Connecting Classrooms is a British Council and UKaid co-funded programme for schools. The main purpose of the programme is to provide schools with support to nurture global citizenship giving them skills, knowledge, values and aptitudes to succeed in a global economy.
The four strands of the Connecting Classroom Programme are
- Continuous Professional Development
- International School Award
- Policy Dialogue
To support the four strands we have activities to facilitate Nepali schools for international school partnership, to provide teachers with an online and offline professional development opportunity, to offer benchmarking schemes for schools, to encouraging collaborative teaching and learning through digital platform. We build relationships and work with education policymakers, encouraging them to develop best practice in education and global citizenship and support Nepal's national priorities. Connecting Classroom has over 200 schools in its network and over 1000 teachers have participated in various British Council schools activities online and face to face.
About the Policy Engagement
The policy engagement programme was organised on 18 August at the Hotel Radisson. The programme provided a platform for stakeholders of the Education sector from Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India to engage in a discussion on where they are currently with preparing their students for a place in the global economy and how they might embed the international dimension offer in their schools.
During the event, schools from Sri Lanka and Nepal shared their positive impact stories in the learning and teaching methodology in the classroom after embedding international dimension in their own local curriculum.
Policymakers and educators explored the correct context on leading and embedding the International dimension in the school curriculum. The Special guests present were:
- Mr H.M.N Herath, Provincial Education Directory for the North Western Province, Ministry of Education Sri Lanka
- Dr Balchandra Luitel, Acting Dean, Kathmandu University School of Education
- Dr Bal Krishna Ranjit, Deputy Director, Curriculum Development Centre
- Khagaraj Baral, Executive Director, National Centre for Educational Development
- Hari Lamsal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Education
The Chief Guest Dr Lava Deo Awasthi, Director General of Department of Education expressed “I am honoured to be here today and would like to thank British Council for taking such an innovative initiative. We want our children to respect our identity and embrace diversity at the same time as we are a multilingual country. Therefore, it is equally very important to embed national and international dimension in our curriculum to ensure they lead the path to become good citizens of the world.”
While Dr Bal Krishna Ranjit, Deputy Director of Curriculum Development Centre highlighted “I fully concur that it is time to bring about change in our present Curriculum and provide quality education. We are working collaboratively with the British Council in planning in joint curriculum mapping to analyse and identify areas for project-based learning as per curriculum need. We assure our full commitment in deconstructing and revising our existing curriculum to transform and embed new international dimension in our teaching and learning.”
Dr Jovan Ilic, Acting Country Director, British Council Nepal concluded the event by expressing:
“We need to change the attitudes of teachers and students, and move away from rote learning and also rote teaching, especially in Grades 9 and 10 in preparation for the SLC examination. Instead, we need to encourage and support creative teaching and learning, especially of 21st Century Skills, such as decision making, problem solving, self-awareness and empathy, whilst also covering all relevant areas of our subject whether it be Mathematics or English or Physics, and also the curriculum as instructed by the Government. We learnt today that it is possible to do all three without it creating extra work for the teacher; in fact it can often reduce the workload, so we need a change in attitude.
We are looking forward to working closely with the Ministry of Education to carry out the curriculum mapping exercise which will support teachers to do exactly this. The curriculum mapping will identify resources and materials that can be used in the classroom, or for reference, so that teachers can move away from following textbooks from the beginning to the end.
He also said that “The British Council through our Connecting Classrooms project not only links schools from Nepal to the UK but also schools from all round the world. By creating those links we are trying to nurture greater understanding of society and what shapes us as individuals. This learning can then be used for action to create a better and fairer world.”