Do realise that this comes a little late but guess this would also explain why there hasn’t been much of a noise from this end for almost a week. A team from Singapore came to Indus last week to help conduct workshops for the teachers and students who are going to be involved with this programme and also to help conduct the induction programme for the participants who come from the neighbouring school.
Was a week of preparation, workshops, reviews and the like – most Singaporean in conduct in an Indian context. Things ran quite smoothly for the most part and it was great that to see the collaboration between both sides as we worked towards building up the various capacities for the project to run well. The series of workshops and induction programme also serve as the first major benchmark for the programme – it’s been launched and everyone’s on the same page as far as everything is concerned. We’re live, online and raring to go.
Few things that struck me as far as the conduct of the induction programme was concerned. Remembered that we had many discussions about cultural differences and sensitivity and how we had to adapt the ideas and activities that are commonly run in Singapore to the Indian context. That point was driven home when the initial reticence of our participants coupled with their natural (or dare I say cultural) gender divide saw them bunch into small groups, not quite willing to mix around as we intended. This changed as the activities continued and there was a general warming up in the groups and between the genders but it was still something that we expected but didn’t quite manage to get around as well.
The other thing that struck us about the students that we met was the yearning for knowledge and passion for learning that one rarely sees back home. While this did not manifest in the in-your-face kind of enthusiasm that can happen sporadically in Singapore, there’s a quiet intensity of purpose that not only gladdens one as an educator but also gives a certain pressure to deliver a programme that would meet this yearning. There’s so much that they want and yearn for – it’s up to us to deliver this. I’m in awe of this passion that they exhibit and I only hope that I (along with the teams from Singapore and Indus) can deliver on this and satiate this thirst for knowledge.
Was also great to have the team here – nice to share the wonderful place that I’m at and to see how we can help with the local community. For once, we’re the ones doing the service-learning and not facilitating a bunch of students. That’s nice. Also great to have friends here for a bit – and the chance to speak Singlish too.
Bit of a montage of the participants getting into the activities during the Induction.
The team in all our ethnic glory.
(L-R: Jessica, Lishan, me, Kok Hsien, Seah, Peck, Manoj)