Gladstone Academy has been involved with International School Award since its very inception. Its long-term engagement with the program has helped build the foundations of the school’s progressive education system and helped train its leaders to be better educators and leaders.
Binod Kumar Koirala, Founder Principal of the school believes it is necessary for the senior management leaders in the school to understand the importance of global education for the development of students. He says, “If the leaders know what Connecting Classrooms is, how the students will benefit from international collaborations, how it connects with the community and parents at large, how the school and the students’ strengths build with it, they will be more inclined to work on it in a way to make the partnership sustainable.”
Binod Bhattarai, Assistant Principal and ISA Coordinator at the school, has gone through several trainings under ISA. He shares, “I learnt how to make students collaborate, how to develop their leadership skills and help them address international issues. I got a platform where I could learn how to implement the program in an effective way, while working on my own personality and confidence.”
“Our school has been able to hold long term partnership with schools from other countries. They have been collaborating with Bourbon Primary School, in the UK for the last 10 years. Our school celebrates ‘UK Day’ in Nepal by cooking their local food items, while Bourbon Primary does the same for ‘Nepal Day’. Besides the cultural exchanges, the schools have exchanges throughout the years on school management and teaching methodologies.”
“Other forms of cultural exchanges have occurred with other schools from across the globe. For a project called “know your language”, our school collaborated with a Korean school to exchange videos of students greeting each other in their own languages. Coordinator Bhattarai shares, “The students were very excited about teaching and learning a new language.”
Founder principal Koirala believes using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) like Skype to see the differences in lifestyles, skin tone, food, strengthens the students’ global perspective and helps make them more empathetic and accepting. He says, “International exposure to the students help improve our national curriculum too. We have now become a global village through the internet. He further adds, “Schools are educational institutions where we help students be the center of their own universes and help them discover their own potentials. Teachers should be experts at extracting the dormant potential from students. I encourage other schools to also be a part of ISA to help them do that.”