BY SAHR DUMBAR MATTURI
As a way of strengthening Global Education by connecting classroom initiatives, a total of forty Educationists from the United Kingdom have conducted professional development exchange with their Sierra Leonean counterparts in Freetown, Hasting, Waterloo and Bo.
The Partnership Conference organized on Saturday 10th February at the British Council Auditorium in Freetown brought together officials from the Ministry of Education Science and Technology, the Teaching Service Commission, Teachers and other educational stakeholders.
In his opening remarks, the British Council Country Director Simon Ingram-Hill maintained that, the Connecting Classrooms initiative is run in thirty countries by the British Council in partnership with the Department for international Development (DFID), adding that Connecting Classrooms initiative is geared toward equipping teachers with the knowledge and techniques to teach young people the skills needed to live and work in an increasing globalized economy.
Head of Delegation from Hull Partnership Madam Kathleen Guthrie disclosed that Connecting Classrooms initiative enables teachers not only to teach the 21st century core skills to children in their classroom, but to visit Partners Schools in other countries, exchange insights and ideas , and improve teaching and learning in Schools. She revealed that the training are based on three six core skill which are; Communication and Collaboration, Critical thinking and Problem solving, Creativity and imagination, Digital Literacy, Citizenship and Student Leadership.
Madam Isabel Hodger, another Head of Delegation from Hastings Partnership in her statement informed officials that since the commencement of the Connecting Classrooms initiative, over 2,500 Head teachers and teachers in Sierra Leone have gone through intensive training in all the districts with the exception of Kono. The programme she said is highly successful through the collaboration of MEST. She furthered that Sierra Leone has a good number of schools partnerships within the Connecting Classrooms programmes.
Madam Hodger citing the Theme “ Create Connect and Collaborate for inclusive Learning” noted that some students are already working with their counterparts in the UK on the existing projects to explore the Sustainable Development Goals; Zero Hunger, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Promotion of Peace and inclusive Societies.
Karry Wilson, an English teacher at the Aspice Academy Hull disclosed that it is very challenging, but in places like the UK, they have provisions for inclusive learning process, but this she has noticed is lacking in Sierra Leone.
In her keynote address Madam Stanella Beckley, the Head of Teaching Service Commission thanked DFID for supporting such a brilliants initiative, and promised the Commission’s support for an inclusive Learning Process, and admonished all teachers in the country to take the Connecting Classrooms Initiative very seriously as it empowers them.