The Goethe-Institut: PASCH Project
The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach.We promote knowledge of the German language abroad and foster international cultural cooperation. We convey a comprehensive picture of Germany by providing information on Germany's cultural, social and political life.
Through our network of Goethe-Institutes, Goethe Centres, cultural societies and reading rooms, alongside our examination and language learning centres, we perform the principal tasks of cultural and educational policy abroad. We work in partnership with public and private cultural bodies, the German federal states and municipalities, and the corporate sector.
The Goethe-Institut Kolkata has been known as Max Mueller Bhavan since the 60s. It organsises and promotes a wide spectrum of cultural events. The focus of the cultural programme is to bring together Indian and German artists and intellectuals, present contemporary German culture and foster Indo-German and European cooperation with special reference to film, theatre and literature. It also promotes discussions on social and development policy, as well as social issues that are relevant in India and Europe.
Goethe-Institut Munich offers a Programme for new teachers in Germany to do an internship in a foreign Country to gather experience in teaching.
Ms. Franziska Speiser (from Heidelberg, Germany) has received a scholarship under this Programme to do an intership in one of the Pasch- Schools in Kolkata. The regional office of Goethe Institute has selected Modern High School for Girls for Ms. Speiser to complete her internship.
Ms. Speiser will observe classes and will also help in the German Department with the guidance of the German faculty of MHS from July to September.
Ms. Franziska Speiser , our intern from Germany, not only has been observing and taking German classes and activities, but she has also been observing and taking Geography/English classes in the Junior Department.
Pasch Youth Camps are something that no German- studying student ever wants to miss out on! Three of us; myself, Yukta Raj and Ishani Basak from Modern High School for Girls, Kolkata, were given the golden opportunity to attend the International Pasch Youth Camp at Embilipitiya, Sri Lanka from the 30th of June to the 6th of July.
Our amazing experience began with a warm welcome at the Centauria Hotel and a wonderful ice-breaking session. Ishani and I attended the Online Magazine Workshop. We were made to think out of the box and use all our creativity. The workshops were invigorating. We had the chance to conduct an interview with Mr. Olav Schroerer, of the Goethe Institute in Delhi and were ecstatic to see our article published online in the magazine. Yukta attended the Radio Workshop, which was equally interesting. They conducted an interview with many people on the theme ‘If I could be another person for a day’.
We had excursions to a mesmerising View Point and Udawalawe National Park. The last day was graced with a Cultural Programme. The diverse cultures of Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Ungan, Estonia and a few other European countries were showcased.
The camp ended in a tearful farewell and an exchange of phone numbers. We walked away with more German in our brains and a whole lot more friends in our heart.
Sneha Das - Class 9 A
Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata, in association with Fraunhofer Institute and the Max Plank Society, is presenting an interactive exhibition "Erfinderland: Deutschland" (Land of Inventor: Germany) for the students of various schools from 6th to 18th January. The exhibition is an interactive one on energy, medicine, information technology and communication for children and young adults.
The exhibition came from the Goethe Institut headquarters in Munich and is touring in South-Asia at the moment - Kolkata being the 5th Station of the tour.
Today was the inaugural session and it was attended by students from class 6. Mrs D Kar, our Director and Mrs D Mukherjee, our Principal along with other dignitaries inaugurated the exhibition. The exhibition will be attended by our German learners of other classes in the coming week.
Mr. Achim Elvert, Principal of Gesamtschule Ückendorf (our partner school in Germany) and teachers from the same school, Ms Mareike Raabe and Ms Dunja Heinrich, are visiting Modern High School for Girls for a week from 6th to 12th December. The first two days they interacted with the exchange programme students and took German classes. They were spellbound when they watched the cultural programme at the School Assembly as well as the drill display practice. They visited Victoria Memorial too with our German teachers.
Special Assembly to welcome the teachers from Germany
Visit to Shantiniketan
An excursion with our guests from Germany in and around Shantiniketan on 08th and 09 December 2016. They not only visited the Viswabharati Museum and Patha Bhavan school but also attended the inauguration of the art gallery at the school. The excursion also included enjoyable traditional meals, handicraft shopping and a glimpse of folk music.
Exchange Programme with German School
Saint Peter Ording 2017 Germany
Harsha Dwivedi and I, Upasana Ghosh, earned an all-expense paid scholarship to attend a PASCH camp being held at Saint Peter Ording, Germany for three weeks. As the day of our departure dawned, we could not contain our excitement or apprehension towards our trip. After a twenty-seven hour long journey to Hamburg and another two-hour bus drive, we finally reached our camp site.
