A school in Australia (Source: oaci.org)
Sydney (VNA) – The Australia-ASEAN Council has unveiled a new international partnership programme that connects Australian schools with those across Southeast Asia.

The programme is built on a successful partnership programme operating with Indonesia since 2008.

Australia-ASEAN Council Chairwoman Christine Holgate said BRIDGE, or Building Relationships through Intercultural Dialogue and Growing Engagement, will help strengthen Australia’s links with Southeast Asia and promote increased awareness of the region’s diverse cultures.

“Exposure to each other’s cultures at a young age will help cultivate genuine interest and lasting interaction between Australia and Southeast Asia. By using digital platforms, BRIDGE enables classrooms thousands of kilometres apart to interact as if they were in the same room,” Holgate noted.

In its first year, BRIDGE will partner 15 schools in Australia with five schools in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The partnership will be expanded later to Singapore, the Philippines and Brunei in 2017; and Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar in 2018.

By the end of 2018, the programme will finishe with more than 150 schools expected to get linked.-VNA