Diaspora

Indiana planning student-teacher exchange programme with India

August 01, 2017 10:11 AM

Punjab News Express/Balbir Singh
INDIANAPOLIS :
Indiana State Superintendent of Education Jennifer McCormick will soon lead a high-powered Indiana delegation to India to develop an international teacher and student exchange programme among the Northern States of India --- Punjab,Haryana, Union Territory Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh

Sikhs Political Action Committee Founder and Chairman Gurinder Singh Khalsa met Jennifer McCormick and suggested about the student-teacher exchange programme between USA and India. 

Disclosing the initiative, Gurinder Singh Khalsa, who hails from Punjab-Haryana said the McCormick delegation will hold discussion with the Indian state governments regarding the exchange programme.

"This is the very first initiative by Indiana with India. Currently there are only a few exchange programmws with other countries across the globe," Gurinder Singh Khalsa said after his meeting with Indiana State Superintendent of Education Jennifer McCormick..

McCormick's visit to India is likely to be later this fall, he said, adding the exchange programme among school students and teachers would have a long-term impact in building people-to-people relationship between the two countries, according to SikhsPAC press release..

"We should have a mechanism of exchange programs for school students and teachers. This will give exposure to our students and teachers," Khalsa said.

Indiana is currently working on producing a 90-minute documentary to inform student residents about the diversity of cultures, and showcase international citizen communities in Indiana.

There are currently 375 spoken languages registered with the  Indiana Department of Education.

It may be recalled that Indiana is the second state in the United States to introduce Sikh history and culture into the public school curriculum. Indiana Superintendent Glenda Ritz had voiced her commitment to ensuring resources on Sikh history are available to all Indiana teachers. 

The  plan involves three major points of entry including 7th grade world history (Asia, Africa and the Middle East) and high school world history and elective world religion classes.

The first step for the agency involves distributing to instructional material to classroom teachers through the Indiana Department of Education's recommended coursework lists. This includes everything from young adult fiction targeted towards elementary school reading classes to documentaries and textbooks.

In the longer term, the IDOE will revise social studies standards for those grade levels to include specific reference to Sikhs. The plan also calls for developing the groundwork for Punjabi language courses in school districts with sufficient demand for the language

California is the first US State to introduce Sikh history  as part of public schools' history books curriculum.


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