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Regional News of Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Source: GNA

BC inaugurates phase three of Connecting Classrooms

The British Council (BC) in collaboration with the UK Department of International Development (DFID) has inaugurated phase three of the Connecting Classrooms programme in Accra.

Connecting Classrooms, a programme the British Council has run since 2008, has developed long-term, sustainable partnerships, support schools and the wider community in developing successful, educational partnerships between schools in the UK and schools in other parts of the world in over 30 countries.

In Ghana, the Connecting Classrooms Phase three would within the next three years build the capacity of more than 10,000 teachers and 2,000 school heads to support them integrate core skills learnt into the curriculum.

The phase three aims at improving teaching in both Ghana and the UK in areas such as professional development for teachers and sustainable partnerships between schools in Ghana and the UK.

The phase two saw to the capacity building of more than 5,000 teachers across the country; which transformed their teaching methodology to impact on teaching and learning.

Mr Jon Benjamin, the British High Commissioner, in his address at the launch, said education is a key thing for the British Council and is only through education, “we believe that Ghana and other developing countries will reach full prosperity for all their citizens in time”.

He urged developing countries including Ghana to focus on strengthening their educational system.

He said the British Council had a scholarship programme which enables students with leadership qualities from 150 countries around the world including Ghana to undertake post graduate studies in UK universities.

Mr Benjamin said in 2014 the number of Ghanaians who benefited from the scholarship scheme was increased from three to 21, and that applications were now opened until November 3, for the 2016/2017 academic year.

Mrs Liliana Biglou, the Director, British Council Ghana, said the Connecting Classrooms project since its inception, aims at raising young people’s awareness of global development issues and equipping them with the skills and knowledge to become active global citizens.

She said the programme would help school children build their confidence level in life.

Mrs Pamela Jenkins, Team Leader, Human Development Team, DFID, said the priority of the British Government was to help Ghana get back on track to becoming a solid and sustainable middle income country, able, in time, to fund its own development.

She said the support was focused on working with the Government of Ghana to strengthen macro-economic management.

“This year, DFID in Ghana is spending around £65 million of UK aid and about the same amount again is reaching Ghana from our centrally managed programmes and from the UK share of multilateral contributions,” she stated.

She said the DFID supported over 140,000 children in basic education; and also provided over 30,000 girls with incentives to attend secondary school and expect this number to reach 80,000 by the end of the year.

Mrs Ann Burgess, British Council Schools Leadership Consultant, said Connecting Classrooms would help develop leadership, incorporate international dimension in the curriculum and develop them as Global Citizens.

Mrs Rabiana Azarah Amandi, the Director Pre-Tertiary Education, Ministry of Education, in her keynote address lauded the British Government for the Connecting Classrooms project.

She said both the Education Ministry and the Ghana Education Service (GES) expect the programme to re-orientate the school heads, teachers and students to be well placed in the right context to make the most out of the skills and learning experiences they would acquire from the programme.

She said: “‘Sharing’ it is said is ‘caring’, so we are all out for the partnership and collaboration to make the best out of all shared experiences to impact upon teaching and learning in schools.”

Mr Jacob A. M. Korh, the Acting Director General of the Ghana Education Service urged teachers, head teachers, district and regional directors of education to become transformational leaders; in order to impact positively on children.

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