Durham College president Don Lovisa and UOIT president Dr. Tim McTiernan have signed agreements to help develop and deliver educational programming to India.
The agreements were signed with Indian education company, Modi Edutech. They are looking to Durham College to help train individuals in early childhood and early years education and UOIT to help with teacher education and curriculum development.
In turn, those individuals will be able to work in the schools that are run by Modi Edutech in India. Modi Edutech is going to begin with 70 of its schools and then soon ramp up to 500 over the next few years.
Mark Herringer, the executive director of international education at Durham College, is going to be fleshing out the details of this new agreement.
He says early childhood education, “is not a common area of training in India, so it’s kind of a new area that they’re trying to find new, effective ways to implement.”
The agreements were signed while both presidents were visiting India as part of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s 10-day India trade mission.
Herringer and Lovisa said Durham’s participation on the trip was to express interest that the college wanted to work with Modi Edutech.
“There is a need in India, for this type of training and a part of our role can be to help establish some foundational training in early childhood education in India,” says Herringer.
He also says Modi Edutech already has some strong ties to Canada and has a sense of what the Canadian education system is like.
Herringer also says this partnership will also give Durham College faculty some experience as to understanding what some of the needs are in India and which they can reflect on their own experience and teachings.
“Ideally, if things move along well enough, we might be able to get some of our students to India, to do some practicums in country, which is great experience for students to be able to get over and experience how other countries do things and be able to apply that to their learning and ideally when they graduate, they have that experience to draw on,” Herringer says.
It can take a long time before Durham’s involvement in India begins, because of all the things that need to be checked off, according to Herringer.
Those items include agreements on all the financial pieces and being able to have a sustainable plan and be able to adjust the plan to tailor the needs of the partners in India, Herringer says.