaising and coordinating with international donors (WB, ADB, DFID, UNICEF, Sida, NORAD and SDC).

I attended a few seminars and workshops both as a participant and a resource person held at home and abroad. I have a few published articles, case studies and translations to my credit. My M.Phil dissertation entitled "Urbanising Rural Literacies or Ruralising Urban Literacy: Adult illiterates revisited in rural Bangladesh" has been published in Norway by Oslo University College.

My broad area of interest lies in the relationship between education and development. Nevertheless, my search for more meaning and understanding of some issues surrounding adult literacy and illiteracy will continue. I am yet to decide on a precise research topic for my EdD!

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Aiah Andrew Sahr Mbayo

My name is Aiah (pronounced Eyah) born in 1963 at Koidu in the diamond mining district of Kono in Eastern Sierra Leone, West Africa. As a young boy, I grew up in an environment marked by opulence from the exploitation of diamonds, albeit a curse for Sierra Leone. Fortunately for me, I refused to be drawn into the art of panning for diamonds in the alluvial river valleys but rather chose education; I'm not sure why!

I completed High school in 1977 at the Yengema Secondary School and taught for two years initially before proceeding to the Milton Margai Teachers' College to read for the Higher Teachers' Certificate (HTC). Upon completion, I taught for four years at a Girls' secondary school in Koidu and then enrolled for a course at the prestigious Fourah Bay College; one time considered as the Athens of Africa. I graduated in 1990 with an honors degree in Demography and Geography and later a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) with distinctions in Theory and Practical Teaching.

Aiah MbayoMy work experience started off in 1991 as an RA at the University Research Bureau and later in 1993, I was recruited by Marie Stopes International to coordinate a reproductive health information, education and communication project targeting men and adolescents, In the course of implementing this project (1993-1996), I attended workshops in Malawi and offered courses in Population IEC Strategy Development and Management at the renown Kenya Institute of Mass Communication with funding by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),

In 1996, I was employed by UNFPA as Program Assistant to jointly manage a Population/Family Life Education project for in-school and out-of school youths. This job exposed me to the enviable or rather cumbersome task of developing purposive school curricula through a conceptual framework of integration and infusion of reproductive health and population concepts. The work continues to this day.

Apparently, this served as a turning point in my career aspirations as I was then recruited by the United Nations Children's Fund to kick-start a youth empowerment project and later to develop and implement an accelerated learning project for over-aged children called Complementary Rapid Education for Primary Schools (CREPS). The program succeeded in helping over 25,000 children to re-start school in 7 districts including refugees.

Whilst working for UNICEF in the last three years, I realized that the enormity of the task at hand-that is achieving Education for All by 2015 in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, required a much higher level of expertise and competence; may be one bordering on the sublime. My being here therefore, enunciates a desire to feel confident and fulfilled academically, technically and professionally with a broader horizon and a truly international candor.

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David Donaldson

David is a native of the Pittsburgh area and is one of five children. Some of his interests are running, camping, and traveling. His interest in education lead him to Edinburo University of Pennsylvania where David Donaldsonhe studied Elementary and Special Education, which resulted in multiple subject certification (K-12).

After his graduation David served two and a half years in the U.S. Peace Corps (Slovakia). While there, he taught English as a second language in a small central Slovak town called Detva. He also had the opportunity to work with a non-profit organization that focused on educational development in Roma settlements.

Following his return from Slovakia David worked in Montgomery County, Maryland (MCPS) as a primary educator. Throughout his time at MCPS David taught second and fifth grade while also playing an active role in administering, scoring, and revising the state standardized test. David also piloted the Odyssey of the Mind program at his elementary school. This is an international program for school-aged children, which encourages problem solving and teamwork.

David is looking forward to working with his classmates, all of whom have unique and rich backgrounds. David is excited to learn about education in the international setting. He will be focusing primarily on teacher development in low resource areas.

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Larissa Savitskaya

Hi everybody! I am from a sunny Central Asian country - Kazakhstan, from its southern capital Almaty. Kazakhstan is a multinational Larissa Savitskayacountry with population of more than 14 million people including over 130 nationalities. It is the part of CIS and it shares borders with Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Russia and China. I am one of Edmund Muskie Fellows for 2003-2005 at CIE pursuing a Master's degree in Education with a concentration in International Education.