We all longed for a hot bath, warm food and a comfortable bed to sleep in. We were allotted our rooms and each one of us had to share a room with another student from a different country. I was to share my room with a girl from Thailand. Our rooms overlooked the lush green lawns and the clear blue sky was always filled with soft billowy clouds. At night, we would gaze upon the sky watching the beautiful twinkling stars that I am unable to experience in my city.
There was a total of forty-five students from the countries of Philippines, Thailand and India.
We played many games to get to know each other during our usual ‘Kennenlernen’ ice-breaking ceremony.
We were divided into four classes according to our German levels, ours being dubbed ‘Gummibärchen’. (Gummy bears) Each of our teachers was very helpful and we enjoyed our classes. My teacher, using each alphabet of our names would make us learn new words to improve our vocabulary and we listened to songs and did various partner activities too. We also took a mock test in the last week.
Another important highlight for us was our projects. Our group had to go around Saint Peter Ording and click selfies in front of shops, restaurants and places of tourist interest. It was innovative, novel and piqued our interest.
Our first excursion was walking to Böhler Lighthouse. It was a very chilly evening but the long walk was worth it because the lighthouse was beautiful and we clicked many group photographs to capture this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We had also travelled to Kiel, the capital of Schleswig Holstein where we were taken to visit Christian Albrechts University. There we had an orientation on the various subjects offered at the university and its programmes for international students. We went around the huge campus and lunched at the canteen too. We had free time to go shopping in small groups which was very liberating for us.
On Sunday, after breakfast, we travelled to Hamburg by bus. We took a cruise of the Hamburg Port in a cruise ship which was beautiful and relaxing. We took the U-Bahn, the metro, to visit the Elbphilharmonie, a famous concert hall.
At the end of each day we would all gather in the common room and sing a German song ‘Auf Uns’ that now occupies a special place in our hearts. Our supervisors held a meeting every night and we would sit down on the floor and reflect upon the day.
Thus, wind-surfing, cycling, pony-riding, waffle baking, sand sculpting, playing various outdoor games, visiting other places like the Dorf and Friedriechstadt made the time so quickly pass that we did not even want to come back home. But, the dreaded day finally arrived and we bid tearful goodbye to one another. We made some wonderful friends and memories that we will cherish for a long time!
TIME: 4:30 pm
VENUE: Terminal 4, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport
We, 14 excited Modernites along with our german teachers (Mrs Bina Ghosh and Mrs Asmita Chatterjee), bid goodbye to our parents as we set off on our 15-day trip to Gelsenkirchen, Germany to participate in the German School Exchange Programme. Along with our eagerness to meet our German partners in person, there also lurked an element of uncertainty within us. However, we were in for a huge surprise at Düsseldorf Airport. The welcome party arranged by our partners overwhelmed us to say the least. As Mayukhi Ghosh so aptly said, " As we reached Das Land der Dichter und Denker(Land of the poets and thinkers), fear crept into us because we did not know what to expect, but as we were greeted by our guest families, our trepidation bore wings."
Our partners' home was home for us too. Their school, Gesamtschule Ückendorf, was our school too, as we attended classes with them and even worked out Maths problems.
As part of our project on nutrition and food sustainability, we prepared PowerPoint presentations and made colourful placards. But it was not all work and no play. While Elif cracked jokes, Nida styled our hair! After school they took us on a tour of Gelsenkirchen and some neighbouring towns like Bochum, Essen and Herne. They helped us select the right gifts for our loved ones back home.
On 22nd May, we went on a field trip to the picturesque city of Amsterdam. We took a 'wunderschön' (wonderful) boat ride through the canals around the city and went shopping too. We also visited some local supermarkets as part of our projects.
On the last day of school, we sang the evergreen number 'Yeh Dosti' as an affirmation of the strong bond of friendship between the Indian and the German girls.
We spent the last two days individually with our partners' families. Aadrita Ghosh and I even had the novel experience of attending a Turkish wedding with our partner, Melike, and her family! I even put on my dancing shoes and taught Melike to match steps with one of their favourite numbers, 'Bole Chudiya'!
Alas! 27th May seemed to arrive too soon. We had to bid goodbye to our partners and their families, and to the city which had made us its own. With the promise that our new friends would visit us in November, we headed home, according to Isha Sinha, "with a suitcase full of happy memories".
All said and done, the entire project would not have seen the light of day without the able guidance of Ms. A Chatterjee and Ms. B. Ghosh. Their tireless efforts made the first exchange programme at our school a resounding success.
~Rupsa Dasgupta, Class IX B.