The Telegraph
Friday , July 25 , 2014
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California & Jamaica in classroom

Call it a Jamshedpur school’s Californian and Caribbean connect.

Before ADLS Sunshine School, which has applied for the British Council’s prestigious International School Awards (ISA), starts the projects and international partnership with other schools in California and Jamaica, the teachers here thought that knowing about the culture of the US state and the island country from none other than the natives would give them a fair idea.

Hence, Ailen Vega — a geography and political economy student of University of California — and Latoya Francis, a Jamaican native and a student of public administration and international development at London School of Economics, who are in the steel city as part of Tata International Student Exchange Programme, were invited to the cradle on Thursday to share their knowledge with the teachers.

Both the girls are working here for more than a month now as interns at Tata Steel Rural Development Society.

“We are planning to partner with Californian and Caribbean schools as a part of the Connecting Classrooms programmes. So, before we start working on the projects to win the coveted award from British Council, we wanted the teachers to get a fair idea about these two places,” said Indrani Singh, principal of ADLS Sunshine School.

British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme covers over 50 countries of the world and offers partnerships between schools so that they can share positive learning methods of each another.

While Ailen spoke about the Ma & Pa shops in California that are small, independent, family-owned businesses, which can be anything — from a repair shop to a restaurant. She also shared her knowledge about the geography of the US state and the climate. Besides, she shared her experiences in Hollywood and told the teachers how friendly people of California are.

Latoya, on the other hand, spoke about the Jamaican folk culture and the local dialect Patois. She even recited a couplets penned down by popular Jamaican poet.

Also, the teachers learnt about the Jerk style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice like allspice, bonnet peppers, cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic and salt.

“We have resources, but Jamaica is an island country that lays great stress on education. There are extremely talented students and the government has lots of plans for primary education,” said Latoya who also told teachers how to develop a unique plan to get students interested in studies.

After attending the talk session, teachers of ADLS Sunshine School are keen to take the help in improving the quality of primary education.