Despite a possible language barrier, Govind Gondepatil seemed delighted at the prospective partnership between his school in Aurangabad and a school in the UK.
“This is so exciting, it will open a whole new world for our students when they interact with students from another country,” said Gondepatil.
One of 42 teachers from 22 government schools in the state, Gondepatil was in the city, on Thursday, for a teacher training workshop on computer skills, to gear up for the British Council facilitated tie-up between state government schools and state schools in the UK.
Ten of these are Zilla Parishad schools across Maharashtra.
“Since students in urban areas are privileged and get many opportunities, we chose schools from rural areas for this programme,” said Sheila Tiwari, joint director Maharashtra Prathamik Shikshan Parishad. “We wanted to expose the rural kids to a global platform,” added Tiwari.
Officials from the education department have already visited the UK to facilitate the tie-ups that will roll out in a few months.
Students will correspond by email and post photos to their British counterparts as part of the cultural and educational exchange.
They will also get an opportunity to improve their English and computer skills.
Zilla Parishad Primary School in Gunjalawadi in Pune district has already set up a web camera in its classroom. “In the beginning we will be nervous to speak to them in English,” said Sachin Mule, a teacher from the school.
“But it will be really good for building the self-confidence of our students,” added Mule.
The British Council has already facilitated approximately 30 such partnerships between schools in Mumbai and in the UK. India has the highest number of such partnerships at 290, compared to other countries.