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During the recent school holidays, teachers Janice Dunlop and Belinda Symes flew to Indonesia, South Sulawesi where they were kept to a tight schedule working with Indonesian teachers and teaching as part of the Asian Education Foundation Bridge Teacher Exchange Program.

The Australia-Indonesia BRIDGE Project supports the development of intercultural understanding and ICT skills to build closer ties between participating schools from the two countries.  BRIDGE PROJECT INFORMATION

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Earlier this year, as part of that program, our school hosted Indonesian teachers Ayat and Ifah from the Pacinongang Unggulan School near Gowa in South Sulawesi.  They reciprocated by hosting Ms Dunlop and Ms Symes over the holidays.

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As part of a busy program both teachers began by visiting Java where they attended conferences and university lectures in both Jakarta and Yogyakarta. They then flew to South Sulawesi where they presented aspects of Australian education in a series of professional development courses to Gowa district teachers.

They then spent a week at the Pacinongang Unggulan School, where they took classes for Australian sports, participated in Q & A sessions in classes about Australian school and social life and set up a pen pal e-mail network to connect Gowa students to like-minded MRPS students. They were also able to renew the link with Ayat and Ifah, who organised social and cultural excursions for them.

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Both Ms Dunlop and Ms Symes are hopeful their visit will be the first of many cultural and educational exchanges between the two schools. They said the Indonesian teachers and students were extremely interested in their accounts and presentations of Australian life and schools.

Mr K said:

The teachers’ trip was a great opportunity to build on the cultural exchange that already exists between the two schools. The trip also enabled the teachers to experience first hand the Indonesian education system and to gain an appreciation of the cultural similarities and differences between the two countries. Also, the whole school staff and Asian education programs can only benefit from such an experience.

Written by Gary Gibbon; Photos by Janice Dunlop and Belinda Symes; Posted by D. Veary


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