Prior to coming to CIE I completed a Diploma (1991) in Physics at Kazakh State University and then a Masters in Public Administration (1996) at Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research (KIMEP). After graduating a managed a local research agency for two years and then worked as the Registrar for KIMEP where I received my masters. KIMEP is a well-known institute with a reputation of preparing high quality specialists through both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Also, I was lucky enough to be involved in the international educational projects with UNESCO (1999) on Monitoring of Learning Achievements (MLA) projects in Central Asia.

My interest is in the quality of education with two major concentrations:

  • Quality of education in schools: monitoring of learning achievements (cases of Central Asia)
  • Quality of education in universities: administration of educational processes (case of KIMEP)

During those two years I hope to accomplish a series of studies covering my interests with international colleagues from many other countries studying at CIE.

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Hui ZhaoI come from Beijing which is the capital and one of the most modern cities of The People's Republic of China.

Although my original training was in natural science, my current job needs more training on education. I worked in the Ministry of Education of China for 12 years. Specifically, I worked for the guidance committee of the national higher education and examination for self- instruction. The primary purpose of the institute is to administer a nationwide examination for those people who cannot enter universities and colleges. In my opinion, the goal of adult education is not to get a diploma or certificate, it is to prepare for life itself.

After the policy of a more being a more open society, China should share information and learn from the other countries more openly and actively. The US is the most successful country in dealing with diverse issues in the field of education. I am very glad that I have this opportunity to receive more training in education at UMass so that I can serve my country better in the future.

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Christopher Winston Naunje

Hallo! Here is another one from Malawi, a southern African country-the land of the lake. I am the 4th born in a family of seven and am 33 years old. I was born in Zomba, a small University town and the old colonial capital. I did all my primary, secondary and University education right there. I graduated with a B Ed. (Humanities) in 1993 and went to teach at Mulanje secondary school.

Christopher NaunjeIn 1998, I was promoted to Senior Education Officer and appointed District Education Officer for Chiradzulu district where I have been until now. The title was then changed to District Education Manager a year ago. My duties as DEM include drawing District Education Plans every three years, handling teaching and learning materials, teacher's salaries, welfare, discipline, school staffing levels, recurrent budget planning and spending, pupils' issues, liaising with the community and District Assembly on education matters and many more.

In 2000 I joined the International Networking Events (UK) and attended conferences on school leadership development in Windsor, and on Education decentralization at the school of Education of the University of Birmingham. I am now doing a Master's course in policy planning and leadership at CIE.

My greatest challenge is striving for efficiency in a minimally resourced situation. I hope my program here will equip me with the skills to achieve this. I like traveling and I am a light-hearted individual who likes associating with people. I am grateful to my wife Nellie and daughter Beatrice for their patience and encouragement.

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Xiao Zhou

Hello, I am from China. I am very honored and excited to become a doctoral student in the Center for International Education (CIE) at UMass Amherst. Ever since I studied in Masters of Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration on non-profit management at Suffolk University in Boston in 2001, I have been fortunate to be involved in one way or another with cross-cultural educational projects.

Xiao ZhouI came to understand the challenges of China's inequitable education system and its lack of administrators and instructors who have global perspectives. I started to be interested in various international education issues such as comparative educational policy studies, language instruction, cross-cultural understanding, peace education…. And I have felt a strong sense of commitment to improving the educational system in China.

After earned my MPA degree in September 2002, I worked for WorldTeach at Harvard University, a non-profit organization dedicated to volunteer English teaching programs in developing countries. I have created volunteer English teaching partnership programs for WorldTeach with Hunan Provincial Education Department in Hunan Province in China and established potential partnership programs nationwide.

My various successful but challenging professional experiences in cross-cultural educational settings inspired me to further study in management and leadership skills in international education. It is my great pleasure to be here at CIE sharing and discussing the issues of equity, social justice, conflict resolution and democratic education with professors, practitioners, researchers and students from all over the world. I am certain that my doctoral studies at CIE will open up new avenues for my professional growth as well as broaden my perspectives.

In my career plan, my main interests will be to continue diverse cross-culture educational programs for teachers and students between U.S.A. and China. I would also love to find an integrated democratic education approach to challenge and promote the conventional education system in China.

By the way, I like music, dance, and of course outdoor activities such as hiking, skating, swimming, and playing basketball, volleyball, table-tennis… And, a nice surprise at the end, I started Chinese calligraphy practice when I was just 4 years old!

