The Supporting 21st Century Skills programme aimed to equip secondary English teachers to be able to adapt their teaching and the activities in the English textbook to support their students to develop six key 21st century skills: critical thinking and problem solving; citizenship; collaboration and communication; digital literacy; creativity and imagination; and leadership and personal development. The programme was sponsored by the National Development Bank (NDB) and implemented by the British Council in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Education. The training was conducted by 10 Regional English Support Centres (RESCs) across Sri Lanka. This report is based on an early impact evaluation of the programme.
The evaluation found that the training was successful in opening up new possibilities in teaching approaches and largely successful in achieving the desired outcomes. Challenges to being able to support students to develop 21st century skills were identified including the textbook, the examination system, and a lack of digital resources in rural schools.
The aims of the Supporting 21st Century Skills programme and the government’s ‘Re-imagining Education in Sri Lanka’ roadmap are complementary. Hence, it is hoped that the lessons learned from the evaluation of this pilot will be invaluable in supporting the rollout of the ‘Re- Imagining’ framework.