By Venkata Suresh Lolla, Principal, Global City International School, Bangalore

“It was indeed an honour and a privilege for me to attend the AFS Global Conference in Budapest this September. The theme Global Competence: Our Future, Our Responsibility was very apt for the present scenario when the whole world is looking forward to raise the learning standards of students to match the demands of the 4thindustrial revolution.

The conference offered versatile speakers and participants from 70 countries who shared their views and best practices to address the present-day challenges in schools and society. Presentations related to defining Global Competence and Sustainable Development Goals were very informative. I wish to share a few key learnings which might be helpful to the readers.

  • Schools should  equip students with cognitive and socio-emotional skills along with critical thinking and communication in intercultural learning. 
  • Schools should focus on teaching students ‘Perspective taking’ which will enable them to be able to handle conflicts peacefully. 
  • Pedagogies to promote global competence are Group based project work, service learning and structured debates where the voice of different perspectives is taken into consideration.
  • Cultural Diversity and human dignity (sense of self-respect & self-worth) needs to be promoted as values at school level.
  • Develop teachers as active global citizens who in turn will globalise schools and institutions. 

 This conference offered a platform for me to connect and share my thoughts with educators, trainers, policy makers and school leaders. With immense peer learning happening for 3 days, I returned back with many thoughts and ideas to implement the key ingredients of achieving Global Competence at Global City International School.”

Attendees from India at AFS Global Conference

Mr. Rajesh Awasthi, Principal of Choithram School, Indore | R. Jaypal, President of Global City International School, Bangalore, Bangalore |  Mr. Venkata Suresh Lolla, Principal of Global City International School, Bangalore | Ms. Seema Shaikh, Principal of Sanskar Vikas Society Society Pragnya Bodhini Jr. College Of Education Goregaon | Ms. Neeta, Member of School Council and School Counselor of Sanskar Vikas Society Society Pragnya Bodhini Jr. College Of Education Goregaon | Ms. Larzy Varghees, Principal & Director of St. Matthews High School, Mumbai | Ms. Kalpana Dogra, Principal of MKES English School, Mumbai | Ms. Angela Roye, Board Chairperson, AFS India & President AFS Asia Pacific Initiatives (AAI)