US students, teacher see India as a catalyst to bridge bilateral education gap

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Durjoynagar (Agartala), July 26 (ANI): As talks at different levels are going on improve the Indo-US relations five new graduates from Boston have joined their teacher in a school in remote Tripura to launch an initiative to bridge the education gap and inspire children to become successful.

They see this initiative as going a long way in improving Indo-US relations.

"International exposure to students as well as to teachers so that they can think in creative ways and bring quality in teaching and learning is the main aim behind the initiative", said Father Shaji, the initiator of the project and the principal of the Catholic-run Holy Cross School.

Father Shaji believes that this will provide an opportunity for young Americans to interact with Indians and gather primary first hand experience and know about life in India. And thus develop better love and appreciation for the systems existing in India.

"These young teachers shall be spokesperson of Indo-US relationship at the international arena. Better relations can only be created by dialogue and being in different context. This type of exposure shall help in better understanding and appreciating cross-culture. It can not be gained through merely reading and knowing but needs first hand experience," he said.

In fact, the changes, all for better, can be well noticed when one visit a class.

At the very first sight, one might think that the class is being taught by a sari-clad Indian lady. But teaching at this school has become hi-tech with the introduction of laptops and access to websites such as YouTube.

The effort of the teachers is on making classroom teaching more enjoyable and interesting.

Catherine, a teacher, says that coming to North East India has been one of the best decisions of her life.

"I wanted to go around the world and do service before my post-graduate education or before finding a job at home. I had little experience in teaching at a high school in the US as part of education programme. So, when I got this opportunity, I thought teaching at a foreign country shall be beneficial for both those whom I meet as well as for me because I love to travel and meet new people. So, I decided to choose India and this part of northeast about which I did not know anything before," she said.

She added that along with teaching she is also learning a lot from the students and others teachers she meets everyday.

She considers it a very good cross-cultural experience.

According to her, America may be far away from India's northeast but it is not bad and she is gradually adjusting with this region very fast.

She informed that in America, students are allowed to think critically and liberally. Indian students, on the other hand, are much more disciplined and focused about going ahead, and added that from this, America can also benefit.

She believes that the American system is more focused towards the liberal arts, while India is more focused on science and mathematics.

If there is a medium for uniting the two school systems, a better system of education could evolve, she said.

The students said they have benefitted form their new teachers who have made the class more lively and interesting.

However, they said their discussions have not been limited to the curriculum. Rather, there has been much interaction on lifestyle, culture, problems of the youths and other important issues. By Pinaki Das (ANI)

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