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HRDD Pair up with British Council, India for Quality Enhancement in School Education
Posted on 13-Jun-2017
HRDD Pair up with British Council, India for Quality Enhancement in School Education
Gangtok, June 12, 2017: The Human Resource Development Department, Government of Sikkim, in its continuous effort to enhance the quality of education in Government Schools of Sikkim, has forged a partnership with British Council, which is United Kingdom’s international organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations.  For this a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed today by Mr Alan Gemmell OBE, Director and Country Head of British Council in India and Mr GP Upadhyaya, Additional Chief Secretary, HRDD, Government of Sikkim. 
During the meeting, Mr Gemmell was accompanied by Dr Debanjan Chakrabarti - Director of British Council (East and North East India) and Mr Joydeep Bordoloi - Head of English Partnership (British Council-East and North East India). Directors of different sections of HRDD and other officials were also present in the meeting. British Council India is celebrating UK/India Year of Culture in 2017, in line with an agreement Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached with the then UK PM David Cameron when the Indian leader visited UK in November 2015.
The purpose of the partnership is to support the aims and aspirations of the young people of the State of Sikkim through collaborative projects in the area of English, education and skills by strengthening the capacity of the teachers and other professionals, working with youth in the State of Sikkim and supporting its cultural economy. Collaborative projects being jointly designed will include initiatives to support enhancement of teaching skills and awareness of methodology of primary and secondary school teachers of English through a range of programmes on continuing professional development, application of international dimension in the curriculum, provision of access to high quality systems of language assessment. The program also include Capacity Building in teaching, learning and research pedagogy of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Social Science teachers from undergraduate colleges and universities in Sikkim by UK higher education experts along with internship of young faculties at relevant UK Universities. 
The process for this partnership was initiated by Hon’ble Minister, HRDD Shri RB Subba who was invited to visit British Council Head Office in New Delhi on 17th April along with ACS (HRDD) Shri Upadhyaya, Director-SCERT Dr Rabin Chhetri and other officials of HRDD-Sikkim. 
To analyze the need of the state and design immediate programs of intervention specially focused for Primary level, an academic team of British Council visited 24 schools in all Districts of Sikkim during 5th to 8th June. The team interacted with School Heads, teachers, students and parents. They also had an interaction meeting with SCERT and DIET faculty members along with representatives from directorate of Primary Education on 10th June in SCERT office in Gangtok.  
The present agreement which will be initially for the period of three years extendable to further two years, also gives access to the British Council India digital library for students and teachers for their self-development and developing reading habits of children through the UK Reading Challenge programme. The partners will also jointly promote and showcase creative entrepreneurship in the State for increased awareness of the region as a location for investment and partnerships in cultural and creative economy.
Press Note issued by:
Bhim Thatal, SCS
Director/Primary Education/SSA
Nodal Officer/Public Relations and Publicity
Human Resource Development Department
Government of Sikkim
(Note Photograph available in Photo Gallery)
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