From our Correspondent
MANGALDAI, July 6: International Leaders in Education Programme (ILEP) is intended to increase mutual understanding of the cultures between the participants’ respective countries and the United States. The teachers are expected to learn American pedagogical practices so that they can share their experiences with their colleagues, students, and communities after their return home. The programme includes four academic courses that cover teaching methodologies and strategies for home environments, teacher leadership, as well as the use of computer and the Internet for pedagogical purposes. As a part of the programme, each participant does an internship in their specific teaching area at a local school. The five month programme also includes an extensive menu of cultural excursions.
This year, sixty-three secondary level teachers were selected from fifteen different countries spread over three continents. Among them, there were seven teachers selected from India to participate in the programme. Nabanita Baruah, a lady teacher of Betbari Higher Secondary School in Sivasagar district under this scheme sponsored by the US Government funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State recently completed a five-month stint at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA. This exchange programme is organized every year for secondary level teachers from around the world by International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX). The programme provides the participants with professional development opportunities by offering relevant classes at designated US universities. The teachers are selected from a pool of applicants through rigorous verbal interview and written test. In India, the interviews and tests are coordinated and conducted by the United States-India Education Foundation (USIEF). Besides Nabanita Barua, Rathindra Sarkar of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jorhat and Rudrendra Basak of Assam Valley School were also selected to join the programme from Assam. These sixty-three participants were divided into four groups and were sent to four different US universities.
Nabanita Baruah has been teaching higher secondary level English at Betbari Higher Secondary School in Sivasagar district since 1995. Originally hailing from Mangaldai, she received her graduation with major in English from Cotton College. She holds an MA in English and BEd from Gauhati University. She regularly attends conferences and workshops on English Language Teaching (ELT) and has published several articles on English pedagogy in national and international journals. Talking to The Sentinel while sharing her experience of the secondary level education system in the US, Nabanita Baruah hopes to share her experiences in the US with her fellow teachers in Assam and does hope that many more teachers from Assam will try to avail of similar opportunities that will immensely benefit secondary education in Assam.