Editor in chief
Third-world poverty, passionate educators and famous sites are a few of the things Associate Professor of Education Nancy Drickey experienced in India this summer.
She visited India as part of the Fulbright Specialists Program, which is focused on providing short-term academic opportunities for U.S. professionals. After a competitive application process, Drickey and 10 other faculty members from around the country were selected to visit the cities of Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.
“The program was action-packed from the moment we got [to India],” Drickey said.
She visited schools, colleges and government agencies to learn about the education issues plaguing India.
“In Southern India we saw the poorest schools,” Drickey said. “They had no doors, no windows and no electricity or water.”
The group of scholars also had the opportunity to visit the orphanages where the legendary Mother Teresa lived and worked.
Drickey said visiting these third-world facilities helped her understand the similarities between problems in the U.S. education system and those in India.
“All of their problems are on a different scale,” she said. “[In India], they don’t have compulsory education and less than half of the children go to school.”
According to Drickey, the extreme poverty in India is impossible to avoid.
“I’ve seen poverty in China and Mexico, and it doesn’t even compare to India,” she said.
When visiting orphanages and schools, Drickey said she was impressed by the number of volunteers, many of who were students from abroad. In 2010, Drickey aims to bring Linfield students to India on a January Term course to study the education and culture of India, as well as to do some volunteer work.
Drickey said she believes that if the people of India can get educated, they can get out of the rut they are currently in.
“[Being there] changed the way I view the world,” she said. Drickey will present a speech on her trip, titled “Education: An Agent for Change,” as one of the many “Three Cups of Tea” events October 6 at 7 p.m. in Jonasson Hall.