On 22 May 2018, the Swedish Council for Higher Education decided to award SEK 523 000 as a Linnaeus Palme Exchange Programme grant to the Department of Science, Environment and Society (NMS) at the University of Malmö for its new collaboration programme with Samtse College of Education (SCE) at the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) during 2018. The authority is pleased to see that the application maintains a high quality, due to the work and dedication of the collaborating partners leading to achievement of our common goal of a higher quality of education. The project includes 12 approved numer of teacher and student mobilities.
The aim of the Sweden-Bhutan project is to develop and support a more culturally responsive teaching and learning in mathematicsand mathematics teacher education in the Swedish and Bhutan school contexts. The new collaboration was facilitated by the NSAN editor Lars Eklund during a May 2017 visit to Samtse, when he discussed with Senior SCE Lecturer Purna Badadur Subba and Dr. Johan Westman, Swedish ethnomusicologist working at SCE since 2016, the possibility to find collaborating partners in Swedenon the isue of Ethnomathematics. Read Lars Eklund’s report from Samtse College of Education .
At Malmo University, Associate professor Annica Andersson happened to be working on Etnomathematics with a strong international network with scholars at teacher education institutions and universities in different parts of the world. Her thesis and research has been based on critical mathematical and ethnomathematical research. Together with Lena Andersson, senior lecturer and the international coordinator at the department, and with a background from the ITP/Sida programme”Child Rights, Classroom and School Management”, they form the Swedish coordination team.
In early February 2018, Prof. Subba and Dr. Westman from Samtse College of Education visited Malmö University and their counterparts at Malmo University to plan for the coming exchange programme. In Malmo, they also had a seminar on Bhutanese folk music at Lund University’s Faculty of Fine and Performing Art – located in Malm6. Besides they spent a few days in Gothenburg and Borås. Photo to the right from Gothenburg.
By chance, another group of four Bhutanese school teachers also visited Sweden and Gothenburg during the same period. It so happened that Båtsmansskolan in Härryda, outside Gothenburg, had successfully applied for another Swedish government funded exchange programme, the Atlas programme, for a collaboration with Samtse Lower Secondary School -located in the same small Bhutanese town as the College of Education.Atlas is a programme for schools and other educational institutions interested in global networking and practical training exchanges. This programme is also administered by the Swedish Council for Higher Education. More information .
The NSAN editor also played a certain role in creating the initial contact between the two schools in Samtse and Härryda, and Lars was therefore invited to meet the entire Bhutanese group in Gothenburg on Sunday 11 February .
In June 2018, the final approval of grant was decided upon, for a period of 8 years. This partnership programme is in between SCE at RUB, Bhutan and NMS at Malmö University ,Sweden. Purna and Johan expressed their sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone whose support was crucial ( and received) for achieving this grant, including Lars Eklund.