Lealands High School students learned just how lucky they are when two teachers from opposite ends of the globe addressed a Year 10 assembly.
Mr Edward Ntungi from Sazira Secondary School in Tanzania and Miss Aparna Kala from Subodh School in India were there as part of the Connecting Classrooms programme, an initiative sponsored by the Government and British Council.
Mr Ntungi spoke candidly of his country’s cultural differences and revealed that some of his pupils had to walk an hour and a half simply to get to school.
He said: “There are 78 students in a class with 10 sharing one book.”
Miss Kala said there were many similarities between the educational systems in India and Britain: “The main difference is that children continue at the same school from primary until the age of 18.”
She added that because of the good climate, assemblies were always held out of doors instead of in the school hall.
The teachers’ visit coincided with Lealands being awarded the International School Award which is designed to encourage global citizenship through links with partner schools abroad.
Earlier this year Lealands international co-ordinator and maths master Ken Slatter visited Mr Ntungi’s school in Tanzania. He is due to go to Subodh School next month.
When he came back, he told the Luton News he would never forget his first impression of Sazira Secondary School.
“A boy was receiving six lashes for truanting, in front of all the students and staff,” he recalled.
“This was followed by assembly where the Tanzanian flag was raised and the national anthem sung before lessons started at 8am.”
He said Sakira had no electricity, gas or running water which made him appreciate Lealands’ facilities even more – £17.5 million has just been spent on a major refurbishment programme.
Lealands headteacher John Burridge is delighted that the school has been recognised with the prestigious International School Award.
He said: “The British Council has really commended Mr Slatter on his work as international co-ordinator and this adds so much to life at Lealands.
“Our students are extremely aware and have a great understanding of their role as global citizens.
“They are also benefitting from some amazing opportunities to interact and learn from others around the world.”