Senior Australian Education Official visits IndiaThu 22nd September 2016
Mr Patrick Burford, Acting Group Manager, Department of Education and Training visited New Delhi to attend UNESCO Conference on the Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education from 19-22 September 2016.
While in New Delhi for the conference, Mr Burford met with senior Indian Government officials and stakeholders. He participated in a school policy dialogue with National University for Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), held an interactive session on inclusive education with Indian school leaders and visited private and government schools.
The trip provided an excellent opportunity to progress school policy engagement between India and Australia. Teacher education, school and teaching standards, diagnostic tools, ICT tools, Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education, and vocational education were all areas of focus.
The interaction with NUEPA was the first such engagement between school policy specialists in the Indian and Australian Governments. It identified a number of shared priorities such as student safety, involving parents in learning and school leadership, which will be explored further.
The dialogue on inclusive education lead to a discussion on how educators can look to each other for the knowledge and skills that drive social change. It will be followed up by exchanges of information on special needs education, inclusive vocational education course materials and distance education for disadvantaged students.
Mr Burford’s visit to Kendriya Vidyalaya School Number 2, Delhi included discussions with the principal, interaction with students and a tour of the facilities. He gained insights into India’s approach to the integration of vocational and inclusive education into mainstream schooling, an area of strength in Australia.
His visit to Bluebells International School showcased the cohort of contemporary schools in India which focus on the child’s holistic development and include an international perspective. Mr Burford observed a skype session between the school’s children with an Australian school and also engaged with primary class students over a story session.
A gallery of photos from his visit can be found here.