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Luchi to lessons, tale of two cities

They came, they saw and they went back with memories and lessons.

Two teachers from Alderman Richard Hallam Primary School in Leicester, UK, were in the city recently for a 10-day exchange programme with Adamas International School. The two schools have been working together on curriculum-based projects since 2010.

“We had won a grant from the British Council and have since been exchanging project and educational ideas with the Leicester school,” said Swati Chatterjee, the international activity coordinator at Adamas.

Shanaz Patel, a teacher, and Stephen Beardsmore, the assistant head teacher of Alderman, discussed ways to improve their association with the Indian school and incorporate changes in the curriculum. They also took a few classes.

On her sixth visit to India, Patel finds a vast difference in the classroom environment at the two schools. “The classrooms back home are usually far more interactive and full of colourful displays and charts,” she said.

The similarity, the teachers agree, lies in the discipline and respect that both schools foster.

The interaction between the two schools has generated a lot of interest about England and India among students. “Our students keep asking about Calcutta as we read out emails and cards from students here. Both the schools are growing as institutions,” Patel said.

Chatterjee agreed. “The students of the two schools have been interacting with each other on Skype during class hours. They have made friends across the border.”

The trip was definitely not all work and no fun. “We spent the first few days soaking in the sights and smells of Calcutta. We went to Victoria Memorial, Santiniketan,” said Beardsmore, who tasted and loved luchi, daal-bhaat, fish curry and mishti.