Mr Distel, our principal and two leadership team members, Mrs Tricia Butters and Ms Marg Murnane joined an Education Tour of China for two weeks at the end of September. This was a great experience where the staff involved had the opportunity to learn about the culture and history of China, as well as experience their education system.
The trip was quite different to past school trips in relation to what was seen and experienced. The visits to International Schools allowed them to talk with teachers and watch lessons providing insights into what support the language program at our school requires. While their classrooms and later during tours of the school acted as a remingder of how different modern education is in Australia compared to what we experienced as a student.
Mr Distel’s report continues as follows:-
The other participants on the study tour provided valuable contacts in terms of future funding support and the exchange of ideas between our schools. The Hanban in Beijing which sponsored the land based costs in China went out of their way to make us welcome and had spent much time planning our accommodation, meals and itinerary. The Hanban is able to support language programs in schools in Australia, particularly in relation to resources. One of th ehighlights of the trip for me was the education centre at the Hanban building in Beijing, at which we experienced some of the innovative use of technology that is being developed to support the teaching of Chinese language. I am currently investigating the possibility of having a Chinese teacher assistant next year. They would need to be provided with home stay accommodation.
China is rapidly changing and is becoming increasingly more important in world affairs, the trip demonstrated clearly to me that the Chinese people are keen to embrace other countries and that the learning of the Chinese language will provide our students with a valuable tool in th future. On numerous occasions, be it on a tour of a school or a casual walk through a park in the morning, we were made to feel welcome. It was apparent on numerous other occasions while there are cultural differences that we are all the same in so many ways. I highly recommend that you take up the opportunity to visit China, if you are given the chance, because the reality of China is very different to the perceptions that you may have.