Hornbill fest in Nagaland sets the stage for UK education

Hornbill festival is one of the top tourist attractions in Nagaland

By ROOPAK GOSWAMI in Guwahati
  • Published 12.10.18, 4:35 AM
  • Updated 12.10.18, 12:04 PM
  • a min read
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Officials after the MoU-signing ceremony in Shillong Telegraph picture

The United Kingdom will promote its educational avenues at the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland in December.

Alan Gemmell, director, British Council India, told The Telegraph on Thursday: “We will put up a UK stand and the aim would be encourage more and more students from the Northeast to study in the UK.”

Hornbill festival is one of the top tourist attractions in Nagaland.

Gemmell and Kh. Siile Anthony, director (human resource development and English), North Eastern Council, on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Shillong to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation, to support the knowledge ambitions and economic growth of the eight northeastern states.

The overarching MoU celebrates the British Council’s 70th anniversary in India, in particular the rich cultural connections the Northeast has had with the UK, and seeks to strengthen the relationship for another 70 years. It will support higher education, English learning, skills and cultural aspirations for the young from the Northeast.

“This year we want to inspire young people from the Northeast and India to build a relationship with the UK for the next 70 years. By signing a MoU with the NEC, we are able to make an impact across eight states simultaneously. I hope it will enable more young people to realise their aspirations in education, skill development and arts and culture,” Gemmell said.

Artists and the cultural community of the Northeast would also get an opportunity to share culture, creativity and ideas with the UK. “Government schoolteachers and faculty members of higher education institutions would gain access to English language learning, quality education and internationally benchmarked assessments,” the agreement said.

Gemmell said they have received a request for helping teachers in English learning. “The MoU will work towards improving English communication of civil servants, developing capacity-building initiatives in state governments, supporting improvements in the teaching of mathematics and science, capacity-building programmes for faculty and senior administrators of higher education institutions and seek to increase student and academic mobility for all eight states of the region,” he said.

“Our work in the last two years has started to make a difference. I am very proud to have led our strategy to engage on scale, sustainably and consistently with this very special part of India, responding the vision that the chief ministers and the Prime Minister have about the Northeast,” he added.