Dudley College’s Partnership with Mahatma Gandhi International School

Since 2014, Dudley College and has been working with the Mahatma Gandhi International School (MGIS) in Ahmedabad, India. Founded in 1998, MGIS is a pioneering vocational centre in India and, because of their excellent approach to teaching practice, we joined together to deliver the Skill Based Teacher Training project, funded by the British Council’s UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI). Based around teacher training and the development of multi-media teaching materials, the project is structured around Creative Media Production, a course delivered by both institutions.

This project between the Mahatma Gandhi International School (MGIS) and Dudley College is based around the use of multimedia and filmmaking to develop teaching materials. This also covers areas of pedagogy and sharing best practice in interactive and exciting teaching. As part of the project, 200 teachers in the UK and India received skill based training through a teacher training programme documented and supported by multi-media tools.

The project aimed to deliver systemic change by providing opportunities for professional and leadership development of schools, higher education institutions and vocational institutions. It supported partnerships and developed student mobility and skills development programmes. The teams worked intensively to develop specific multi-media based teaching modules which benefited teaching staff across India and the UK, and built a strong emphasis on active and experiential learning.

One of the highlights of the project was the Skill Based Teacher Training day at AMA, led by Dr. Pascal Chazot, Anju Musafir Chazot and Dean Price. This was incredibly well received and showed considerable impact; the Anand Niketan Group has recently introduced a new approach to teaching mathematics in the kitchen to Grade VI / VII students as a result of their participation in the event.

Not only has this project been successful in developing the teaching skills of staff across India, it has also been a life-changing experience for a former student of MGIS. Chandrika Makawana was a student of MGIS since she was five years old. Coming from a financially difficult background, MGIS sponsored her education up to her completion of her International Baccalaureate Diploma. After 12th grade, the last year of high school in India, Chandrika joined the BTEC Diploma in Create Media at MGIS and, after successfully completing the diploma, she joined the teaching staff in the Creative Media department.

It was at this point that Chandrika became involved with the UKIERI project, being trained by Jon Turner (Lecturer in Media at Dudley Evolve) to edit filmed teaching materials created by the team at MGIS. As a result of this, and to further add value to the UKIERI programme, Chandrika visited Dudley College for four weeks from 9th May 2015, where she continued to work on those films and experienced life at the college.

It was a pleasure to welcome Chandrika to the college and to support the development of her media skills. The project is due to be completed in November 2015, with another visit to India from Dudley College staff. Through projects like this, and international partnerships with excellent providers like MGIS, Dudley Worldwide can continue to support students across the world, and help change the lives of more young people like Chandrika.