Bhavans SIS, Kuwait and Bhavans PIES, UAE came together through Virtual Exchange!
‘SANSKRITI’ an Online Student Exchange Program’s Valedictory Function was conducted by both the Private International English School, Abu Dhabi, UAE and Smart Indian School, Kuwait with great earnestness and splendor. The event began with the national anthems of UAE and Kuwait on Saturday, 27 November 2021 at 9 a.m.
Ms. Anusha Rajesh and Ms. Hemlatha Gaur, teachers from PIES, acknowledged everyone’s valuable presence with a solemn welcome address and greeted the gathering, followed by a rich cultural merriment of virtual tour of both Kuwait and the UAE. This virtual tour presentation was a feast to the eyes and informative.
This virtual exchange program consisted of grade 9 students of both schools from diverse locations of Kuwait and Abu Dhabi – two countries from the Middle East. The circle of schools connected and collaborated to learn about each other, their communities, project-based modules of subjects, and events.
Students and teachers of both Bhavans schools were connected to exchange ideas and conversed about each other and different cultures/lifestyles. Together, they addressed teaching and learning processes and practices within the realm of their abilities and skills.
Launched under the theme ‘Cultural Exchange’, the program was inspired by the innovative vision of Mr. Mahesh Iyer – Principal, Smart Indian School, Kuwait, and Ms.Girija Baiju – Principal, Private International English School, Abu Dhabi. The program was guided by Ms. Albin Daisy, Vice Principal of SIS, and Mr. Suresh Balakrishnan, Vice Principal of PIES, Abu Dhabi.
The teachers and students were guided through every step of the program by the coordinating committee consisting of four teachers form both the schools. The evening discussions were completely different, with virtual school tours, discussions, teacher-student discussions, a fictional and talent show, and sharing of different ideas from both the countries.
Dr. Bassam N. Shuhaibar, Ph.D., Program Manager, Coastal Management Program, Environ. & Life Sciences Research Centre KISR, Kuwait, delivered the keynote address. He hopes that “the more we know, the closer countries, individuals and communities will be.” He offered some advice to all the learners that everyone needs to persevere, excel in communication, continue learning, follow their own instincts, and most importantly never be ashamed of their own versatility. He also gave a comprehensive analysis of the main changing aspects of modernity: the technology, global village and human innovation.
Mr. Ramachandran Menon, Chairman, Bhavans Middle East, was the chief guest of the function. In his speech, he pointed out that this era demands from us a change in the way we think and act. He mentioned that it was a good idea that letting students participate in these students exchange activities across the globe will naturally create the learning environment to be more effective and conducive to build 21st century skills necessary to thrive in this fast-changing world we live in.
Parents while interacting with the principals said that students around the Middle East had a chance to virtually get to know one another and work together on various activities to improve their interpersonal relationship, express themselves creatively, and build a genuine understanding of other schools outside their neighborhood through cross-cultural sharing and global relationships. Parents expressed their wish to see the continuation of this creative program time again.
Mr. Sooraj Ramachandran, Vice Chairman of Bhavans Middle East, Ms. Divya Rajesh Ramachandran, Director of Bhavans Middle East, Mr. Mahesh Iyer, Principal, Smart Indian School, Kuwait, Ms. Girija Baiju, Principal, PIES, Abu Dhabi, Vice Principals, Program Coordinators, teachers, parents, and student representatives addressed the function.
Ms. Bhavitha and Ms. Meenulakshmi,the coordinators of Sanskriti-2021 from SIS who walked the extra miles to make the event more fruitful, proposed the vote of thanks presenting a short video that briefed the long and short of this one-week program. The one-week online Student Exchange Program Sanskriti-2021 thus ended with the singing of the Indian National Anthem.