Gateway Graduate School, the higher education and professional development arm of the Gateway Group, in association with Pearson Edexcel, the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) and Teesside University, UK is organising the inaugural International Forum for Students on the 30th of January 2018. The conference will feature prominent international speakers and panelists as well as local professionals with wide international exposure in diverse fields.
During the last couple of years, the organisers of this event held international conferences for teachers (International Forum for Teachers - IFT) and parents (International Forum for Parents - IFP) both in Sri Lanka and in the Maldives. The International Forum for Students (IFS) has been introduced with the intention of exposing Advanced Level students in Sri Lanka to aspects that are at the vanguard of change in the 21st Century and develop their skills in communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.
Instruction, Imagination, Innovation
The theme for the IFS 2018 is “Instruction, Imagination, Innovation”: The event will explore the common thread between instruction or education, imagination and innovation as relevant to the contemporaneous as well as futuristic challenges and opportunities faced by the youth in a globalized world. In essence, the conference aims to inspire the minds of students through a series of thought provoking sessions. The objective of IFS is to get students to set goals for themselves and raise their aspirations for personal growth and success.
Instruction or education is about inspiring minds, to be the catalyst not only for learning from teachers and classrooms but way beyond. Education is about opening minds through explorations and enquiries. It is about asking questions; old and new and seeking answers that do not just consider the facts as we know, but engages every possibility and probability. In effect, education releases the imaginative potential of every individual in ways we may not know possible, yet. Imagination empowers us to create new knowledge and innovate novel solutions to problems yet unknown to mankind and complete new tasks in new ways.
The target audience
The audience participating at this conference will be Advanced Level students, prefects and meritorious non-prefects, from over forty leading schools in Sri Lanka. In keeping with the overall ethos of the past conferences, the organisers wish to make IFS, as inclusive as possible by inviting a mix of students from the state, private and international schools. The rationale is to provide a platform for sharing of innovative ideas that will cut across differences to find common ground.
The speakers at the International Forum for Students 2018 include internationally renowned academics and successful Sri Lankan professionals:
- Prof. Ganakumaran Subramaniam, Head of the School of Education at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus; Prof. Subramaniam will give the introductory speech on the topic “Your Future, Your Decision” and set the tone for the conference proceedings.
- Ms. Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala, Mountaineering professional and women’s rights advocate; Ms. Kuru-Utumpala will speak on the topic “Climbing Your Own Everest” by sharing her experiences as a successful mountaineer who went on to become the first Sri Lankan to climb Mount Everest and inspire the participants.
- Dr. Dave Morland, Associate Dean at the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law at Teesside University, UK; Dr. Morland will speak about “Instruction or Education in Relation to Imagination and Innovation” and bring in the academic perspective regarding the role of education in engendering imagination to accomplish innovation.
- Mr. Rohan Pallewatte, Executive Chairman of Lanka Harness Company (Pvt) Ltd., and successful innovative entrepreneur; Mr. Pallewatte will address the gathering on the topic of “Innovation in a Globalized World” and share his insights about innovation and entrepreneurship in the present era of globalization.
The forum will include a panel discussion towards the end. In addition to Dr. Dave Morland and Mr. Rohan Pallewatte, the panel discussion will feature two more eminent persons, one from the world of sports and another from the world of arts:
- Mr. Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lankan cricket legend and world record holder for the highest number of Test match wickets; Mr. Muralitharan will share his vast experience, particularly the aspects of his career that relate to constant learning that have assisted him to be successful in the world of business.
- Ms. Kishani Jayasinghe-Wijayasekara, International Operatic Soprano and Deputy Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre; Ms. Jayasinghe-Wijayasekara will discuss her views about the challenges and rewards of forging a career in the field of arts that have brought immense success to her both locally and internationally.
Each of the panelists will bring in different perspectives to make the session broad and interesting.