At a recent event, 179 English teachers from over 87 government schools were awarded the ‘English for Teaching’ qualification validated by the British Council. This was a result of a special project to enhance the language and teaching skills of Secondary English Language Teachers of Government Schools jointly delivered by NDB and the British Council.
As a responsible corporate citizen, NDB has dedicated itself towards making meaningful benefactions to the society through its Strategic Corporate Responsibility initiatives that uplift and empower the future generation of Sri Lanka and the bank has tied hands with the British Council to mobilize this strategic view on sustainability.
The programme aims to train English teachers in teaching methodologies, thereby increasing the standard of English teaching in Sri Lanka. The programme, which commenced in 2012, was conducted in ten areas this year in six provinces in partnership with the Ministry of Education. Over 175 teachers participated in a 120 hour Training Course which was delivered by the Regional English Support Centre (RESC) trainers who had undertaken British Council Master Trainer training. The course concluded with an award ceremony where the English Teachers passed out with certificates in English for Teaching. This ceremony was held recently at the DHPL Building auditorium, Colombo, with the patronage of officials from Ministry of Education, NDB, and the British Council. The 179 teachers that successfully completed the course impact on over 30,000 pupils across the island.
Commenting on this initiative, Indrajit Wickramasinghe, Chief Operating Officer of NDB said, “English is the universal language of the current global marketplace. Proficiency of this universal language is critical for the success of businesses and the economic progress of the nation. Therefore today, English language has become an essential component in a child’s curriculum. Teachers who nurture our children play a pivotal role in setting high standards of language proficiency in our future generation. With initiatives such as this programme we strive to empower the teachers in the country to provide a higher quality education and thereby raise the bar for education in Sri Lanka. We will continue to seek such opportunities to uplift the standard of education and make a positive contribution towards this national endeavour.”
Reflecting on the Teacher Training programme sponsored by NDB, Mr. Keith Davies, Country Director of the British Council said: “What we do in English creates opportunities for millions of people around the world. Improved English skills can open doors to education, employment, mobility and international engagement. It can also crucially help build connections between different cultures and countries – which is why it remains central to our core mission as the UK’s official cultural relations organisation. In Sri Lanka our work in English takes many forms. This project which we deliver in partnership with NDB Bank is one successful example of our work in English delivered through meaningful corporate partnerships.”
The RESC coordinator at Nuwara Eliya, Nadira Ibrahim, reflected that the dual objectives of language improvement and development of teaching skills had clearly been met, “The teachers have strengthened their methodology on the NDB programme. They really enjoyed the communicative activities which are used in the training and this has given them the experience and confidence to adapt their own lesson plans. For many teachers there are not outside chances to develop their language skills but on this programme they have managed to do that too.”
Ms. S.T. Suganthy, teacher at Holy Trinity T.M.V. Nuwara Eliya, emphasised the impact of the course on her own teaching, “The thing I liked the most about the course was that the ideas and activities are very useful in my classroom. Many of them were new to me but I am able to implement them in my lessons. I also feel that my language skills have improved a lot – I see a big difference.”
Ms. Madubashini Premaratne of the Vishaka Balika Madhya Maha Vidyalaya in Bandarawela said “for me, what was unique about the course was that it was lively and even got out students involved in the training. Every single activity was handpicked and well designed. I’m happy that I’ve been a part of this programme which helped me to discover the real language teacher in me and I believe my teaching has become more meaningful now”.
NDB’s wider approach to sustainability is categorised under three pillars of strategic, philanthropic and operational initiatives, out of which the Strategic initiatives revolve around entrepreneurship and education. NDB continues its efforts to empower the youth of the nation through multiple projects that place emphasis on issues that are critical for sustainable economic growth and the future success of the nation as a whole.