Connecting Classrooms is a global education program run in partnership with the UK Department for International Development (DFID/UKAid) that helps young students learn about global issues. It connects students and teachers with peers in the UK and 50 other countries throughout Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Through the Connecting Classrooms School Partnerships which began in 2006, students have the opportunity to carry out joint curriculum projects, developing skills in teamwork, critical thinking, and acquiring a global outlook. "Schools Online" provide a web space and online support for schools to link with other schools from across the world and undertake 1-year long equitable partnership with other schools, which involve exchange visits. The goal of the program is to increase students' engagement in their learning about curriculum subjects and other societies, thereby becoming more productive global citizens.
The goal of CC School Partnerships is to introduce global issues into local curricula through school linking and the opportunity for teachers and students to learn about other countries and cultures. It works with over 160 primary and secondary schools across Nigeria - including both public and private institutions - with an aim to build capacity of and provide support to teachers and school administrators. The initiative thereby contributes to improving the quality of education in Nigeria, equipping students for career advancement and facilitating responsible citizenship. Schools involved in partnerships stand the opportunity to benefit from available British Council travel and competition grants.
Connecting Classrooms - School Partnerships is part of several initiatives developed by the British Council to improve the quality of teaching and learning in Nigeria. To learn more about British Council's other programs, visit the CEI profile pages for Connecting Classrooms - Professional Development School Leadership Mentoring Program and Badiliko Digital Hubs.
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CEI approaches in action
The initiative is operational in state schools and as such, reaches children from low-income families.
- Since 2006, the British Council has linked 160 Nigerian schools (a mixture of private and public; primary, secondary, faith-based schools) to schools in the UK to promote an international dimension to education through joint curriculum projects and sharing of best practices. About 120,000 students from Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Kano, Kaduna states have so far been engaged, and from April 2009 to March 2013, 18, 079 teachers have been trained.
- Over 5,200 schools and 936,000 young people across the world have participated in Connecting Classrooms.
Domestically, School Partnerships have been introduced in Oyo, Edo and Delta States.
Plans for future growth include developing and expanding the digital platforms so that school participation will not be limited to a state where there is physical British Council presence alone. There are also plans to deepen partnerships with Microsoft and other partners who work in the same area and have a passion for improving the education system.
Monitoring & Evaluation
Projects are monitored against plans. Usually there is a baseline, and at intervals, questionnaires are administered. School visits are carried out and impact/success stories are shared with internal and external stakeholders. The impact of such school links has been measured through the number and quality of school partnerships, as well as impact stories generated by participants involved in the partnerships. Participation in the school link partnerships has resulted in:
- A change in perception of participants about UK and Nigerian cultures
- Professional development for teachers through experience sharing with counterparts from other parts of the world
- An enriched curriculum