Mohammad Tareque Rahman email@example.com
Vuthy Long firstname.lastname@example.org
Now I start to believe that one can make an impossible dream possible, as long as we strongly commit with what we need to achieve. I try to look back into old days in my life; I can’t believe that I have come to this top. I was born and grew up in Cambodia. I am first child - with 2 brothers and 1 sister - who lived day by day in the struggling family based on the tiny income from my parent’s small business. My parents always reminded me that the only thing that can change my life is “Education.” They strongly supported me to go to the college, even it was almost impossible for me due to my family’s financial situation, but I never gave up. I worked very hard trying to put myself into college and I was the only child in my family who attended and completed college.
After I finished college, I started volunteering in the development field with World Vision-Cambodia where I got my first job, shortly after. With this great first-level job, I tried to keep up study which led me to the higher professional level, from time to time. I kept working on and getting more involved with social and economic development works, taking up more challenging jobs with other international development agencies, such as Oxfam, USAID and Save the Children. With these opportunities, I was able to work and experience, directly and indirectly, within multiple development areas, such as child labor, nonformal and primary education, microfinance, media, basic health care, child protection, HIV/AIDS and safe migration. I was able to travel to other countries in the region and work with people of different backgrounds and cultures.
I came to the United States in summer 2007 with my wife and 2 kids. I went to Worcester State University for my second Master’s degree. And now, I am here at CIE to pursue my doctorate. I realize that the more I learn the more I don’t know. Taking this advanced degree in the US is a great opportunity, but also a big challenge, especially as English is not my first language. After I started the first week of my classes, I feel like CIE is like one of my previous workplaces, where I can meet and work with people from different countries, backgrounds and cultures. Finally, I want to thank my wife for agreeing to take more family burden and responsibility from me, so that I can fully focus on my study. Without her support and contribution, this opportunity would be impossible for me.
Ryke Pribudhiana email@example.com
My name is Ryke Pribudhiana and I am a new student in CIE. You can call me Pri. I think my nickname is easy to say and remember. I work in Jakarta, but my hometown is Bandung. Jakarta is a nice place to pursue my carrier while Bandung is a right place to live. From Monday to Friday, I used to stay in Jakarta and in the weekend I go back home to Bandung.
I have two years’ experience living in South Korea as an industrial trainee. I was an apprentice. Next, I have seven-year of experience teaching English in a vocational school. Teaching was my first job and I was interested to do it. I got involved with many students and tried to teach them effectively. Although English is not a popular subject, I worked to make it interesting. This experience made me satisfied because I could do something useful for my students. In addition, I worked in literacy as an evaluation staff member in the sub-directorate of literacy education in the Ministry of National Education from April 2006 up to 2011. Last year, I was relocated to the sub-directorate for institutional partnership. My duties included campaigning, supervising, monitoring, evaluating in community education activities like: literacy, women, public library, gender mainstreaming, elderly, parenting, community partnership, life-skill, early childhood program and so on.
Elshyamaa Ahmed firstname.lastname@example.org
Noorullah Noori email@example.com
I was born and raised in Afghanistan. I earned my BA degree at one of the provincial Higher Education Institutes, in Baghlan Province, in Afghanistan on 2008.
Since 2002, I have been involved in a variety of practical activities in the area of education development with different international NGOs (e.g. Aga Khan Foundation, Creative Associates International Inc. and Academy for Education Development). During this time period, I have been mainly involved in designing training materials, delivering training and managing teacher professional development projects. These include projects for teacher training colleges, schools and universities/higher education institutes. My whole work experience has been centered around nonformal teacher education.
From 2008 to December 2010, I was an employee of the Higher Education Project in Afghanistan that is currently led by UMass/CIE. There, my colleague, Dwight Lloyd, designed training materials for a series of professional development courses for faculty members of 18 universities and my role was to supervise the whole training process for over 600 education faculty members. That was a great experience and opportunity for me to learn about the higher education system in my country.
More recently, I designed several short-term capacity building projects targeting different groups for a national NGO in Afghanistan and almost all of them were accepted by US Embassy under their ‘Quick Response Fund’ mechanism. Since I was supposed to begin my studies at UMass, I could only manage the implementation process of one of these projects that delivered training on ‘Management and Administration Improvement’ for almost 400 staff of provincial and 14 district education departments in Baghlan province.
Donna Lopp firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the most intelligent people I have ever met is Kanni, a Senegalese woman who never received a formal education. With little exposure to the world outside of a remote village far from the capital, Dakar, Kanni has an uncanny ability to understand and educate a range of people that spans from village elders to myself.
As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal from 2006 to 2008, one of my most rewarding experiences was seeing Kanni and other members of a women’s group sign their names for the first time while depositing their earnings into a bank account. This seemingly small feat marked a shift towards independence for this group of entrepreneurs, and rewarded them with a sense of dignity in the faces of their often-unsympathetic brethren.
