I first visited the British Council library as a school student in the mid-1980s. During my university days, the British Council Library became an extremely valuable resource for me, and I often visited it with my colleagues to find information to complete our assignments. I strongly believe that the British Council library was instrumental in helping me achieve academic success.
I had the opportunity to participate in many local and foreign programmes organized by the British Council and the experience gained there was extremely useful in my career.
My relationship with the British Council strengthened further when I joined the Ministry of Education in 2009. As an Assistant Director of Education in the English and Foreign Languages Branch, I was the focal point of contact for the British Council in many projects implemented with the Ministry. My first project with the British Council was the Global Schools Partnership Programme, which provided opportunities for many Sri Lankan and UK teachers and students to work together on various partnership programmes. It gave me immense pleasure to work on this project. I received many positive comments from teachers and students from schools in Sri Lanka who visited their partner schools in the UK and obtained firsthand experience on projects they were working on together.
The next phase was the Connecting Classrooms project which gave the opportunity to many school principals, teachers and students in Sri Lankan schools to enhance their educational experience by visiting UK schools and working collaboratively in multiple disciplines. Working on these projects helped me a lot to improve my project management skills. I had the opportunity to participate in many local and foreign programmes organized by the British Council and the experience gained there was extremely useful in my career.
One of the most successful projects that I am currently working on with the British Council is the iTESL (improving Teacher Education in Sri Lanka) project, where I am working as the project coordinator. The project aims to enhance the instructional leadership skills of school principals, improve training and mentoring skills of Teacher Educators in the pre-service sector and In-service Advisors in the in-service sector as well as improving the teaching skills of English language teachers. During the last three years since its implementation in 2017, the project has successfully trained many teacher educators, In-Service-Advisors and school principals. In my school supervision, I have personally observed them performing very well in their workplaces.
I strongly believe that the British Council library was instrumental in helping me achieve academic success.
I am happy that the staff of the British Council took every possible measure to make all of our collaborative projects a success. As a result, we were able to achieve our project goals successfully. I hope the British Council will continue to support the education sector in Sri Lanka in the future as well.
It has always been a great pleasure to work with the British Council staff. I extend my best wishes to the British Council staff and management in their 70th anniversary in Sri Lanka.