#Odisha signs MoU with British Council on education and cultural collaboration


Bhubaneshwar: The British Council today signed an MoU with the Government of Odisha to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation.
Alan Gemmell OBE, Director British Council India signed the MoU with G.B. Reddy, OSD and Special Secretary at the Bhubaneswar State Handicrafts Museum in the presence of Honourable Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik and British High Commissioner to India Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG.
This is the British Council’s 70th year in India and it hopes to work with the Government of Odisha to support the knowledge ambitions and economic growth of the state; improve opportunities for young people; quality education and higher education; skills development of young people; and artists and the cultural community.
Alan Gemmell OBE, Director British Council India said: ““I am delighted to be able to respond to Honourable CM Shri Naveen Patnaik’s request in scaling up British Council’s work Odisha in a sustainable way in the year my organisation is celebrating its 70th anniversary in India. Every day in those 70 years we have been inspired by India. And, with the rest of the world, we continue to be inspired by the creativity and talent of Odisha’s artists, its young people and its teachers and its educational institutions that power India’s economy. Through the MoU we have signed today, we hope to support the Hon’ble Chief Minister’s vision for the youth of the state to make its youth more employable nationally and internationally, have better learning outcomes for the school students, seek greater cooperation in the higher education sector, and enhance cultural collaboration between Odisha and the UK.”
The British Council will support the state government’s Mo School (My School) initiative by contributing to the development English language skills for learners and teachers including government aided schools.
Several High Commissioners and officials of other Commonwealth Countries were present as well who are in town for the Commonwealth Big Lunch.
As a result of this MoU the British Council hopes to expand its existing work in the state, where in recent times, it has worked with 23 schools on international school links impacting over 18,000 students and over a 100 teachers; administered over 2,500international examinations in three cities of Odisha and at leading universities, colleges, autonomous bodies, skill institutes and schools. Through the UK India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI), Newton Bhabha and Social Enterprise programmes, 14 research partnerships were awarded to multiple higher education institutes (both public and private) from Odisha.
Young researchers and students from the State have been travelling regularly to UK for higher education and professional development through Scholarships from UK like Commonwealth, Chevening, GREAT, and Jubilee etc. British Council India market insight for UK Higher Education sector in 2015 showcased Odisha as one the priority states.
The areas of potential collaboration include developing initiatives to improve capacity and motivation of English language teachers in primary and secondary schools, teacher development institutions, and to improve learner outcomes in English in the State and embed internationally benchmarked assessments.