International Forum for Teachers (IFT) 2018

The University of Nottingham, Pearson Edexcel and Gateway Graduate School in collaboration with the British Council, RMIT University and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) will host the third consecutive International Forum for Teachers (IFT) at BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka. This year, due to popular demand, the conference themed ‘From Sage on the Stage to Guide by the Side’, will be repeated over two days on the 13th and 14th of July 2018.

The IFT conference, is the first of its kind and is open to all teachers of the state, private and international schools of Sri Lanka and regional countries. IFT’s mission is to assist in developing world-class teachers through global partnership, collaboration and dialogue. The annual conference of the IFT offers delegates the opportunities to network, exchange best practices and gain better understanding of the rapidly changing environments of school education globally.

The Theme: ‘From Sage on the Stage to Guide by the Side’

This year’s event will include presentations from eminent international and local speakers with wide global exposure, panel discussions and networking opportunities. The 2018 conference embarks on the challenging task of addressing the issue of the changing role of teachers in the 21st Century and the future with a focus on the concept of ‘teachers as guides to their students’. The goal is to unpick the complex tapestry of the changing contexts, demands and needs of education and help teachers understand and acquire the skills necessary to be relevant to the learning environment and society. Some of the key issues discussed about teachers’ changing contexts are as follows: holistic educators, role as a knowledge compass, inspirers and motivators, coaches and mentors, spiritual guides, and companions for life.

‘The Sri Lankan Teacher of the Year’ Award

IFT 2018 will also feature the inauguration of the first ever ‘The Sri Lankan Teacher of the Year’ award. Aravinda De Silva, Sri Lanka’s elite cricketer and the match winner of the 1996 world cup final has committed to contribute One Million Rupees to the annual teacher award which will be open to all teachers of Sri Lanka. Aravinda dedicates this award to his former Principal, Mr. R.I.T. Alles and his beloved father, late Mr. Sam De Silva. The award will be given on the 14th of July by Hon. Sajith Premadasa, Minister of Housing and Construction. Mr. Sunil Hettiarachchi, Secretary of Education will also grace the occasion.

Moderator of the IFT 2018 Conference

Prof. Dr. Ganakumaran Subramaniam - Head of the School of Education, the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

Prof. Dr. Ganakumaran Subramaniam is the Head of School and Professor at the School of Education, University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus. He is the President of the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association and Vice President of Asia TEFL. He holds a B.Ed. in TESL from University Putra Malaysia. He read for his Master’s and PhD at the University of Nottingham, UK. He is a Fulbright Scholar with attachments in New York, Washington and New Mexico, USA. He is also the Executive Director of the Bangladesh College Education Development Project (2016-2021) funded by the Government of Bangladesh and the World Bank.

Speakers at the IFT 2018 Conference

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cynthia Yolanda Doss, Associate Professor of the School of Education, the University of Nottingham

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cynthia Yolanda Doss is the Director of the Post Graduate Certificate of Higher Education Programme at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. Her areas of research are Brain-based Learning, Literacy, Mind Mapping and Critical Thinking. She has been actively involved in teaching training, trainer-the-trainer, curriculum design and materials production as well as teaching Business English and Mind Mapping courses for both the public and private sectors over many years. She has presented papers at national and international conferences and has co-authored several ELT books.

Mr. David Kaye, International Teacher Trainer, Education Consultant and Coach

Mr. David Kaye is a professional teacher trainer, education consultant and coach who focuses on delivering effective, outcomes-oriented professional development to learners across South East Asia. For over ten years he has created learning and content integration programmes, face-to-face and blended for biggest education publishers, using diverse delivery modes: online, public and private schools, international and bilingual schools and leading regional universities.

Ms. Kim Insley, Lecturer at University College London (UCL) Institute of Education

Ms. Kim Insley is a trained teacher with over forty years’ experience working in the profession. Her work began with schools in the UK where she was a primary teacher responsible for music. She moved into higher education and worked with three major institutions including the Open University in supporting teacher education. She has worked at the prestigious Institute of Education (IOE) for more than 20 years in initial teacher education and master’s teaching. Her research is in professional development, inclusive education, music and mathematics education.

Mr. Rohan Pallewatte, Executive Chairman of Lanka Harness Co.

Mr. Rohan Pallewatte is the Executive Chairman of Lanka Harness Company (Pvt) Ltd. The core business of this company is the manufacturing of impact sensors for automobile airbags and seat belts. The customers of his company include Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi and Mazda of Japan, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler of the USA, and Volvo, SAAB, BMW, Aston Martin, Opel and Renault of Europe. An Attorney-at-Law by profession, versatile Mr. Pallewatte holds a B.A. (English Special) degree and has an MBA from the University of Sri Jayawardanepura.

Ms. Kishani Jayasinghe-Wijayasekara, International Operatic Soprano and International Commercial Lawyer

Ms. Kishani Jayasinghe-Wijeyasekara is an international operatic soprano, Deputy Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre, Founder and Artistic Director of the Colombo Opera Company and Kishani Jayasinghe School of Voice, international commercial lawyer, creator and author of “Voice for Women”, educator, motivational speaker, philanthropist, pioneer for opera in South Asia as well as an advocate and an International Goodwill Ambassador for Women. Ms. Jayasinghe-Wijayasekara is an alumna of the University of Nottingham, UK, having completed both her LLB (Hons) and LLM at the university.

Panellists at the IFT 2018 Conference

Mr. Aravinda de Silva, Cricketing Legend

A cricketing legend who has left an indelible presence in the annals of sporting history. Mr. Aravinda de Silva is the match winner of the 1996 Cricket World Cup for Sri Lanka. He has continued to provide yeoman service to Sri Lanka Cricket after his retirement. Mr. de Silva is also a highly successful business professional. At present, he is the Deputy Chairman of Ideal Finance Company.

Rev. Marc Billimoria, Warden of S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia

Rev. Marc Billimoria is the 19th Warden of S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia and brings with him more than two decades of experience as an educator par excellence. Rev. Billimoria holds academic qualifications from the University of Oxford and the University of Poona. He has also undergone training at the prestigious Anglican Seminary, Ripon College Cuddesdon, of the University of Oxford.

Mr. Harish Doraiswamy, Vice President-Qualifications, Schools and Vocational, South Asia, Pearson

Mr. Harish Doraiswamy is Vice-President - Qualifications, Schools and Vocational (South Asia) at Pearson. He is responsible for all Pearson verticals in South Asia outside India besides managing part of Pearson’s operations in India. He has been associated with the education sector for more than a decade and has managed K12 School operations across Asia.

Further details can be obtained by calling Rushika or Imeshi on 0772256356, 2695103, 2695107 or by writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..