The British Council has been creating opportunities and empowering the lives of school children and teachers of English island-wide for over 60 years. One of the main ways in which the organisation provides educational opportunities is by delivering a range of UK examinations and qualifications on behalf of recognised UK examination boards. Globally, the British Council delivers over 2.5 million examinations to around 2 million people each year. In Sri Lanka, the organisation delivers over 80,000 exams each year, contributing to the educational and professional development of over 30,000 candidates around the island.
The majority of British Council examination candidates are from international schools that sit for school exams offered by examination bodies such as Edexcel and Cambridge International Exams. To provide increased opportunities to students sitting for these exams, the British Council announced at a forum held recently that they will be expanding their global ‘Connecting Classrooms’ programme to the international school network in Sri Lanka.
The forum titled “Exams, Education, and Learning” was attended by principals of international schools and featured a knowledgeable panel including Dr. John Scarth, Principal of British School of Colombo, Ms. Jill McDonald, Principal of the Study Sixth Form College, Mrs. Kumari Hapugalle Perera, CEO of Alethea Group, and Dr. Ajantha Dharmasiri, Senior Faculty Member of Postgraduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
At the event, Manager Schools and Society, Sanjeevani Munasinghe, said, “Connecting classrooms is a programme that promotes the integration of an international dimension to the local school curriculum. The primary output of the programme is to connect school children, teachers and school administrators from Sri Lankan schools with those in the UK and other countries, creating an enriching learning environment for all. Since 2009, we have been delivering the programme to over 350 public schools around the country, from Monaragala to Batticaloa and from Anuradhapura to Hambantota.”
Speaking at the forum, Country Examinations Manager of the British Council, Harriet Gardner said, “We’ve been delivering examinations to thousands of candidates each year, assisting them to realise their educational goals. Expanding our Connecting Classrooms programme to international schools is yet another way in which we can provide more and richer opportunities for students and teachers.”
Country Director of the British Council, Keith Davies, said, “Creating opportunities worldwide is at the heart of the British Council’s mission. We work extremely closely with the Ministry of Education to deliver the Connecting Classrooms programme to public schools in Sri Lanka and hopefully, you will join us in assisting us to provide this wonderful opportunity to students and teachers of international schools in Sri Lanka as well.”
Connecting Classrooms is a programme that reaps many benefits for students and teachers alike. It helps design, develop and implement international activities in schools which create global awareness in both teachers and students across a range of subjects. It also optimises their opportunities for networking by building learning partnerships between Sri Lankan and overseas schools through curriculum based project activities.