Communication for Sustainable Development (CSD) group of CEE, Ahmedabad hosted a group of 20 students and three faculties from Environment Studies and Teacher Education streams from Central Queensland University, Australia, as part of CEE's Sustainability Exchange Programme (SEP) from January 5-18, 2017. This programme is designed to provide the participants with exposure to the social, environmental and cultural diversity of India in their respective fields with a view to understand sustainability. SEP 2017 consisted of classroom sessions and field visits related to the respective subjects of the participants. Subject sessions held at CEE Ahmedabad campus, were a balance of lectures, activities and demonstrations.
Environment students had sessions on urban waste management, which was supplemented by visits to Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation along with an interaction with the officials to understand how Ahmedabad city manages its waste, and a visit to a recycling site – ‘Let's Recycle' as well as Indroda Nature Park . On the other hand, Teacher Education students visited two schools - Mahatma Gandhi International School and F.D. High School, respectively. They also paid a visit to I D Patel Teacher Education College, to understand the difference in curriculum and pedagogy in the education systems of India and Australia. Common visits for the two groups included CEE's Gramshilpi project in Karoota , Gujarat, Sundarvan (A Nature Discovery Centre), Bakore Camp site of CEE, and Gandhi Ashram.
The students and the faculties also participated in the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017, where they attended a session on ‘Smart and Livable Cities' and the trade show.
Cultural experiences such as Heritage Walk in the old city area of Ahmedabad, visit to Gandhi Ashram and celebration of Uttarayan was also planned for them. This was in addition to a special Bollywood evening to showcase a popular movie with dance and music, followed by a dance session to Bollywood songs.
Gujarati language sessions were specially arranged for them to learn a few common phrases and terms. The programme culminated in a valedictory session which was rounded off with a dinner at Vishala – a heritage restaurant that serves traditional Gujarati food in a village setting.