Assigned as a sustainable agriculture volunteer, much of my time in Senegal was spent working in the fields with farmers to establish more sustainable techniques. Otherwise, I taught basic literacy skills to the women’s group (and anyone who wanted to learn) and worked with the group to build a more lucrative jewelry business. As Senegal Gender and Development (SeneGAD) Representative for the Tambacounda region, I worked with junior high school girls and their teachers and principles to boost scholarship access and rewards.
In 2008 I returned to Brooklyn, New York where my background in the arts, particularly metal casting and fabrication, previously lead me to such jobs as building sets for theater and movies, and fabricating steel, dinosaur armateurs for various natural history museums. Here, I also volunteered with organizations that serve at-risk youth like Free Arts NYC in the Bronx, and Added Value in Brooklyn. Now I want to bridge the gap between my career work and the volunteer work I have done in the US and abroad. I realized that what ties it all together and the direction in which to focus is Education.
It is easy in the US to take education for granted. This realization was never more apparent to me than in 2003 when I biked through much of South East Asia, visiting several schools. Although the widespread misconception that all Americans know only wealth without sacrifice is just that, a misconception, it was never more clear to me than in rural Laos and Indonesia, of just how much opportunity I have had. Growing up relatively poor by US standards, and being more expected to achieve a living wage than a higher education, I explained to the locals whom I spent time with and insisted on my being “rich”, that I am more like them than they assumed. At the end of the day, we were both right.
From my first trip abroad in 1995 as an art student participating in an international program at Tallinn University, Estonia, to my recent work as a research assistant and liaison between soil scientists at Cornell University and New York City community gardeners, I have been intrigued by different cultures and customs, our ideas about each other, and how we learn.
With a rich multicultural atmosphere and a strong emphasis in non-formal education, CIE is a perfect match for my interests and academic pursuit. As a lover of hiking, biking and simply being outdoors, the Pioneer Valley is a natural playground similar to the one where I grew up in North Carolina. I am thrilled to be here and I feel right at home.
Mjege Kinyota Mkinyota@educ.umass.edu
My background has been and continues to be one of being a good teacher in my life. I started teaching when I had just completed my secondary education in 2004. Although I was not a certified teache, I enjoyed teaching lower primary science and mathematics in one of primary schools in western part of Tanzania. To me this was teaching and nothing could convince me that it was not.
During my high school I was at least flexible and one could convince me that teaching was a profession and that necessary skills were needed for one to teach effectively.
I have been teaching chemistry since then and this was the driving force for me to pursue a bachelor degree in science education at the University of Dar es Salaam majoring in chemistry.
Currently I am a teaching assistant in the department of curriculum and teaching at the University of Dar es Salaam, College of education. Although teaching in Tanzania is a profession with very low status, I feel comfortable to be called a teacher and I have an impression that this feeling will never end.
Nothing can describe how I feel to be at CIE. I can feel an atmosphere with rich learning experiences that will enable members to gain a wider perspective of educational issues and challenges both in international and national settings and their implications for educational policy and curriculum development.
For sure, teaching is life and life is teaching.
Gulzat Kochorova email@example.com
For the last five years I have been engaged in a very interesting and exciting job – introducing newly developed Humanities Curriculum specifically designed for Central Asian undergraduate students. This Curriculum consists of eight interdisciplinary courses that are supposed to be taught using student-centered teaching methods by using teaching skills such as critical reading, thinking, and writing.
Benjamin Oganga firstname.lastname@example.org
My interest in teaching and of course, of being a teacher, was at the first place inspired by my beloved Mother Winfrida, who voluntarily worked as a Literacy Teacher, teaching literacy to the elders in my village of Kowak, Tarime District, Mara Region in Tanzania. That was the time of government campaign all over the country around 1970s and 1980s where the government wanted to make sure that all adults and children who did not get the chance of going to school during the colonial times and who because of that did were not able to read and write, are taught and have the reading and writing skills.
That was the beginning of my interest in Education/Teaching. After I graduated from Advanced Level Secondary studies in 1999, I soon joined an NGO called Primary Network Education (PEN) to teach Primary School Teachers that were required by the Government to upgrade to Grade A Teachers from Grade C Teachers. I worked with PEN in the rural areas of Kahama District, Shinyanga region for a year before joining the University of Dar es salaam in 2000 where I pursued B.A. (Education) and graduated in 2004.
After my graduation I taught at Kowak Girls High School for two years and as Education Officer at The Mwl. J.K.Nyerere Memorial Museum for four years before being transferred and promoted to Kigoma region where I worked as Personal Assistant to the Regional Commissioner.
