|Title||Exchanges between 9th Lyceum of Athens (Greece) & St. Mark’s Girls Senior Secondary School (India)|
Mrs Ioanna Psina/Principal at 9th Lyceum of Athens
The exchange programme between 9th Lyceum of Athens and St. Mark’s Girls Senior Secondary School is one of the spin-off activities from the ASEF ClassNet Online Collaboration “SENSES”, which focused on the 5 senses, namely: hearing, smell, sight, touch and taste.
The exchange programme is divided into two phases which included visit by the 13 students and a teacher from St. Mark’s School to Greece (29 Sep to 6 Oct 2013) as well as a return visit of 10 Greek students and 3 teachers from our school (8 to 15 December 2013).
In September, we welcomed our delegation from St Mark’s Girls Senior Secondary School. As local host, we presented the Greek educational system as well as the after school activities to our overseas guests through videos and work on “SENSES” itself. The students also had a tour around the school and attended some classes together with the local students.
Our Indian guests visited the historical centre of Athens – National Archaeological Museum, the New Acropolis Museum and the Holy Acropolis Hill to learn more about the Greek culture and ancient civilization. They also visited the House of Parliament, the Athens Town Hall where they were greeted by a representative of the Mayor’s office. In addition, the delegation visited the traditional Athenian Food Market, where all five senses were experienced at the utmost, as well as Cape Sounio, where the temple of Poseidon is found.
On 2 October, the Indian and Greek students and teachers visited the 4th Primary school of Imittos where the Principal hosted a warm reception for them. They met the main Online Collaboration co-ordinator of “SENSES”, Mrs Foteini Veneti and her colleagues.
A farewell party was organised on the last day of the visit. The students from India performed their cultural dance which was full of music, feelings, colours and taste. In addition, the Indian delegation experienced the food cultural through the traditional dishes prepared by our Greek parents. In reciprocate of this exchange programme, we organised a visit to St. Mark’s Girls Senior Secondary School in December 2013.
The second part of the educational exchange was accomplished by the visit of Greek Cultural Group (10 students, 3 teachers) to New Delhi, India in December 2013. Our beloved Indian friends were waiting for us and we were welcomed by the Principal and the Vice-Principal of St. Mark’s Girls Senior Secondary School. We went on a school tour where we met a lot of very helpful and hospitable colleagues and the students attended some classes during their time in the school.
As part of the cultural activities, we visited the monuments of “Kaput Minor”, the Zoroaster Temple of Lotus, Bangla Sahib Gurudwara Sikh Temple etc. We also had the chance to visit the unique Dilli Haat – the crafts bazaar in New Delhi, where all Indian tradition was exposed there. On a one-day excursion, all students and teachers went to Agra and visited the magical “Taj Mahal” Palace.
Our young local hosts, the students from St. Mark’s School presented their own work on the Online Collaboration “SENSES” and our delegation performed their traditional dances from different places of Greece which was a fantastic moment of the whole programme.
What impressed us most was the constant movement of people, the eternal change of all elements, the colours and the life which throbs in Indian peoples’ heart. But the most important factor which contributed the most in the connection between people from so different countries is that the whole idea was based on a homestay programme. Both Greek and Indian students and teachers stayed with host families respectively who try their best to make them feel at home, despite the different cultures. Through the homestay programme, the students got to see the best impressions of the common life in host families which made them realised the most important aims of this kind of exchanges: humanity, peaceful co-existence and fraternity amongst people of the whole world.