Teachers from UK schools were impressed by Indian students’ discipline and obedience

Why does he grow his beard so long? What is the necessity? Is it not itching? These were some of the questions that confronted Sabural Banu Ibrahim, Mahatma School teacher, when she and a group of children from a UK school saw a photograph of Guru Nanak.

She had met the children there as part of the Global School Partnership Programme of the British Council.

“Perhaps this questioning attitude helps UK children think and learn better,” she said.

“On the contrary, questioning skills are not at all encouraged here, especially in Tamil Nadu. We definitely work hard but we never allow children to think. This programme is sure to help teachers and schools to don the thinking hat.”

Senior Principal Premalatha Panneerselvam said, “In future education is not going to be complete without globalization.” She added, “The world is a global village. With the available facilities we need to develop practical learning. Practical learning is possible only when you exchange ideas with people through such partnership programmes.”

Ms. Premalatha Panneerselvam has been appointed British Council School Ambassador for the southern districts of Tamil Nadu. As an ambassador, she invited 110 schools in Madurai and only 18 turned up for the workshop.

She plans to organise a separate meeting to rope in government schools and government–aided schools that are moving towards the goal of scoring high marks in board examinations.

According to teacher Shanti Ramoharan, the partnership programme gave them a chance to learn with international counterparts. “It is an opportunity to provide educational facilities for students across the world. Students need to learn about global issues.”

The teachers spent a week in the UK learning about UK schools and curriculum and worked on collaborative projects. Mahatma Schools in Madurai have been actively involved in British Council programmes such as International Schools Award, grant-funded Schools Partnerships and Connecting Classrooms that link Indian schools with UK schools and offer development opportunities for Indian teachers.

“I am very much impressed by students’ discipline and obedience,” said Amanda, a teacher from Hilperton School, UK. “Teaching practice in the UK encourages children to think beyond the basic curriculum, be creative, become independent thinkers and be life-long learners.”

“It's clear from our visit that some schools in Madurai are already acknowledging and embracing this successful approach to learning,” said Debble Rock. “During our visit we have been impressed by the children's positive attitude to learning and their politeness, from which our own children can learn.”

The British delegation of teachers – Amanda, Caroline, Mark Parraton, Debble Rock, Lizzie and Alice – visited Mahatma group of Schools at K.K.Nagar, Alagar Koil and Baba Building, SDH Jain Vidyalaya, Adhyapana School, VKK Playgroup School, Indira Gandhi School and Guhan Matriculation School.

Ms. Debble Rock said, “We look forward to developing our links further, enabling our children to visit each other’s schools, see how others live and learn, sharing their differences and enjoying their shared interests together.”