Ten participants of the Young Leaders: U.S. Political Process, A Project for North Africa, the Near East & South and Central Asia visited Hartselle High School on Jan. 23. The program sponsored by the U. S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and International Visitor Leadership Program, showcases American schools to young up-and-coming leaders from around the world, principal Jeff Hyche said.
Young leaders from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka mingled with Hartselle ambassadors.
“I’ve learned that there are a lot of other countries that don’t have it as well as we do,” Hartselle junior Ginni Smith said. “A lot of females that are not as educated as males. It shows a lot that they’re so interested in schooling. It should be a big deal in every country.”
Parul Mandal, of India, said the main difference she sees in public schools is the connection of the community to the public schools.
“Here everyone has a voice,” Mandal said.
Mandal said she likes the equality of the education that females and males receive in America. She said for the most part in India there is no problem; however, there are still small parts where women do not get the same education as men.
“It’s not a lot of difference,” she said. “Women’s equality is increasing.”
Hartselle senior Zane Hamlett shared his experience.
“They’re very interested in coming here, gathering information and taking it back,” Hamlett said. “It’s good to share knowledge about culture and life different from us. It’s great to have all these people here and share information, and share their lives and how it’s different from here.”
Hyche said interacting with young people from different countries and cultures helps Hartselle students relate to the rest of the world.
“I think it’s mainly for the students to see that it’s a small world,” Hyche said. “These are professional people working to improve their country. They get to hear how fortunate we are. It’s important for all of us to remember how lucky we are.”
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