Australia, India strengthen pioneer education exchange programs

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New Delhi, Jan.15 (ANI): The Australian High Commission today welcomed 34 Indian and Australian educators to build stronger ties between the Australian and Indian school systems and deepen engagement on two pioneering exchange programs.

Funded by the Indian and Australian Governments, with support from the Asia Education Foundation, the Australia-India School Leaders’ Professional Learning (SLPL) Program involves reciprocal visits of principals and teachers, while the inaugural BRIDGE program aims to build teacher capacity in intercultural understanding, establish durable school partnerships and enhance ICT skills to provide students with personal, real-time connection with peers in the region.

Australian High Commissioner to India, Patrick Suckling, welcomed the strengthening of partnerships between school leaders, teachers and school communities.

“The Australia-India education relationship is strong and vibrant,” Mr Suckling said. “Almost 500 school leaders from both countries have now participated in the SLPL program, with 16 teachers involved in BRIDGE. The relationships forged through these exchange programs help to build enduring ties between our school systems and between our two countries.”

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Dr Sudarshan Rao, Joint Secretary (Academics and Training) of India’s Central Board of Secondary Education, accompanied the Indian group during their visit to Australia under the SLPL.

“The SLPL program exposed Indian school principals to the education system of another country and highlighted alternative teaching practices such as the use of new technology, strategic planning, and staff and student assessment,” Mr.Rao said.

Ms Kamalika Bose from Bluebells School International participated in this year’s inaugural BRIDGE program to Australia, announced by the Australian Minister for Education and Training during his visit to India in August 2015.

“The Australia-India BRIDGE program 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 friendship,” Ms Bose said.

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More information about SLPL, BRIDGE, the AIEC and the Schools Working Group can be found at (ANI)

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