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NC State Panhellenic Community Forms New Partnership for STEM Education in Asia

The NC State Panhellenic community has raised $10,000 to facilitate subject matter and pedagogy training to female math and science teachers in Tajikistan.

Logo for the Panhellenic community at NC State

The Circle of Sisterhood Foundation (CofS), an organization founded and powered by sorority women to remove barriers to education for women worldwide, today announced that its campus partner, the NC State University Panhellenic community, has raised $10,000 to fund a grant. The money
will benefit the Central Asia Institute (CAI), an organization that works to promote education and livelihood skills for girls and women in the remote regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan.

The funds raised will help provide modern subject-matter and pedagogy training to 60 female science and math teachers from remote and impoverished communities in Tajikistan. This will help increase the likelihood that female students will stay in school and excel in these fields, and in the long-term, have access to better-paid jobs and greater economic opportunities.

“As a Panhellenic community with such a large STEM population, we are thrilled to support the Central Asia Institute, enabling the proper training of science and math teachers,” said Jessica Stutz, Panhellenic vice president of philanthropy at NC State. “Through the increased quality of education, women are more likely to land higher-income jobs, thereby allowing them to reinvest in their family. An investment in a woman’s education is a key step in breaking the cycle of poverty.”

One of the greatest barriers to quality education in Tajikistan is the lack of qualified female teachers, outdated teaching practices, and lack of government funding in education. With support from CofS, CAI will implement the Science and Math Access for Remote Tajik Teachers (SMARTT project), providing nine days of training facilitated by the Institute for Professional Development in Education, creating an improved community of practice that contributes to better learning outcomes. The project will also include funding for several schools to purchase laboratory equipment to promote hands-on approaches to learning.

“In the remote, impoverished areas where CAI works, numerous barriers prevent children, especially girls, from accessing education. For those girls who do go to school, the poor quality of what they learn often inhibits their ability to excel,” said Alice
Thomas, executive director, CAI. “Generous funding from the Circle of Sisterhood is helping to change that by empowering these girls and women to be the change agents that their families and societies so desperately need.”

To learn more about CofS, its mission, and the organizations it supports, visit: