'New Aus education initiatives to strengthen ties with India'
By Natasha Chaku
Melbourne/New Delhi, Jan 16 (PTI) School students from the Australian state of Victoria will get an opportunity to visit India under an ambitious strategy to strengthen economic and cultural ties with India for next ten years.
The announcement was made today on the first day of the visit of the state Premier Daniel Andrews to India.
Andrews visited Bluebells School International in Delhi and participated in a school lesson conducted via skype with Bluebells Victorian sister school, Rangebank Primary School in Cranbourne.
The visit, part of premier's official tour to India, follows the launch of the Government's new strategy 'Victoria's India Strategy: Our Shared Future' in Melbourne on Sunday.
The 10-year strategy is an ambitious blueprint aimed at doubling Victoria's goods exports to India, attracting more international students an boost tourism, Andrews said.
With Education as a key focus of the strategy, the premier announced three new initiatives to strengthen Victoria's relationship with India by engaging with the next generation of young people.
These include a new two-year Victorian Young Leaders to India pilot which will see up to 200 Victorian Year 7-9 students and 25 teachers travel to India and complete two to four-week immersion programmes.
A two-year Women in School Leadership Programme that helps female school leaders, including principals and senior teachers, from Victoria and India to share knowledge related to school leadership, change management and Education State priorities.
A two-year Victorian Schools and Indian Diaspora Partnerships Programme to deepen Victorian schools engagement with India by harnessing the knowledge of the Indian diaspora to develop and support partnerships between schools in India and Victoria.
Andrews also presented the new strategy to senior Indian government officials and business leaders in Delhi.
"Victoria is home to the largest number of people with Indian heritage in Australia. It is right our students understand the significance of Indian culture, and the economic contribution India makes to our state," Andrews was quoted as saying in a press release.
"This will give our young leaders the chance to showcase Victoria's strengths to other Indian young people, while at the same time immersing themselves in Indian culture and building their leadership skills," he said.
"Our relationship with India is already strong but there's always more we can do and our new strategy will get it done," he added. PTI NC AMS AKJ AMS
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