Connecting Schools with Indian Communities pilot program
The Connecting Schools with Indian Communities (CSIC) pilot program was a funding program administered by the International Education Division of DET. It intended to provide guidance and funding to build activities and initiatives that support collaborative partnerships between schools, the Indian diaspora and the broader community to foster a shared understanding of, and a sense of belonging to, our diverse Victorian community. These outcomes were designed to ensure every Victorian was equipped with intercultural capabilities and could contribute, achieve and succeed in a globally connected Victoria.
In recognition of Victoria's deep connection with India, the Victorian Government launched
Victoria's India Strategy: Our Shared Future (The Strategy) in January 2018. The strong ties between India and Victoria was further strengthened by The Strategy, which was designed to celebrate our personal connections with India and form the foundations for a mutually beneficial partnership. The CSIC pilot program was one of three educational initiatives contained in The Strategy aiming to develop and deepen Victorian schools' engagement with India.
The outcomes targeted by the CSIC pilot program were:
- For schools across Victoria to have developed strong, sustainable and meaningful connections with the Indian community in order to provide students with global citizenship opportunities,
- To increase the 'cultural mobility' of Victorian students, enabling them to understand, appreciate and respect different cultural contexts,
- Victorian students are presented with opportunities to develop intercultural understanding and 21st Century Skills,
- Victorian students are socially engaged and live in inclusive communities.
Through this program, schools were able to apply individually or as a cluster for a single round of funding of up to $25,000, to be expended by June 30, 2020. Successful schools were funded using the
Schools Targeted Funding Governance Model (STFGM).
Projects funded to date
To date, the following schools have been granted funding:
- Beveridge Primary School – $25,000 awarded to establish a play group and kindergarten transition program for children of Indian families.
- Cranbourne Park Primary School – $2000 awarded to establish a close reading program with Indian cultural texts to increase cultural understanding and pride.
- Doherty's Creek P–9 College – $25,000 awarded to support the development of a Community Hub and Kitchen Garden program which will be co-designed with Indian origin families with the purpose of increasing engagement with the school.
- Kananook Primary School - $10,000 awarded to establish a partnership with four Early Childhood centres in the Frankston region to provide peer-tutoring in Hindi language.
- Lyndhurst Secondary College - $2000 awarded to support the development of Hindi-language learning resources for non-native speakers, this is in aid of the roll out of Hindi as the school's mandatory LOTE in Years 7 and 8.
- Murrumbeena Primary School - $16,000 awarded to conduct community education workshops and develop transition resources for newly arrived families to support inclusion and smooth entry into the Victorian education system.
- Newbury Primary School - $10,625 awarded to provide a series of education workshops to parents, students and staff to enhance understanding between the school and Indian community.
- Preston South Primary School - $2300 awarded to screen a Bollywood film as a concluding event for a week of activities exploring and celebrating Indian culture.
- Rangebank Primary School - $10,000 awarded to establish both a Hindi Language Learning Hub and an Indian Business Hub for the Casey region.
- Tanjil South Primary School – $3700 awarded to run a four week unit of study on the festival of Diwali, which will culminate in a whole school excursion to either Dandenong or Federation Square for Diwali celebrations.
- Wheeler's Hill Secondary College – $12,300 awarded to create a partnership with local Indian businesses and groups to support the school's Business Management and Performing Arts faculties.
The Connecting Schools with Indian Communities pilot program recognised the importance of the Indian diaspora community in Victoria and provided funding to build activities and initiatives that would support collaborative partnerships between schools, the Indian diaspora and the broader community to foster a shared understanding of, and a sense of belonging to, our diverse Victorian community.
The CSIC pilot program was one of three educational initiatives delivered under Victoria's India Strategy: Our Shared Future aiming to develop and deepen Victorian schools' engagement with India.
Under the pilot, Victorian schools were able to apply for a single round of funding to a maximum of $25,000.
Eleven schools were allocated funding under the scheme and delivered their individual projects between July 2019 and November 2020.
The schools participating in this program were all successful in meeting the program objectives. This evaluation identified three factors which enabled schools to meet the program objectives:
- Included Indian participants as experts
- Spanned the boundary between schools and the community
- Could be sustained over time.