Amid lockdown, Kolkata girl Debashmi Chakrabarti made a film that secured her 1st position in an international competition to attend a prestigious UK college.
The Class 9 student of Modern High School for Girls in Kolkata became the first Indian to win a full scholarship to attend the 456-year old Felsted Independent School’s summer term in the UK, to be held from July to August 2021.
Established in 1564, Felsted School is a boarding school in Essex, England. Their International Summer School welcomes over 500 students from around the world. This year Felsted created a two-week online programme in which 673 students from over 40 countries took part. The IGCSE students of Modern High School for Girls participated in this programme from 6-17 July and a full scholarship was on offer for the pupil who submitted the best end-of-course assignment. Debashmi made a short animated film capturing what she learnt and what she would bring with her to Felsted if she got to attend the programme in person next summer.
Asmita Chatterjee, one of the teachers at MHS for Girls who coordinated the online summer school with Felsted said, “This is the first year of our school offering IGCSE curriculum and this is a great achievement for us. Through the Felsted programme our IGCSE students got the opportunity to develop the true spirit of internationalism through exchange of ideas with their peers from over 40 countries. They were offered a holistic approach to develop as well-rounded individuals, collaborate, and be creative in their problem solving. This is a unique offering from Felsted which is routed in its heritage and yet steps into the future through intercultural context.”
Daniel Emmerson, director of Global Education at Felsted School said, “Our International Summer School operates as a 4th term, where we typically welcome over 500 students from 30 countries around the world to take part in an immersive, cultural, academic experience. This year, because of the global pandemic, our academic manager Kirsty Fraser and I created this two-week online Summer School. The 673 students from over 40 countries had the option of choosing from our Global Studies and English Language programmes.” He added, “We look forward to welcoming Debashmi, the first student from India to win this prestigious scholarship.”
Debashmi, who is also a keen sportsperson, is understandably very excited about the scholarship, and said “I made a short film on the assignment and am over the moon that I have won the scholarship. The online summer school programme has given me a lot more than I had hoped for. It has given me the keys to the treasure chest of understanding, cursiosity and listening. It connected me to so many interesting and diverse people from around the world from whom I learnt a lot. The global studies programme as we stayed indoors and in complete lockdown during the global health crisis opened the windows of the world for me. When I attend Felsted next year, I shall carry with me my own cultural heritage and hope to add to the summer school’s internationalism and diversity, even as I absorb the same elements others bring with them from various parts of the world.”
Debashmi’s mother, Dr Debnita Chakravarti, associate professor of English at Shri Shikshayatan College in Calcutta, said, “Our daughter has always kept herself busy during her summer breaks through various courses, such as British Council’s summer school programme. With the world moving online this summer, the Felsted programme came home as the green ‘corner of a foreign field.’ Many a times she danced out after a session, proclaiming how much she had enjoyed it. As educationists ourselves, Debashmi’s father and I value enjoyable learning over marks and grades and we are delighted that Modern High School, especially the IGCSE curriculum, goes beyond textbooks to ensure students learn to collaborate, not just compete; are creative in their critical thinking; are balanced in debate and respectful of contrary opinions and encourage students to express themselves in many ways.”
As Debashmi and her friends count out the days of lockdown and social distancing, the prospect of the full scholarship and the opportunity to study in a school established the year Shakespeare was born is keeping her excited and focussed on the future.
Source: Times of India