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Global Conclave on ‘Redefining Education: A Finnish Perspective’

Date: 26th January 2023, 3:00 pm

St. Teresa’s College (Autonomous), Ernakulam, hosted a global conclave on ‘Redefining Education: A Finnish Perspective’ in partnership with the University of Helsinki Centre for Continuing Education (HY+) in association with VentureVillage and Q Collective. The event took place in the College Arts Auditorium on Thursday, 26 January, at 3 PM. The Chief Guest for the event was Prof. Tapio Lahtero, Head of the Department of Teacher Training Schools, Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki. The conclave focused on the changes that enabled Finland to upgrade their education system over a 50-year period and attempted to identify key learnings that can be implemented in Kerala in particular as well as across India as a whole.

University of Helsinki is Finland’s largest and oldest academic institution and an innovative centre of science and thinking. The partnership between St. Teresa’s College (Autonomous) and University of Helsinki Centre for Continuing Education (HY+) was formalised during the conclave through the signing of an MoU. The announcement regarding the launch of the “Finnish Collaborating Centre for Quality Education” at St. Teresa’s College (Autonomous), Ernakulam, took place during the event.  

The formal ceremony was followed by a panel discussion in which leading experts in transnational education from the University of Helsinki Centre for Continuing Education HY+ and eminent academicians from Kerala participated in the session. 

The session started off with a prayer song by the students of the college, followed by a welcome address by Dr. Anup Jinadevan, Co-founder of VentureVillage. He traced the history and formation of VentureVillage and also talked about India’s National Education Policy. 

The Presidential Address was delivered by Dr. Sr. Vinitha CSST, Provincial Superior and Manager of St. Teresa’s College. She discussed the necessity to search out and accept the best educational practices from each country, thereby adopting a global attitude. She also talked about the history of St. Teresa’s as an educational institution from its installation in 1887 as an English medium school. 

The first Keynote Address was delivered by the Chief Guest, Prof. Tapio Lahtero. He spoke to the gathering about the three different dimensions of education that education institutions of Finland have adopted. He also mentioned the concept of pedagogical leadership and had an interactive session with the educators in the audience. 

The second Keynote address was delivered by Mr. MG Radhakrishnan, Senior Journalist & former Chief Editor, Asianet News. He emphasised on how it was women’s education in Kerala that led it to its universal fame. He also urged for a betterment of quality in all of Kerala’s ventures and thanked the delegates of Finland for choosing India as their partner in this collaboration. 

The vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Sajimol Augustine, Senior Administrator and Former Principal of St. Teresa’s College. 

Before the gathering broke for tea, a semi classical dance was exhibited by the students of the Department of Bharatanatyam, St. Teresa’s College. 

For the panel discussion, the Panellists included Prof. Tapio Lahtero, Ms. Minna Saade (Lead expert in transnational education and international projects – University of Helsinki Centre for Continuing Education HY+), Ms. Riikka Hallika (Lead expert in government collaborations and international funding education, University of Helsinki Centre for Continuing Education HY+) and Dr. Thomas Varghese, subject expert in the field of Sustainable Development Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific.

The panellists discussed about NEP being a fitting response to addressing Indian education. ,Dr. Thomas Varghese urged for a more holistic approach when it comes to education. Ms. Minna Saade talked about the necessity of schools being a happy place and about how children must be eager and excited to learn. Ms. Riikka Hallika talked about the ecosystem of education and mentioned that Finland believes in working together with educational partners in different countries. 

When asked about the role of a principal in an educational institution, Prof. Tapio Lahtero talked about how principals are pedagogical leaders and how they must never delegate that responsibility. A representative from Bhavans school and Choice School Ernakulam also took part in the panel discussion. Dr. Thomas Varghese gave a concluding remark on how we have seen some of the gaps in educational systems and he said that the crux of new education policy is well articulated.

The event was organised in collaboration with VentureVillage, a Finland based Education Organisation, and Q Collective, a Kerala based team of Educators, Quizmasters and Edtech researchers. The delegates attending the conclave included School Leaders, Teachers, Administrators, Education Sector Organisations and EdTech start-ups and other stakeholders who have a role to play in carrying out an educational transformation in Kerala. The event concluded at 7:00 pm

Photos of the event:

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