Global Pathways School 2015 Year End Review

Posted by on Dec 9, 2015 in GPS Blog Posts | 1 comment

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” B.B King.

As the year draws to a close, it gives me great pleasure to reflect on the many triumphs, both big and small, that have taken place at Global Pathways School over the past twelve months. GPS serves a community of underprivileged families in and around the village of Chettipalaym in Tamilnadu. Many of our families are victims of an economy and a society that places artificial limits on people’s aspirations and ambitions based on class and caste. Some of our families have achieved a more comfortable status. Within the walls of GPS though, our students read, listen, sing, dance, solve problems, write stories, paint pictures, and play games together, without regard to class and caste. In my first several months as the Principal at GPS, I have found this spirit of collaboration and shared experience among faculty and students, to be our school’s strongest attribute. The lessons our students are learning every day at GPS are lessons no one can take away. Global Pathways School is changing their lives.

Over the year our students have taken part in excursions to galleries, museums, shopping malls, markets, monuments, temples, hospitals, and city hall. They have enjoyed guests who have brought their experiences in journalism, medicine, Foreign Service, science and technology, and police and emergency rescue work to the classroom. After school homework study hall, weekend sports club, musical and dance performances at special events, and connectivity to the internet provide our students with a well rounded and balanced educational experience.

GPS has been blessed with many talented and generous volunteers in 2015. Twenty three students and four teachers from the York School visited in March and donated books, school supplies, sports equipment, laptops, tablets, solar lights, and funds to pay for home repairs for one of our most needy families. In the summer two teachers from York School, as well as an eminent professor from the University of Toronto spent time conducting professional development with our teachers. A University of Ottawa student spent her summer internship living at GPS while creating a fifteen point public health program. Other volunteers have come and streamlined our information and data collection systems, and currently, we are hosting two Canadian apprentice teachers who are working on ESL skills with our students.

GPS currently offers classes from Lower Kindergarten to grade eight and serves over two hundred and fifty students. We have thirty highly dedicated teachers who completed a module of the Cambridge International Educator certification this year. Construction of our new campus has recently recommenced and looking ahead, we will soon be embarking on high school credit courses under the auspices of the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE).

In June, I joined GPS as its first full time principal and it has been a real pleasure getting to know this school community and coming to understand its culture, protocols, and rituals. Learning how to navigate day to day life in India has been a real adventure for my wife Joy and I this year.  GPS has come a long way in a few short years and I am optimistic that with continued support from generous donors the school will only continue to get better as time goes on.

Jim Brickell

One Comment

  1. Congratulations on another fantastic year, GPS! It is such a joy to see the impact that you have on this small community and the ripple effect that you create which spreads across the village and out into the settlements. All the best for a very happy holiday season.

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