A group of British politicians and leading academics will head to India this week to appear at the country’s first Festival of Education.
The two-day event is being held at Jaipur’s Exhibition and Convention Centre on August 5 and 6. The festival is the first of its kind to be held in India, and organisers hope it can play a part in helping to shape the future of education through discourse, discussion and debate. More than 10,000 global innovators, academics, change-makers, vice-chancellors, educationalists and policy makers are due to take part.
A number of UK speakers will take to the stage during the event, which is being jointly hosted by the government of Rajasthan, GEMS Education and the world’s largest k-12 chain of schools. Among them is Baroness Usha Prashar, deputy chairman of the British Council and chairman of the UK/India Year of Culture board of patrons. She’ll be joined by Lord Patel of Bradford; professor Sir Michael Wilshaw of St Mary’s University; Geoffrey Fowler, principal and chief executive of London Design and Engineering UTC; and Dame Asha Khemka, principal and chief executive of West Nottinghamshire College Group.
Speakers from around the world will attend the festival to discuss the potential of the current Indian education system and the challenges being faced. There will be an exhibition for the education industry, a 24-hour ‘Tweetathon’ involving 100 panellists which is set to be the largest education conversation on Twitter, plus an awards ceremony to facilitate some of the finest works from teachers in India.
A Battle of the Bands Music Festival, featuring college and university bands from India and overseas, will run alongside the main event. The competition winner will get the opportunity to perform at the festival’s closing ceremony.
His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the United Arab Emirates’ minister of culture and knowledge development, will be the event’s guest of honour and is also set to deliver the keynote address. Other high profile Indian speakers include fashion designer JJ Valaya, Bollywood stars Shabana Azmi, Sushmita Sen and Divya Datta, and composer and singer Shankar Mahadevan.