Since then I have been working in the government – Central Government for almost seven years, and my interest is in Education Policy, Planning and Management in International Education. This is due to the fact that in most of the developing countries like Tanzania, education systems and quality of education are highly influenced by the policy and planning processes at the governments’ central levels. However there is a lack of competent policy planners in the developing countries and in Tanzania as well.
I am therefore happy that I am here at the prestigious University of Massachusetts doing my Master’s in International Education with concentrations in Policy, Planning and Management. I therefore hope that after my graduation the to-be gained skills, knowledge and experience will help me to contribute towards the development of education sector in my country. I anticipate using the knowledge, skills and experiences I have learned from fellow students from other countries to positively influence educational projects, policy and planning for the development of my country.
Anna Swai email@example.com
Hello, I am a married woman, a pure African person blessed to have three handsome boys with the age of 14+ and below. I come from Tanzania, a country with plenty of National Parks, Conservation and reserved areas having different, distinctive and interesting animals! Have you ever heard of a toad which gives birth instead of laying eggs? It is amazing to have a viviparous toads! Welcome to Tanzania where you will see animals belonging to Amphibians class but they give birth!!!!
Actually I am a teacher by profession since 2001, and I have been working under the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MOEVT) in different schools for almost 8 years now teaching Physics and Biology.
When Decentralization by devolution took place in our Country, I was appointed by the Permanent Secretary of MOEVT as a District Academic Educational officer under the department of Secondary Education. I have been working under MOEVT in collaboration with Prime Minister’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government for two years. Being an academician at District level has given me motive of concentrating on equal accessibility of education to girls in comparison to that of boys. In my District, probably it’s the same case in our Region statistics, especially in rural areas, enrolment of girls to schools at Primary and Secondary School level is below 40% compared to that of boys! This is due to poverty, ignorance of parents and lack of intrinsic motivation of girls towards education.
There is a philosophy which says “If you educate a woman you educate a whole nation, but if you educate a man you educate a single person”. I do believe in this slogan. Most of the parents in rural areas at my home country are not educated hence they don’t know the importance of educating their children. For any nation to have sustainable development in all aspects, it has to provide quality education to all children regardless of gender, race, color, physical abilities, mental abilities and financial abilities and the like. My government should enhance equal opportunities in access to quality education to all Tanzanians.
Milka Ndura firstname.lastname@example.org
I would have never imagined or it would have ever crossed my mind that one day I would be studying in CIE. My journey to CIE was rather short but exciting. I was in Kenya working with a civic organization called Twaweza which is a new citizen-centered initiative, focusing on large-scale social change in East Africa. It is here that I met and worked with a student from CIE, Martina Ochieng who was and still is my mentor and which opened doors for my career path.
I also worked with Twaweza’s partner Uwezo which assessed basic literacy in Children aged 6-16 years. Both in Twaweza and Uwezo I was able to get international experience as I worked with people from the other African countries and continents.
Naeem Khawaja email@example.com
For me, the essence of human life is the sense of contribution and the firm resolve to contribute to alleviate the pains of humans. Helping people to realize and utilize their potential is the core of life and I have a conviction that the most economical and sustainable way to help people realize and utilize their potential is to provide them with quality education. So, education is the channel I have chosen as a means of contribution to humanity and I have been living for it and will continue to live for it.
I grew up in one of the remotest areas of Pakistan. I have been the beneficiary as well as the victim of an education system where corporal punishment was believed to be an effective teaching strategy. And when I recall that school period of my life, I feel that many of my very talented and gifted fellows would not have dropped out of the school if those severe corporal punishments were not there. Those dropouts really motivated me to join the education sector and after completing my undergraduate studies, I joined the education sector as a teacher and then I have been serving in different positions both in private and public sector. And this experience has helped me to develop a philosophical standpoint about what the governments’ role should be in the education systems.
Can we develop and move towards an education system which on one side doesn’t violate the very noble concepts of social equity and justice and on other side is continuously improving itself as per changing needs of the society? How can we learn from the changes taking place in developed countries’ public education like public-private partnerships, charter schools and vouchers so that at least the basic education is not being treated either like a business product to make more money or like an unnoticed and dull activity just to keep the children busy inside the school boundaries on tax payers’ money.
Now being at CIE, I feel that I have reached a place where there are innumerable academic and human resources from all over the world, a true multi-cultural environment and a learning community with very diverse educational backgrounds and skills. All this makes CIE a wonderful place to learn. Also, Amherst being a very beautiful and scenic area is promising to make this learning experience more charming and thrilling and being in such a peaceful place is already making this academic venture more enjoyable than I ever expected.
Hassan Aslami firstname.lastname@example.org
Salam! I grew up in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan. My interest in pursuing graduate studies in Education has grown during my almost five years tenure with USAID funded Afghanistan Higher Education Project and it had become a dream for me to study in a prestigious university like UMass. I am thrilled that I am here at CIE now and doing my master’s program.