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TISSL to conduct International Conference for heads of school in November ‘Leading and Learning in turbulent times’

Monday, 21st of October 2019

The International Schools of Sri Lanka (TISSL), the Association of the Premier International Schools in Sri Lanka, will be conducting the Annual International Conference for heads of school from 22nd to 24th November 2019, at Marriot Resort & Spa Hotel, Weligama under the theme ‘Leading and Learning through turbulent times’. TISSL formed in 2003, brings together the heads of the foremost International Schools in Sri Lanka to serve the impetus of upscaling and elevating the education system to keep up with global education standards.

TISSL also focuses on exchanging innovative teaching and learning methodologies practiced among the member schools and increasing collaboration within schools for mutual benefit. TISSL Annual Conference 2019 will address the theme of Leading and Learning in turbulent times. Though this highly relevant theme in the local context, the conference will focus on turbulences that may occur as a result of both external and internal factors. Be it natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other issues such as changes in technological and geopolitical landscape or internal factors such as significant changes in company strategy or deteriorating performance, etc.

“As such how to lead and learn as a leader; specifically, the importance of the leader’s role in maintaining stability in times of crisis, motivating and inspiring others during such times will be areas we will focus at the conference,” stated Kumari Hapugalle Perera, the Chairperson of TISSL/Executive Director-Alethea International School. “This year’s conference is the 7th Annual International Conference. The annual conferences Initiated in the year 2013 with the participation of the heads and decision makers of member International schools, nonmember International schools, State schools and Private schools in the region.,” added Kumari Hapugalle Perera.

Dr. Harsha Alles, the founding Chairman of TISSL/Chairman, Gateway College stated that “The goal of the TISSL group is to foster unity, to promote quality education and to network with the Ministry of Education. The annual conference is an ideal platform to cater to all those roles. All 24 member school chains within the group cater to approximately 50,000 students island-wide and around 95% are Sri Lankan students. There are around 10,000 schools in Sri Lanka (local/Government) but only about 70 have an actual demand for admissions.

Admission to TISSL schools, however, is fairly difficult. This alone shows that we are doing something right. Together, we desire to improve quality, maintain standards and be a part of the Sri Lankan system, rather than remaining as a separate entity.” TISSL Annual Conference is organized by the Chairperson Mrs. Kumari Hapugalle Perera, General Secretary Mrs. Malithi Jayatissa, Treasurer Mr. Harshana Perera and Secretary - PR & Communications Mrs. Chrishanthi Wickrama Arachchi with the support of Dr. Kumari Grero and Dr. Harsha Alles as Executive Committee members of the TISSL Association with the support of other members from the TISSL Conference Organizing Committee.

This year’s conference will feature 4 eminent foreign speakers from around the world in keeping with TISSL commitment to bring global best practices of world class education to the Sri Lankan classrooms. Dr. Phil Kirkman - Principal Lecturer and Head of Education Partnerships for the School of Education at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) sponsored Cambridge Assessment International Examinations together with Cambridge University Press. Having previously served as the Deputy Head of Education and Social Care, he also manages the development of the ARU teacher education port-folio, leads the MBA in Educational Leadership and Management and supervises doctoral projects.

Prior to his work at ARU, Phil worked at the University of Cambridge, UK where he managed several postgraduate teacher education courses alongside research and international educational development work. Oxford University Press speaker Kostadinos Lekanides – author of Extended Essay and contributing author for TOK Kosta is currently an Assistant Head Teacher, Head of IB Programmes and TOK Coordinator at Jumeirah English Speaking School in Dubai. He has been teaching for over 17 years, in countries as culturally diverse as Japan, Australia and currently the UAE.

In addition to teaching, he is very experienced in the assessment and has been a Workshop Leader for Theory of Knowledge, International Mindedness & Extended Essays for IBICUS. He has also written the Extended Essay Companion Guide and co-authored the Theory of Knowledge Skills and Practice Book published by Oxford University Press. In Pearson Edexcel’s speaker, Ujjwal Singh, Vice President – New Product & Solutions, Global Market, Pearson and is focused on driving Pearson’s growth through Scalable & Sustainable Innovation.

Having an innate passion for technology and a deep desire to shape new future for education, Ujjwal has been instrumental in the conceptualization of New Product ideas like MyPedia, MePro & MyInsights and has filed for 2 patents, once each in India and the U.S. He offers entrepreneurial stamina and wisdom to drive bottom line growth and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference, inspire stakeholders to peak performance and build businesses. An alumnus of IIM Bangalore, Ujjwal has an avid interest in exploring ‘Individualized Learning’ through the medium of technology interfaces and enjoys sharing product and innovation processes during talks at institutions like TEDx, IIM-Calcutta, Amity among others.

Natalia Cohen, Coxless Crew Team Member, Inspirational Speaker, and Mindset brought in by the British Council. With 15 years’ experience of living and working in over 60 countries, Natalia Cohen has chosen to follow an unusual and fascinating path. Her broad range of professional experience within the travel industry includes adventure tour leading, operations management, teaching/training, volunteer and project coordination, as well as working within the Super Yacht industry and Eco-lodge management, running a remote Safari lodge in Tanzania.

Natalia and the crew completed this challenge in January 2016 setting two world records and gaining an international following. The expedition was not only a challenge of extreme conditions and perseverance but also a journey within to better understand the strength of human spirit, the importance of being aligned with your values, developing mental resilience, the diversity within a team and enjoying the journey. The Gold Sponsors of this event are Cambridge Assessment International Examinations together with Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Pearson Edexcel who will each host an international speaker to address the conference based on the theme.

In addition, the British Council has joined in as a silver sponsor while providing a distinguished speaker for the event. The other silver sponsors are Business Management School, Horizon Campus, Jeya Book Center, Monash University, Nations Trust Bank, Prime Business Solutions, Star Publishing, Softlogic Life Insurance PLC and South Asian Technologies. Furthermore, Create Labs - Singapore and St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School - Australia will also join hands as bronze sponsors for the event.

The TISSL EXCO decided to implement Kumari Hapugalle Perera’s idea to present for the 1st time TISSL’s Lifetime Achievement Award, to recognize dedicated educators who have altered the course of education in Sri Lanka. She went on to state “The only way to take a country to the next level of progress and development is by educating the youth and enlightening the path via imparting insights. The responsibility of educating society is undertaken by the dedicated teachers who act mentors. This award is intended to honor outstanding personalities in education who have dedicated their lives to the enhancement of schools in Sri Lanka with their pioneering spirit, demonstrated innovation and selfless dedication.” This event is opened to all Heads of Schools from sectional heads upwards and other educational partners.

Those interested in attending this event may contact TISSL via info@tissl.lk

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