International Forum for Teachers (IFT) 2018

The University of Nottingham, Pearson Edexcel and Gateway Graduate School in collaboration with the British Council, RMIT University and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) will host the third consecutive International Forum for Teachers (IFT) at BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka. This year, due to popular demand, the conference themed ‘From Sage on the Stage to Guide by the Side’, will be repeated over two days on the 13th and 14th of July 2018.

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 partnership, collaboration and dialogue. The annual conference of the IFT offers delegates the opportunities to network, exchange best practices and gain better understanding of the rapidly changing environments of school education globally.

The Theme: ‘From Sage on the Stage to Guide by the Side’

This year’s event will include presentations from eminent international and local speakers with wide global exposure, panel discussions and networking opportunities. The 2018 conference embarks on the challenging task of addressing the issue of the changing role of teachers in the 21st Century and the future with a focus on the concept of ‘teachers as guides to their students’. The goal is to unpick the complex tapestry of the changing contexts, demands and needs of education and help teachers understand and acquire the skills necessary to be relevant to the learning environment and society. Some of the key issues discussed about teachers’ changing contexts are as follows: holistic educators, role as a knowledge compass, inspirers and motivators, coaches and mentors, spiritual guides, and companions for life.

‘The Sri Lankan Teacher of the Year’ Award

IFT 2018 will also feature the inauguration of the first ever ‘The Sri Lankan Teacher of the Year’ award. Aravinda De Silva, Sri Lanka’s elite cricketer and the match winner of the 1996 world cup final has committed to contribute One Million Rupees to the annual teacher award which will be open to all teachers of Sri Lanka. Aravinda dedicates this award to his former Principal, Mr. R.I.T. Alles and his beloved father, late Mr. Sam De Silva. The award will be given on the 14th of July by Hon. Sajith Premadasa, Minister of Housing and Construction. Mr. Sunil Hettiarachchi, Secretary of Education will also grace the occasion.

Moderator of the IFT 2018 Conference

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

Prof. Dr. Ganakumaran Subramaniam is the Head of School and Professor at the School of Education, University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus. He is the President of the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association and Vice President of Asia TEFL. He holds a B.Ed. in TESL from University Putra Malaysia. He read for his Master’s and PhD at the University of Nottingham, UK. He is a Fulbright Scholar with attachments in New York, Washington and New Mexico, USA. He is also the Executive Director of the Bangladesh College Education Development Project (2016-2021) funded by the Government of Bangladesh and the World Bank.

Speakers at the IFT 2018 Conference

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cynthia Yolanda Doss, Associate Professor of the School of Education, the University of Nottingham

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cynthia Yolanda Doss is the Director of the Post Graduate Certificate of Higher Education Programme at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. Her areas of research are Brain-based Learning, Literacy, Mind Mapping and Critical Thinking. She has been actively involved in teaching training, trainer-the-trainer, curriculum design and materials production as well as teaching Business English and Mind Mapping courses for both the public and private sectors over many years. She has presented papers at national and international conferences and has co-authored several ELT books.

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

Mr. David Kaye is a professional teacher trainer, education consultant and coach who focuses on delivering effective, outcomes-oriented professional development to learners across South East Asia. For over ten years he has created learning and content integration programmes, face-to-face and blended for biggest education publishers, using diverse delivery modes: online, public and private schools, international and bilingual schools and leading regional universities.

Ms. Kim Insley, Lecturer at University College London (UCL) Institute of Education

Ms. Kim Insley is a trained teacher with over forty years’ experience working in the profession. Her work began with schools in the UK where she was a primary teacher responsible for music. She moved into higher education and worked with three major institutions including the Open University in supporting teacher education. She has worked at the prestigious Institute of Education (IOE) for more than 20 years in initial teacher education and master’s teaching. Her research is in professional development, inclusive education, music and mathematics education.

Mr. Rohan Pallewatte, Executive Chairman of Lanka Harness Co.

Mr. Rohan Pallewatte is the Executive Chairman of Lanka Harness Company (Pvt) Ltd. The core business of this company is the manufacturing of impact sensors for automobile airbags and seat belts. The customers of his company include Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi and Mazda of Japan, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler of the USA, and Volvo, SAAB, BMW, Aston Martin, Opel and Renault of Europe. An Attorney-at-Law by profession, versatile Mr. Pallewatte holds a B.A. (English Special) degree and has an MBA from the University of Sri Jayawardanepura.

Ms. Kishani Jayasinghe-Wijayasekara, International Operatic Soprano and International Commercial Lawyer

Ms. Kishani Jayasinghe-Wijeyasekara is an international operatic soprano, Deputy Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre, Founder and Artistic Director of the Colombo Opera Company and Kishani Jayasinghe School of Voice, international commercial lawyer, creator and author of “Voice for Women”, educator, motivational speaker, philanthropist, pioneer for opera in South Asia as well as an advocate and an International Goodwill Ambassador for Women. Ms. Jayasinghe-Wijayasekara is an alumna of the University of Nottingham, UK, having completed both her LLB (Hons) and LLM at the university.

Panellists at the IFT 2018 Conference

Mr. Aravinda de Silva, Cricketing Legend

A cricketing legend who has left an indelible presence in the annals of sporting history. Mr. Aravinda de Silva is the match winner of the 1996 Cricket World Cup for Sri Lanka. He has continued to provide yeoman service to Sri Lanka Cricket after his retirement. Mr. de Silva is also a highly successful business professional. At present, he is the Deputy Chairman of Ideal Finance Company.

