The lecturer Margareta
Ekborg defended a doctoral dissertation
called ”Naturvetenskaplig utbildning för
hållbar utveckling?” in 2003,
and is now involved in a Sida funded research project on the interaction
between knowledge and values in the opinion moulding on gene technology,
in particular genetic manipulation of crops. In August 2005 she was
given SEK 55 000 as a SASNET grant for an
educational programme titled ”Development
of Biotechnological Education Programs and Information Packages in Nepal.” This
project is carried out in collaboration with Prof. Olof
Olsson and Dr.
Gokarna Gharti Chhetri at the Department
of Cell and Molecular Biology, Göteborg
University. The partners in Nepal are:
Rajbhandary, Executive Chairperson of the Himalayan
College of Agricultural Sciences & Technology (HICAST).
Tilak Shrestha, Associate Professor, Khwopa
College in Bhaktapur, affiliated
to Tribhuvan University.
Bhola Man Singh Basnet, Head Communication,
Publication & Documentation
Division, National Agricultural
Research Institute (NARI),
Lalitpur. Project abstract: During an ongoing SIDA supported project
to develop more stress tolerant and nutritious rice cultivars for Nepal
we have identified a need to develop education and information packages
to train existing Nepalese collaborators in biotechnology, to recruit
and educate new workers and to inform the public in Nepal about our activities.
With this planning grant we will gain insight in the educational infrastructure
in Nepal and establish collaboration with appropriate responsible Nepalese
university teachers and their students. We will also build up a direct
collaboration with the NARI press centre and make personal contacts with
chosen representatives from the media.
Field studies in India
1993 an optional 15 ECTS credits course, Möte med U-land” (Encounter a developing
country), is offered the last term students becoming teachers
in our compulsory schools. All students, the ones specialised in teaching
younger pupils as well as the ones teaching older pupils and either
specialised in Science, Social Science or Language, may participate. The course of ten weeks (10 credits) focuses on India, where
the field studies of 5 weeks take part. The students choose their individual
focuses of their field work, which takes place with the help of
interpreters in Tamil Nadu in the South. Comparative studies are
then made in Kerala. After the optional courses of the last semester the
students write their examination paper. Often the participants of the
”Encounter a developing country”-courses choose to write about
and analyse their experiences in Tamil Nadu. More information on the course.
Previous South Asia oriented research
at the department
Emeritus Lars Henrik Ekstrand
worked as a University Lecturer at the Malmö School of
Education 1966–1990 (at that time an administrative part of Lund
University), and became full Professor in 1992, and acted as such until
he retired in 1996 (two years before the School of Teacher Education became
part of Malmö University, from 1 July 1998). He defended his PhD
thesis in International Education at the University of Stockholm in 1978.
A thesis on ”Bilingual and Bicultural
Lars Henrik Ekstrand was introduced to India during the Cross-Cultural
Psychology conference held in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, in January 1980 where
he presented a couple of papers. After the conference, he and his then
wife Gudrun Ekstrand were
invited by the legendary Prof. Radanath Rath
to stay on for some time. Having noted that children seem to be treated
very differently in different cultures, a cooperative project was initiated.
This lasted several years with repeated data collection in various parts
of Sweden and Orissa, and also in New Delhi.
This project yielded a number of monographs and international journal
articles, as well as a doctoral dissertation by Gudrun Ekstrand on differences
between Sweden and Orissa on child rearing and attitudes. She defended
the thesis, called ”Kulturens barn
kontrastiva analyser av kulturmönster avseende förhållandet
till barn och ungdom i Sverige och Orissa, Indien”,
in 1990. More
information on the dissertation.
From 1989 onwards Lars Henrik Ekstrand has devoted more
and more time to development projects. It started when Dr. Eugene Ries,
Director of the Community Development Service at the Lutheran World Foundation
in Geneva asked him to perform an informal evaluation of the organisation’s
development projects in northern Orissa, the Burdwan area in West Bengal,
and in Kolkata city. This made him admire participatory activities with
villagers taking part in every step of the decision process.
Later on from 1990 to 1992 he worked full-time as Coordinator for the
Sida-supported Social Forestry Project in Orissa, being stationed in Bhubaneswar.
The project, led by Mr. M. F. Ahmed (later becoming Inspector General
for Forests in India), conducted plantations in somewhere between 5,000
and 7,000 villages all over Orissa. SIDA later on interrupted this project
In 1989 Lars Henrik Ekstrand initiated the formation of
an Educational Development Association, EDA
(U-landspedagogiska Föreningen) at the Malmo School of Education.
For several years, this association conducted a large number of activities,
including information, research exchange and cooperation with a number
of NGOs in Orissa. It also sponsored support to destitute children. Furthermore
groups of teachers and students from the Malmo School of Education started
to travel to India on a yearly basis. Many students went for field work
in Orissa with Minor Field Studies programme grants. Indian groups of
students and teachers visited Sweden in a reciprocal way.
Over the years, EDA had intimate connections with the NGO Bana Basi Seva
Samiti (Forest Dwellers’ Organisation), in Phulbani district in
the interior of Orissa. It is an NGO operating over a wide area in a tribal
belt (more than 60 p.c. tribals), badly hit by severe malnourishment,
high IMR and MMR, malaria and other epidemic diseases, alarming school
drop-out, and high adult illiteracy. It was founded in 1972 by freedom
fighter and Gandhian Biswanath Patnaik. The
Lutheran World Service, India, provided with geological and water-drilling
expertise for this cooperative water resource project between EDA and
BBSS, that to a large extent was funded by Sida. The project was implemented
between 1994 and 1998.
After his retirement in 1996 Lars Henrik Ekstrand now spends
half the year in Orissa with his present wife Rita
Ray, Professor of Sociology at Utkal University. Prof. Ray
is doing socio-economic research on Resettlement and Rehabilitation
for various development projects, to which L H Ekstrand also contributes.
In 2001 they published a joint study on ”Chaos and Complexity
Theory in Development” in the International
Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology. Presently
he is finalising a major world-wide quantitative study on corruption.
In September 2005 Lars Henrik Ekstrand presented a paper called ”Socio-cultural
factors affecting corruption and what to do.
A study of psychological and other non-economic macro-variables affecting corruption”
5th regional anti-corruption conference, held in Beijing, People’s
Republic of China (a conference under the auspices of ADB/OECD
Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific). Read
the full paper (as a pdf-file).
In December 2005 SASNET’s Lars Eklund visited Lars henrik Ekstrand and
Rita Ray in Bhubaneshwar. Read his report.