A group of 10 young students from Andhra Pradesh met and interacted with officials from the United Nations as well as faculty and executives at US and global institutes during an educational tour to the country, an experience the children described as memorable, enriching and inspiring. As part of Andhra Pradesh’s mission towards a transformative journey to revamp its school education system, aiming to mould students into future-ready, global citizens, the Department of School Education sent a delegation of 10 students from grades 9 to 12 on an educational tour to the US from September 15 to 28.
The tour was designed to give the young meritorious students a broader perspective on global sustainability and the educational landscape around the world, according to a statement. D. Jyosthna, 15, hailing from Ramanakkapeta village in the Kakinada district, said she was delighted” to get the wonderful opportunity to travel to the US and visit global institutions including the UN and World Bank.
I had never dreamt that I will travel to America. But today, as I stand in New York City, I feel extremely happy and proud of myself, she told PTI. During the trip, the group visited the UN headquarters and interacted with officials and leaders as they attended the Sustainable Development Goals Summit. They also took part in the Educate a Child Programme’ hosted by the Centre for Sustainable Development at Columbia University and held discussions with students from various countries like Uganda and Kenya on issues such as sustainable development goals, environment and education.
As part of the group discussions, the Andhra Pradesh delegation highlighted steps taken by the Jagan Reddy government to transform the education sector through measures such as improving school infrastructure, providing balanced and nutritious diet, improved internet connectivity and introduction of bilingual textbooks, the statement said. What I will take from visit is unity in diversity’, M. Chandralekha said, adding that people from various backgrounds and nationalities are studying and working together in the US. It’s a very interesting thing to learn.
The students’ itinerary also included participation in the International Youth Conference on the sidelines of UNGA, visits to the World Bank Headquarters and the White House in Washington DC as well as interactions with US Department of State officials. It was really nice to welcome the students of Andhra Pradesh to the IMF. I am glad they made a stop at IMF headquarters as part of their UN and US tour, First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF Gita Gopinath said in a tweet, as she posted a photograph with the group of students.
The delegation was led by B Srinivasa Rao (IAS), State Project Director, Samagra Shiksha. D Madhusudhana Rao, Secretary, KGBV was the Nodal Officer who facilitated logistics in coordination with Rathnakar Pandugayala, AP Government’s special representative for North America, in consultation with Vunnava Shakin Kumar, Special Consultative Status Member, ECOSOC, United Nations. Teachers V Vijaya Durga and K V Hema Prasad accompanied the students, the statement added. For the study tour, the children were selected from among 30 shortlisted candidates out of 103 meritorious students who had secured the highest marks in SSC Public Examination 2023 from across all Government schools.
The statement added that the tour aims to offer these young minds a first-hand experience of the inner workings of the United Nations, global endeavours for sustainable development, human advancement, and the preservation of world peace and harmony. This exposure will enrich their understanding of global educational and cultural diversity, and where India stands in this vast landscape. Moreover, they have the unique chance to present the advancements in education from Andhra Pradesh on an international platform, it added.
The students expressed their gratitude to Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy for giving them the opportunity to travel and learn from the tour. Allam Reshetha Reddy, 15 from Jammunarayanapuram village in Vizianagaram district, was delighted to visit the UN as well as Columbia University, where she interacted with students from different countries. We shared our knowledge and ideas. It is a great experience for me. America is a melting pot. Different people from various countries come here to work together. I want to take back this spirit with me, she said.
The bright young kids hail from humble backgrounds and through their hard-work and dedication and support of their parents, have emerged as meritorious and exceptional students. Fascinated by Manhattan’s famed and shiny sky-scrapers, some students said they are going back with an inspiration to become architects and construct similar buildings in their towns and cities. C. Rajeswari, 16, hailing from Bommalasatram, Nandyala Town, said she was extremely excited about the visit, which gave her an opportunity to interact with students from across the world and make new friends.
Rajeswari, who aspires to become an IAS officer, said my dream to become an IAS officer has become stronger and I’m very interested to work towards women empowerment. I hope more women are empowered in the future. A beaming Jyosthna said, There are so many problems in different countries but dialogue leads to solution. This is a big takeaway for me from New York. This is a wonderful opportunity for me at this small age, it’s an unforgettable moment in my life.