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Volha Narbutovich

I am a 2003-2005 Edmund Muskie fellow from Minsk, the capital city of Belarus. I am delighted to join the community at CIE as a new graduate student. I am interested in exploring the issues of Olha Narbutovicheducational leadership, curriculum design and implementation, and the role played by educators in different development contexts.

In 1999 I graduated from Minsk State Linguistics University with a BA in Philology. For the past four years I have taught at the same university and experienced all the rewards and problems of being an educator in Belarus. Now that I have found myself on the "learning side" of the education process again, I am glad to be engaged in the vigorous academic environment of an American higher education institution and to add yet another dimension to my professional background.

It is especially important that I will be studying with many other international students and thus will be able to share with them cross-cultural perspectives on education. I believe that as part of this process of sharing, I will contribute the insights I have gained from my experience. I have also been involved in working with adult learners. In addition, I have volunteered for the UK-based charity "Chernobyl Children's lifeline", which is helping to provide support to people from Belarus who suffered from the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

I enjoy studying at UMASS with its richness of intellectual and interpersonal spirit and hope that my graduate program will be a significant step in my professional development.

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Siegfried Mateso Mkandawire

Hi! I come from Karonga district in the northern part of Malawi that borders on Tanzania. I am married to Chrissie and I have one son Griffin (Blessings) who turned one year old on 7th August this year.

Siegfried MkandawireAt home I work with Domasi College of Education (DCE) in Zomba district as a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Department. DCE trains secondary school teachers up to diploma level. The modes of training are both face to face and distance learning. I joined DCE in January 2002, after teaching at Soche Hill Secondary School for one and half years. I graduated from University of Malawi, Chancellor College in 2000 and I have a Bachelor of Education Degree (B.Ed.) majoring in Mathematics..

Here at UMass I am doing masters in Testing and Measurement under University Partnership in Institutional Capacity Building (UPIC) program. After completing my studies I will be teaching both Mathematics and Testing and Measurement at DCE. I hope to finish in December, 2004.

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Ella Gift Phombeya Banda

Hi! I am from Malawi the warm heart of Africa. I am married to Francis Banda and have a one and half year old son Dalitso (Blessing).

Ella Phombeya BandaI got my MSCE certificate (equivalent to High School Diploma) in 1995. In 2000 I graduated from Chancellor College with a Bachelors degree in Education. After graduating I taught Mathematics and Biology for three months at Chichiri Secondary School and then worked for Centre for Social Research as a research assistant. In 2001 I joined the Malawi National Examinations Board as a Research and Test Development officer and I am still there. My job involves developing tests and conducting research pertaining to education assessment.

I like watching soccer, chatting, cooking and playing computer games. I hope the Masters Degree in Testing and Measurement which I am pursuing will help me to enhance my skills so that I will execute my duties more efficiently and effectively in my work at MANEB. I also hope to learn more through the interactions I will have with different people here at UMASS.

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Augustine Metadio Gundula

I come from Malawi and currently I am working with the Malawi National Examinations Board as a subject officer for Mathematics where I am involved in test development. I have a Bachelors Degree in education majoring in Mathematics that I obtained in 1995. Before I joined the Malawi National Examinations Board, I worked as secondary school teacher from Augustine Gundula1995 to 2001. Besides working as a secondary school teacher, I was also the Head of Science Department. In 1996 I was elected as the Vice Chairman of Science Teachers' Association of Malawi for the Central Region. In 1999, I went for a training course in Guidance and Counseling sponsored by Unesco and graduated in 2000 as a Trainer of Trainers for Guidance and Counseling in Sub-Saharan Africa.

I have joined the university of Massachusetts as a Master's degree candidate in Education, focusing on Testing and Measurement. I hope the knowledge and skills that I will acquire from the Master's Program will enable me to work efficiently and effectively as a test developer.

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Lindiwe Chide - Malawi Antonie Chigeda - Malawi Volha Narbutovich - Belarus Firuza Gafurova - Uzbekistan Hatsue Kimura - Japan Jennifer Chin - USA Dezie Trigu - Malawi Henry Gwede - Malawi Aiah Mbayo - Sierra Leone Sahadat Chaudhury - Bangladesh David Donaldson - USA Hui Zhao - China Christopher Naunje - Malawi Xiao Zhou - China Larissa Savitskaya - Kazakhstan