Links built between Australian and Indian Schools, 15 January 2016Fri 15th January 2016
The Australian High Commission today played host to 34 school principals and teachers from India and Australia.
The educators were at the High Commission to give feedback on two programs funded collaboratively by the Indian and Australian Governments, with support from the Asia Education Foundation (AEF).
The Australia-India School Leaders' Professional Learning (SLPL) Program, in its seventeenth year of operation, involves reciprocal visits of teachers from both countries. The visits include workshops on the education systems of each country, school leadership, models of schooling and management (including professional development of teachers) and evaluation and assessment techniques. Importantly, they also include an invaluable home-stay component where teachers are able to shadow their counterparts in their family homes and schools.
The BRIDGE program is in its inaugural year, after being announced by the Australian Minister for Education and Training during his visit to India in August 2015. It aims to build teacher capacity in developing intercultural understanding, and enhancing information communication technology (ICT) skills and establish sustainable school partnerships. It maximises the use of ICT in classrooms and provides students with personal, real-time connection with their peers in the region.
Australian High Commissioner to India, Mr Patrick Suckling, welcomed the success of both programs.
“The education relationship between our two countries is a strong and vibrant part of our shared interests. Strengthening partnerships between school leaders, teachers and school communities is essential to forging a strong bilateral relationship,” Mr Suckling said.
“Over 270 Australian and 200 Indian school leaders have now participated in the SLPL program. Sixteen Australian and Indian teachers participated in the inaugural BRIDGE program. The relationships forged through these exchange programs help build enduring ties between our two school systems, and between our two countries.”
One of the participants from this year’s inaugural BRIDGE program to Australia was Ms Kamalika Bose from Bluebells School International. “The Australia India BRIDGE program has created opportunities for teachers and students of two different countries and cultures to meet face to face, and not only learn from each other but also build trust and extend friendship,” Ms Bose said.
Dr Sudarshan Rao, Joint Secretary & Incharge (Academics & Training), Central Board of Secondary Education, accompanied the Indian group for the Australian component of the Australia India School Leaders’ Professional Learning Program (SLPL).
“The SLPL program has been extremely valuable for the Indian school principals. It has exposed them to the education system of another country, and highlighted alternative teaching practices such as use of new technology, strategic planning, and the assessment of staff and students,” Mr Rao said.
“The Indian Government was pleased to support the program, in collaboration with the Australian Government and Asia Education Foundation.”
The debriefings at the High Commission enabled Australian and Indian officials to receive feedback on the programs. Earlier in the day, Indian members of the Australia-India Education Council’s (AIEC) new Schools Working Group met at the High Commission to be briefed on Australia’s education system and the forward agenda for broader school collaboration.
More information about SLPL, BRIDGE, the AIEC and the Schools Working Group can be found at www.australiaindiaeducation.com