Schools build links with India
Last updated at 20:33, Thursday, 10 May 2012
A group of three Cockermouth headteachers visited India for 10 days to see how education was delivered in developing countries.
Geoff Walker, of Cockermouth School, Karen Shankland, of Broughton Primary, and Helen Tinnion, of Bridekirk Dovenby School, visited the Sikkim province, close to the Nepalese border, as part of a British council project, Connecting Classrooms.
The project looks to link different schools in England with those in developing countries.
The trio visited eight schools in the province, which had a mixture of primary and secondary age children.
They talked to teachers, gave advice and talked to children about their work.
Mr Walker said: “There was a huge difference compared with over here because it is a very poor area and the children have to travel long distances walking miles to get to school but they always looked very smart in their uniforms.
“The class sizes had between 60 and 70 children and there were hardly any ICT facilities. There were very basic and traditional methods of teaching.
“We talked with the teachers about how they were doing, showed some of our pupils work and how they could use ICT when they got it.
“It was a very humbling and emotional experience.
“They were showing us with pride their work but it was very frustrating how little they had but how well they were doing.
“It shows how much they value education and it is what they want to do to try and get them out of poverty as some of them want to go to college or the local university.”
Mrs Shankland said: “We were welcomed like royalty and they treated us wonderfully well because they are not used to having visitors.
“We had a look at their curriculum and the way they delivered lessons.
“It gave us quite a good idea of how their system works and how their staff are employed.”
It is hoped next year some video links can take place as well as some of the teachers from India visiting the English schools.
It is hoped that in the future some older students will be able to visit the schools in India.
First published at 19:24, Thursday, 10 May 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk