The annual Council for Business with Britain (CBB) Project English awards ceremony was held recently at the Ministry of Education. At the event, 198 teachers across Sri Lanka were awarded the University of Cambridge Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) UK qualification, having completed a distance-learning teacher training course delivered by mentors in 28 Regional English Support Centres (RESCs) located around the country.
The Chief Guest for the event was Senior Minister of Urban Affairs, A. H. M. Fowzie, and the Guest of Honour was the Secretary of Ministry of Education, Anura Dissanayake. Other dignitaries including Country Director of the British Council Sri Lanka, Keith Davies, and Giles Watkins, Co-Chairman of the CBB and Managing Director of Coates Thread Exports (Private) Limited also graced the occasion.
A non-profit, non-political organisation focused on expanding bilateral trade links between Sri Lanka and the UK, the CBB pursues mutually beneficial business relationships for Sri Lanka and the UK. Organising regular events, CBB helps the business communities from these two countries to come together. The project was designed and is being managed by the British Council with HSBC as the Principal Sponsor.
The CBB-British Council Teacher Training programme started in 2006. The overall goal of the programme is to upgrade the English skills of pupils and this is achieved through improving the quality of the teaching practice in their schools. The project has trained a total of 57 mentors from the Ministry of Education’s RESCs ensuring the project’s wide geographical coverage across Sri Lanka. The mentors deliver in-service teacher training to teachers in their areas using a distance learning course, which leads to the internationally recognised University of Cambridge Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT).
Keith Davies, Country Director for the British Council, said: “The British Council strives to reach millions of teachers and learners of English and to provide them with access to the best resources and latest approaches to English language teaching and learning from the UK. This project is one example of our work in English. We have trained over 1,000 English language teachers in Sri Lanka through the CBB Project English programme with the support of the Ministry of Education.”
Speaking at the event, Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Anura Dissanayake, said: “The Ministry of Education is keen to maintain its valuable relationship with the British Council and to continue to sustain programmes such as this one in Sri Lanka. The Ministry recognises the value of TKT in providing an internationally recognised UK qualification and how this is a powerful motivational tool. We know that there are many teachers here today who have made long journeys to attend study group meetings in the RESCS as part of this programme.”
The TKT examination comprises of three modules which focus on the core knowledge and skills needed by teachers of the English language.