The Global Classroom from Greensboro to India

Megan Pociask
Staff Writer

PC: N. M. Panse

On Feb. 12 at 7 p.m., F. Nelson Stover hosted a lecture entitled, “A Third World Village’s Journey to the 21st Century.” The lecture covering his recent trip to India was held at Scuppernong Books in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina.

As president of Emerging Ecology, Stover’s mission is to “enhance opportunities for resolving current economic, social and environmental issues.”

In collaboration with the NGO, Institute of Global Affairs, Stover has been able to contribute to an effort that works to provide tools for education to tribal children in India, specifically within the Chikhale village.

Much of his lecture surrounded the fact that though India is growing so rapidly, often times tribal children are not given fair opportunities due to discrimination between the Brahmin peoples and tribal ethnic minorities.

With a slideshow of photographs from his recent trip with colleague Randall Hayes, the audience was shown everything from the haze-covered Mumbai to the tiny huts that claimed the Chikhale village as home.

Stover didn’t forget to cover his qualifications for his knowledge of the Chikhale region, mentioning that he and his wife, Elaine, inhabited a home there for a few years while getting to know the resourceful community – not to mention the fact that he had spent quite a while with the Institute of Global Affairs, building an educational institution for the children of Chikhale.

In fact, that educational institution seems to be clearing the way for the ultimate Cinderella story. So many children of the Chikhale village are attending the school that there is a shortage of teachers.

Smaller classes tend to have around 40 children, while larger classes can have around 60. Due to this, Hayes mentioned that they’re brainstorming ways to have a more equal dispersion of students to teachers. Potentially, one of those ways being that older students act as mentors to the younger students of the school.

Although the school has presented itself with a fair share of obstacles, the good news overwhelms all of them. In 2010, the school gained government approval to add an eleventh grade, paving the way to college for many students. To prepare students even more, Haye’s has been working to implement apprenticeships between the school and local Chikhale businesses so that students can enter the workforce with practical skills, even without a university degree.

In 2011, Stover introduced the “Global Classroom” to the students of Chikhale. Seemingly revolutionary for the school, considering the fact that internet is just now becoming more readily available, Chikahale students are now able to Skype with students of Grimsley High School, right here in Greensboro.

This accomplishment shouldn’t be overlooked; according to Hayes, India is “doing what the United States did over ten years, but at the same time.” Internet access for the Chikhale students makes it possible for intercultural connection and education to blossom in their village as well as here in Greensboro.

If you would like to learn more about the work of F. Nelson Stover and how he is changing and shaping the lives of people across the globe, you can find more information at www.emergingecology.org.




Categories: Features

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