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Gateway Graduate School, Pearson Edexcel and the University of London in collaboration with the University of Nottingham Malaysia, Macquarie University and RMIT University will host the fourth consecutive International Forum for Teachers (IFT) at BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka. As with the previous year, due to popular demand, the conference themed ‘Reach, Teach, Guide: Teachers Make the Difference’, will be repeated over two days on the 20 th and 21 st of September 2019.

The IFT conference, is the first of its kind and is open to all teachers of the state, private and international schools of Sri Lanka and regional countries. IFT’s mission is to assist in developing world- class teachers through global partnerships, collaboration and dialogue. The annual conference of the IFT offers delegates the opportunities to network, exchange best practices and gain an in-depth understanding of the rapidly changing environments of school education from a global perspective.

The Theme - ‘Reach, Teach, Guide: Teachers Make the Difference’

Keeping in line with the past conventions of IFT, this year’s event too will include presentations from eminent international and local speakers with wide global exposure, panel discussions and networking opportunities. The 2019 conference specifically considers the imperative role that teachers play in counselling and supporting learners to make decisions and solve problems related to personal, communal, national and global matters. This topical theme was developed by the conference organisers due to the increasing expectations on educators to go beyond their subject-matter expertise to help students realise that conventional notions of knowledge, skills and competences are being redefined continuously.

The International Forum for Teachers 2019, will focus on addressing the following broad enquiries:

  • How can teachers develop sensitivities and abilities to create positive learning environments and relationships to support their students deal with educational, personal and social challenges?
  • How can all educators acquire the calling and skills to guide their students successfully to the next level of their lives–university and career–through counselling and mentoring?
  • How can counselling be the responsibility of all educators and not be limited to a designated member of staff?
  • How can teachers proactively resource information and knowledge to help students gain better self-awareness, set positive aspirations and be self-directed as well as resilient lifelong learners?
  • Moderator of the IFT 2019 Conference

    Prof. Dr. Ganakumaran Subramaniam - Head of the School of Education, the University of Nottingham Malaysia

    Speakers at the IFT 2019 Conference

    Snr. Prof. Udith K. Jayasinghe-Mudalige - Dean – Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management, Senior Professor and the Chair of Agribusiness Management, and Director – Staff Development Centre, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka

    Mr. David Kaye - International Teacher Trainer, Education Consultant and Coach

    Datin Dr. Cynthia Yolanda Doss - Associate Professor of the School of Education, the University of Nottingham Malaysia and Director of Training at the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (MELTA)

    Dr. Alberto Luis August - Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Master of Education Programme of the School of Education, the University of Nottingham Malaysia

    Mr. Rukshan Perera - Music Director, Composer and Performer

    Panellists at the IFT 2019 Conference

    Ms. Kim Insley - Programme Director, PGCE: Teacher Development, the University of London and Lecturer, University College London (UCL) Institute of Education (IOE)

    Emeritus Prof. Colin N. Peiris - Director - Academic Development and Quality Assurance, SLIIT, Professor Emeritus - University of Peradeniya and Council Member - Asia Pacific Quality Register

    Kalashuri Dr. Channa Wijewardene - Founder and Dance Director – Channa-Upuli Performing Arts Foundation

    Mr. Dulith Herath - Founder & Chairman of Kapruka.com, Co-Founder of Grasshoppers and Eisenhower Fellow

    The Gateway Graduate School, higher education and professional development arm of the Gateway Group, conducted its Convocation on the 29th of March 2019 at BMICH, Colombo. Professor Ganakumaran Subramaniam, Head of the School of Education of the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) presided over the ceremony as the Chief Guest. Addressing the gathering, Professor Subramaniam emphasised that ‘in today’s fast changing world, possessing the right skills and mind-set to acquire and apply knowledge, in critical and creative ways have become key factors for success.’

    Graduates and diplomates of the various international academic and professional programmes offered at the Gateway Graduate School in collaboration with prestigious institutions such as the University of Nottingham, the University of Central Lancashire, the University of Worcester, Pearson Edexcel and NCC Education, participated at the event. The members of the Board of Directors of the Gateway Group and other eminent people from the world of education, were present during the proceedings of the Convocation.

    The prestigious R.I.T. Alles Award for the Highest Achieving Student for the Year 2017/2018 was given away by Mrs. Rohini Alles, the Managing Director of the Gateway Group, to Thimantha Vidanagamage who graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Business Computing and Information Systems from the University of Central Lancashire, UK. Four students from Colombo and Kandy-Dharshi Edward, Fathima Zaman, Saleemdeen Hafsa and Shazna Hameed-received the Overall Best Performance Pearson BTEC Level 5 Professional Diploma in Advanced Teaching awards. Six graduates of the University of Nottingham’s MA in Education qualification were also felicitated. These special awards were handed over by Dr. Harsha Alles, the Chairman of the Gateway Group. Speaking at the function, Dr. Alles encouraged the awardees by stating the following: ‘Seek your uniqueness in terms of your capabilities and skills and continue the journey of lifelong learning into the distant horizons such that you will make your Alma mater, family, friends and the country proud’.