Trip shines light on Pakistan

Special to The Chart

Special to the Chart

Special to The Chart

Dr. Willie Edwards, assistant professor of teacher education, took a trip to Karachi, Pakistan Dec. 2-14. The trip was to help teach educational curricula to the faculty at Aga Khan University.

A country with a population of 166 million people, Pakistan is located in southern Asia, located next to the Arabian Sea and bordering Afghanistan, Iran and China to the north. Edwards compared Karachi to New York City.

“It’s a lot more cosmopolitan than other areas in that region,” Edwards said.

Edwards also said he didn’t see any of the extremist fundamentalism that a lot of Americans think goes on in Pakistan.

“An American just doesn’t walk around there,” he said. “The driver would pick them up in the morning, spend the entire day at the university, then drive him back to the hotel.”

Edwards’ trip to Pakistan was made possible by the sponsorship of International Reading Association. The IRA is an international organization of researchers, teachers and administrators that help promote reading around the world. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) granted $88 million to bring in teachers to assist with the faculty. Aga Khan University is in its second year of a four-year grant.

“The faculty spoke English very well,” Edwards said. “Most are trained in the British style .”

At Southern, Edwards teaches literacy and remedial practicum courses. He works with students who work with kids who require help with reading.

Edwards started his college career at Kent State University in Ohio. He then transferred to the University of Las Vegas, where he finished his undergradute degree in 1980. Edwards later earned his master’s degree at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 1988. Edwards received his doctorate at the University of Reno-Nevada in 2003.

“I always liked working in remedial education,” Edwards said. “Then I started to focus on reading after I found out that many kids needed help.”