Ten Indian teachers who travelled to Australia under a popular teacher exchange program gathered at the Australian High Commission today to share their stories about their experience in schools Down Under.
The teachers were participants in the Australia-India School Leaders' Professional Learning Program, organised by the Asia Education Foundation (AEF) with support from Australian Education International (AEI).
They were hosted at the Australian High Commission by Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Bernard Philip in New Delhi. Ms Maureen Welch and Ms Kathe Kirby of AEF were also present, along with Indian teachers who have previously participated in the program since its inception in 1998.
Welcoming the teachers, Mr Philip said, “We are delighted that Indian teachers have been given the opportunity to travel to Australia through this program, which is supported by both the Indian and Australian Governments.”
“Over 250 Australian and 190 Indian school leaders have now participated in the exchange program between our two countries. The relationships forged between these Indian teachers and their colleagues and students in Australia help build enduring ties between our two school systems, and between our two countries.”
Describing her experience in Australia, one of the participants from this year’s exchange program, Ms Niddhi Duggal of Delhi Public School, Ghaziabad, said she was thrilled when she was greeted with a “Namaste” by the students of Range bank Primary School, Victoria. The school was the first to introduce Hindi in Australia.
“I was so touched to be greeted in such a familiar way by the students I was teaching. Australian schools are now beginning to embrace Hindi, which is wonderful news- but perhaps not surprising. After all, Hindi is now the fastest growing language in Australia!”
Mrs Shobha Sharma, Principal, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Border Security Force, Chhawla, said “After visiting Australia, I realised the importance of vocational education and training in schools. I was amazed to see how finely and articulately vocational courses were integrated in the school curriculum.”
Mr Ashutosh Batta, Principal, Bloom Public School, was impressed by the way Australian schools approach teaching and learning.
“It was very impressive to see how school curriculum was linked with the community. Australian schools have quality assessment techniques, intense organisational skills and ongoing teacher training which plays a very important role in the learning environment” he said.