CM keen to collaborate with UK on youth development


ITANAGAR : Chief Minister Pema Khandu expressed keen interest to join hands with the United Kingdom to groom and hone the talent of youths in Arunachal in the field of education, music, culture and sports.

He said this in a meeting with the British Council Director Alan Gemmell and stated that such cooperation will prepare the youths of the state for 21st century skills and improve their employability level.

The Chief Minister requested the UK Government representatives to come up with training programmes for school students in subjects like English, Maths and Computer Science.

Gemmell informed that the Council’s priority area being English language teaching said that they have developed new methodology to teach English at primary and middle level school.

He and his team members-Dr Debanjan Chakrabarti, Director, East India and Joydeep Bordoloi, Head English Partnerships, East India who had called on Chief Minister said that they are looking for ways to build collaborations with the Arunachal government on focus areas as suggested by the Chief Minister.

Gemmell informed that British Council has presence in several countries including India, and is keen to reach out to the North Eastern states particularly Arunachal.

Apart from education, the members informed that the Council promotes cultural and creative entrepreneurs partnering with local artistes through which they could promote Arunachal in UK.

They further informed that they partner with Trinity College, Oxford and Cambridge Universities for the programmes they offer to impart to the youths.

The Chief Minister assured that the state government will work out ways to avail the programmes being launched by the British Council through the DONER Ministry.

Minister for Art and Culture, Dr Mohesh Chai and Chief Secretary Shakuntala D Gamlin also attended the meeting where they further discussed on state’s potential on tourism, horticulture and agriculture for the Council to intervene and help promote it.

Meanwhile, to get an overview of the needs of the state in the field of education, culture and music, the visiting members of The British Council held an interactive session with local artistes, event directors, journalists and representatives of the Department of Research and Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRF&TI) on Friday.
During interaction, local filmmaker and artiste, Ashok Tajo Sonam opined that the Council has to keep in mind the diversity of the state when taking up any project. Sonam also called for maintaining indigenous culture and traditions of Arunachal Pradesh before heading for a modern and westernized approach.

On the education sector, the journalists placed the uphill task in front of the Council and highlighted the condition of government-run schools in the state and the lack of enthusiasm from all parties, including teachers, students and government officials, especially in rural areas.

The members of the British Council assured that they have a mechanism to streamline the education sector, using the internet or any source of fast communication available to them, which they claimed to have applied successfully in Bihar.

East India Director Dr Debanjan Chakrabarti informed that it took them nearly four years to train the teachers into being more enthusiastic about their profession and on ways to teach children in a manner that catches their attention.

“We do not limit ourselves to a 10 days or month-long training for teachers. It is a continuous process, and to achieve anything in its entirety, four years is not much if the state government extends cooperation”, said British Council India Director, Gemmell, while adding that “When we managed to succeed in Bihar, we are hopeful that we can replicate the same in Arunachal”.

Assistant Director of Research (Culture), R N Koley informed of the various ways in which the department is making efforts to document and archive information on Arunachal Pradesh, while SRF&TI Professor, Debashish Ghoshal said that there was much to be done to make people aware on careers in filmmaking. Ghoshal also said that the institute is offering a very reasonable fee, but the number of students is still lacking.

The artistes and event directors also informed of the monetary constraints that come along in their way of making a full-time career out of their professions, which acts as a deterrent for many to choose a profession of their liking, apart from government jobs.

The British Council assured that the needs of local youths and the indigenous aspects of the diverse tribes would be kept in mind before introducing or implementing projects in the state.

Source: The Arunachal Times

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