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Rapid Bay Primary School SA

What is the moral imperative for your school to be Asia capable?

Parents and staff recognize that future life experiences for our children and students will be in a world that needs knowledge and understanding of Asian cultures. Without Asia capabile skills they will be held back from contributing effectively to the life of their community and from building a quality life for themselves.

How will your students benefit?

As they engage more broadly and deeply with a curriculum that contains Asian perspectives our students will develop understandings hat are also deeper and broader. Students will develop better understanding of their own culture when they look back at it from an Asian point of view.

What is your school's current engagement with Asia?

Rapid Bay Primary School has been delivering Indonesian lessons to all students for the last ten years. We have developed a varied and extensive resource base that will allow hands on experiences in language and cultural understanding. We currently have an application submitted to establish a Bridge connection with an Indonesian school and have established links with nearby schools to support each other in Asia capability development.

What is your personal experience of Asia?

I came to understand the value of in country learning experiences during a three week study tour of Myanmar in 2004. In 2006 I accompanied twenty secondary students on a two week visit to a sister community in Japan.

In 2008 I worked for twelve months as an assistant language teacher in Himeji, Japan. I returned to Japan for a four three week holiday in 2012. I am busy preparing for a two week study tour to Indonesia in January 2014. I am currently a lead principal in the Leading 21st Century Schools Programme 2013/2014.

In what other ways can Australia make a stronger contribution towards building positive relations in Asia?

I believe the valuable learning and experiences we want our students to have through a stronger Asia capability are equally valued by our Asian neighbours. Commitment through schools and communities to the development of positive relationships ranging from friendship to learning networks up to business opportunities needs to be articulated through strong leadership and supported by corporations and governments with developmental funding.

Acknowledgements

Image: AEF

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