New Indo – German Student Exchange Programme 2013

New Indo – German Student Exchange Programme 2013

“Indian teachers are worshipped as gods; back home in Germany we are not so reverential,” laughed Stefan, a wiry 16 – year – old student from Stuttgart, on a whistle-stop tour of Mumbai and Pune, after a two – week placement in a school in the water – scarce region of Rajasthan.

“It was an exciting experience” Paul, a tall, 15 – year – old blonde who wants to be a pilot and, eventually fly to India, told this Correspondent on the sidelines of the “Stuttgart meets Mumbai” Festival organised by German corporate, Lapp Industries, for the last eight years, in celebration of “the enduring partnership over 45 years between the sister cities of Stuttgart and Mumbai.”

The duo were among a group of 20 who were selected from over a hundred applicants for a new student exchange programme titled ‘Education needs Communication’ between high schools in India and Germany. Kick – started with strong support from the German government and Stuttgart Municipality and funding from Lapp Holding AG, the programme was officially announced in Mumbai by the company’s chairman, Andreas Lapp who has been Honorary Consul of India in Stuttgart – Palatine since 2001. Stefan and Paul were selected with 18 others from the Fanny – Leicht – Gymnasium in Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden – Württemberg in South Germany, for the exchange programme with the BRJD Public School in Bhorugram, District Churu of Rajasthan, a CBSE – affiliated English medium co – educational day school.

“Indian students are quite knowledgeable about Germany but German students don’t know much about India and we wanted to do what we can to help rectify this lacuna,” said Mr. Lapp who has been shepherding a large delegation to India every year since 2004. This time around, the delegation included faculty from educational institutions like the Universities of Stuttgart and Hohenheim who invited Indians to “come study with us.” The new exchange programme ( which may eventually be extended to schools in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai ) will have at least 20 pupils from BJRD travelling to Germany later this year. While the German students lived with their Indian counterparts for a fortnight in the boarding school in Rajasthan, the Indian students will visit Stuttgart for the same time period and stay with the families of their German partners.

All participants will work together on a common project involving the study of English, Economics and Biology and covering the interdisciplinary topic of “Sustainable handling of water resources.”