"The whole idea of instituting this programme was to work in collaboration with our counterparts in Wales to provide students with diverse academic opportunities and develop better awareness of cultural differences."
Faculty, from one of the Delhi Cluster Schools
history, culture, lifestyle and educational methods. The rich heritage and culture of Wales and India were displayed through fun activities such as dance lessons, basic cooking and art classes, folktale enactments, postcard painting of historical monuments in the two countries and by learning to drape India’s ‘six foot wonder’ – the sari!
More organised methods involved the recital of each other’s national anthems in school assemblies, designing project reports on selected subjects such as the agrarian economy of the cluster countries, participation and performance of Welsh and Indian contingents in the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi, a comparative study of the education system of the cluster countries, making Welsh a part of foreign language study curriculum in the participating cluster schools from India, etc. As quoted by one of the faculty members “Individually we are nothing, together we are an ocean. The whole idea of instituting this exchange programme was to work in collaboration with our counterparts in Wales to provide students with diverse academic opportunities and develop better awareness of cultural differences.”
Students from participating schools made puppet presentations on famous Welsh personalities and a comparative study of the castles of Wales and the forts of India was created using visual aids. Indo-Welsh Friendship logos were designed, both as a way of making learning fun and giving free reign to children’s artistic abilities. ‘Itihas’, the Indian Tradition & Heritage Society offered its services by enlightening the Welsh group with authentic and insightful information on the various aspects of Indian heritage. As a way of self-expression, and an example of effective use of ICT, students were also encouraged to write blogs and produce podcasts to share their experiences.
Teachers participating in this programme were exposed to different teaching methodologies and approaches that not only enriched their teaching experience but also helped expand their vision. These teachers brought a fresh and different outlook into their respective schools and assisted in their school’s international activities. According to a faculty member participant, “The project encouraged discipline and courage in the students, enhanced respect for each other’s ways of life, beliefs, opinions and ideas, and developed a greater of sense of global citizenship.” The faculty members reaffi rmed their commitment to share best practices at teaching and leadership level as part of their Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
The whole project has been consistently followed by local media in both the countries and is highly supported by parents, authorities and the local community. The project helped the evolving theme of ‘Friendship forever’ find greater understanding and newer expressions among the cluster partnership.