Unique collaboration between Dutch and Indian pupils
Marcia van Kampen
News – February 13, 2017. The world of education is focusing more and more attention on teaching “21st century skills.” But how do schools go about that? The Northgo College in Noordwijk will answer that question during the week of February 13th during a unique, international project that was initiated by Decos. The Dutch pupils are collaborating on the project with the Lexicon International School in Pune (India). The event will be graced by the presence of the Indian Ambassador for the Netherlands.
Presentation, collaboration, IT, English language, blogging and vlogging – these are all 21st century skills that will be covered during this special school project, whereby mutual understanding and equality play an important role. The week is an initiative of IT specialist Decos in Noordwijk, which also has an office in India, and its Jet-Net partner Northgo College.
During the project (February 13-17), 2 MAVO secondary school classes and Indian pupils will put together a digital news magazine about “Sustainability 2025” via workshops and Skype connections. Pupils will work in groups of eight to ten and everyone will have his or her own role, like managers, editors, spokesmen and designers. The winning teams from India and the Netherlands will present their magazines to each other by video conference.
Creativity, collaboration, organization, presentation and reflection on their own work will be the main point of focus, explains Johan van der Plas, board member of Northgo College. “Those are skills that pupils will benefit a lot from in their future career.” The Noordwijk school works with companies on a regular basis, especially with Decos that is also located in Noordwijk. “Thanks in part to these close ties, we know what skills our pupils need when they leave our school with a diploma.”
Paul Veger, CEO of Decos, has always dreamed of facilitating international collaboration among pupils and building mutual respect based on equality. He used to fly as a pilot to India to exchange drawings made by Indian and Dutch children. “We are showing children the importance of dreams,” says Veger. “Especially now in these tumultuous times it is wonderful for young people to connect with one another. You can reach the whole world through technology.”
Besides Pune (India) being the location of a Decos office, the city – with two technical universities – is also a key IT hub. For the duration of the project, Bert Hendriks (CCO Decos) is in India, while CEO Veger is visiting the pupils in the Netherlands. Decos employees conduct workshops at both schools. The fact that the project is widely supported is evidenced by the attendance of the Indian ambassador, Mr J.S. Mukul for the final presentations in Noordwijk.