UKIERI is the short form of United Kingdom–India Education and Research Initiative. One of the key aims of UKERI is to promote cooperation between the government funded schools sector in India and the UK, through strategic partnerships, and between key educational bodies such as the specialist Schools and Academic Trust and local authorities in the UK and India.The major activities proposed for the school strand are
Thirteen clusters of six schools each have been identified from India and that of four schools of UK for the year 2007 . This includes two clusters of NVS, the Hyderabad Cluster and Patna cluster.
Hyderabad cluster consists of the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas of Shimoga, Trivandrum, Kasargod, Hyderabad, Bangalore (Rural) and Middle Andamans.
|Finalising cluster partnership between Hyderabad and Leicestershire clusters by the coordinators of Hyderabad and Leicestershire clusters||A class room of Old Dalby Primary School, Leicestershire, UK||Mr.Steve Cliff, Head Teacher Old Dalby primary school, Leicestershire, Mr.P.Ravi, Principal, JNV, Shimoga, Mr.Mathew Parris, Assistant Head Teacher, Rushey Mead Secondary School Leicestershire along with Mr.Rathnakaran, Principal, JNV, Trivandrum at Cherster, UK|
The British Council, the organizers of this program invited two representatives from each cluster to the UK to meet and decide their British Partner School and to attend the contact seminar on UKIERI cluster partnerships. I, KO Ratnakaran Principal JNV Trivandrum and Mr. P. Ravi Principal JNV Shimoga were selected to represent our Cluster and had the privilege to attend the programme in UK from 20th September to 26th September, 2007.
The trip totally financed by the UKIERI started from Bangalore. We reached London on the 20th of September evening. On 21st the delegates from the 13 Clusters were taken to Cheshire, the venue of the Seminars. On the way we had the pleasure of visiting Stratford ľupon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare.
The delegates assembled at the Wychwood Park at Cheshire to attend the seminar. There was an ice breaking session and introductions were made. The delegates exchanged gifts and displayed the curios brought from their respective clusters. The display of Hyderabad Region was well appreciated by all the participants and officials of British Council.This helped the hosts to have a taste of the cultural flavor of the guest. There was a dance performance by the Stuart Bathurst Catholic School. After meeting the various delegates we found Steve Cliff, Head teacher Old Dalby primary school,Leicestershire and Mathew Paris, Assistant Head Teacher Rushey mead Secondary school Leicestershire to be on the same wave length and decided to be partners. On the 22nd of September delegates attended seminars on Content setting assumptions of partnership, the power of questions, valuing and working with difference .cluster priorities and aspirations. The post lunch session was dedicated to the partner fair and forming partner conversations. There was a review session and delegates gave their personal reflections. We had the opportunity to have dinner at Peckforton Castle,which is Britians only intact medieval style castle.
Sunday the 23rd was again spent on interactive discussion on how to make good cluster partnership, equity based partnership and the education systems. The coordinators and conductors of the seminar were Ms Emilia Arthur, Ms Katie Blunden, Mr Ray Kirtley and Mr Bladev Singh had made their presentations very lively and informative. Post lunch period was used for feed back and later sightseeing at Cheshire.The conclusions can be summarised as follows.
The Hyderabad cluster and Leicestershire cluster was able to find each other as partners .Our area of interest was traditional sports and games. During the program the different diets will be analyzed and the life styles of the students will be compared and surveyed. The physical fitness of the participant student will be reviewed. The project will aim to improve the fitness and life style of the students.
24th afternoon and 25th of September we got the opportunity to visit our the cluster schools. Steve Cliff, Head teacher Old Dalby primary school, Leicestershire and Mathew Paris Assistenet Head Teacher, Rushey mead Secondary school Leicestershire acted as our perfect hosts. We were taken to their homes and also dined with them. WE were able to visit all the 4 schools of our cluster viz. Rushey Mead Secondary School,Rushey Mead Primary School,Old Dalby Chruch of England Primary school,John Ferneley High school.
The Schools were impressive for the excellent maintenance of cleanliness and activity oriented teaching .The class rooms were attractively decked with posters and various works done by students. The teacher and student interacted very naturally and informally. ICT was used in the teaching learning process. The schools were well equipped with full fledged gymnasium, indoor stadiums, play ground, canteen etc.
On 26th September the delegates returned to London and had a whirl wind tour of important tourist spots including the Buckingham palace .We returned to India filled with the warmth of British Hospitality. Now we wait for our counter parts from Britain to visit us.