Rev. Marc Billimoria, Warden of S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia

Rev. Marc Billimoria is the 19th Warden of S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia and brings with him more than two decades of experience as an educator par excellence. Rev. Billimoria holds academic qualifications from the University of Oxford and the University of Poona. He has also undergone training at the prestigious Anglican Seminary, Ripon College Cuddesdon, of the University of Oxford.

Mr. Harish Doraiswamy, Vice President-Qualifications, Schools and Vocational, South Asia, Pearson

Mr. Harish Doraiswamy is Vice-President - Qualifications, Schools and Vocational (South Asia) at Pearson. He is responsible for all Pearson verticals in South Asia outside India besides managing part of Pearson’s operations in India. He has been associated with the education sector for more than a decade and has managed K12 School operations across Asia.

Further details can be obtained by calling Rushika or Imeshi on 0772256356, 2695103, 2695107 or by writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The Sri Lankan Teacher of the Year

Introduction

Gateway Graduate School, the higher education and professional development arm of the Gateway Group, has been hosting the annual ‘International Forum for Teachers (IFT)’ in Sri Lanka in collaboration with internationally reputed organisations such as the University of Nottingham, Pearson Edexcel, the British Council, and the Microsoft Corporation since the year 2016. The IFT’s mission is to develop world-class teaching professionals through global partnerships and collaboration. This annual conference offers delegates the opportunity to network, exchange best practices and understand the rapidly changing aspects of school education globally.

The conference for the year 2018, themed ‘From Sage on the Stage to Guide by the Side’, is scheduled to take place on the 14th of July at the BMICH. As we are entering the pivotal third year of the conference, the organizers of the IFT have decided to launch the ‘Sri Lankan Teacher of the Year’ award. This annual award will recognize an outstanding teacher who demonstrates a sincere commitment to the furthering of the learning and development of students in Sri Lanka from any of the state, private or international sector schools. Mr. Aravinda De Silva, Sri Lanka’s elite cricketer and the match winner of the 1996 world cup final has committed to contribute One Million Rupees to the annual teacher award which will be open to all teachers of Sri Lanka. Mr. De Silva dedicates this award to his former Principal, Mr. R.I.T. Alles and his beloved late Father, Mr. Sam De Silva. The announcement of the award will be made in early May and the final selection will be made in the first week of July. The award will be given on the 14th of July at the end of the IFT conference.

Nomination Process for the Award

Every year the Award Selection Committee will accept nominations that are supported by suitable evidences for the ‘The Sri Lankan Teacher of the Year’ award. Each nomination must be supported by two letters of support from:

  • The head of the educational institution at which the nominee is employed as a teacher.
  • A proposer, who is a colleague at the educational institution at which the nominee is employed as a teacher.

In addition to the letters of support, the proposer of the nominee is required to submit a cover letter, the curriculum vitae of the nominee and relevant evidences (documents, videos, news articles, published materials, testimonials, learning materials developed by the nominee and publications by the nominee) to support the nomination for the award. Please refer to the Appendix section.

Criteria for the Award

The organizers of the IFT intend to use a transparent process to select the most qualified candidate for the annual Sri Lankan Teacher of the Year award. The Award Selection Committee will evaluate the evidences provided for each nominee against the following six criteria:

  1. Being an exemplary member of the teaching profession at one’s own institution and within the wider teaching community.
  2. Using innovative teaching practices to support the learning processes of the students in the classroom and beyond.
  3. Scholarly contribution to the furtherance of issues related to teaching, learning and educational quality within Sri Lanka and beyond.
  4. Supporting the achievement of excellence in academic pursuits among students.
  5. Supporting the achievement of excellence in co-curricular pursuits among students.
  6. Contribution to the wider community through teaching and other worthwhile initiatives.

Evidences for each of the above criteria will be weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 by every member of the Award Selection Committee. The score achieved by each nominee against all of the six criteria as per the evaluation of every member of the Award Selection Committee will be aggregated to calculate the total score (total score against all of the six criteria as evaluated by each member X 6). The nominee who receives the highest score will be given ‘The Sri Lankan Teacher of the Year’ award. Please refer to Appendix of this document for the template for evaluating the nominees.

Eligibility
The Award Selection Committee will accept nominations for all teachers who are involved with the teaching processes of the schools in Sri Lanka across state, private and international education sectors. Teachers who teach students from early childhood education up to high school education are eligible for the award.
Appendix – Template for Evaluating the Nominees

Please note:

  1. The members of the Award Selection Committee will consider the quality of the evidences produced on behalf of the nominee and not just the quantity of the evidences. They have the authority to disqualify the application if the applicant has not met the criteria.
  2. In the event of two or more nominees jointly receiving the highest score, the Award Selection Committee will decide on the final awardee through consensus.
  3. Applications must be submitted on/before 15th June 2018.
  4. Evidences can be submitted through the following media: Paper documents, USB (Flash Drives), CD/DVDs.
  5. Late applications will not be considered.
Contact Details
Address:
International Forum for Teachers
No. 01, 36th Lane (Opposite Devi Balika Vidyalaya),
Colombo 8, Sri Lanka.
Contact Nos:
Telephone: +94 112695103/+94 112695107
Mobile: +94 772256356


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