The British Council Nigeria (BCN) in Abuja hosted the 3rd International School Award ceremony to honour four successful schools from Nigeria, who now join the prestigious list of past national and global awardees.
At the event held in Abuja, the schools were awarded with the British Council’s prestigious International School Award,(ISA) in recognition of their work to bringing the world into the classroom.
ISA, it would be noted, is a badge of honour for schools that do outstanding work in international education, especially deepening links with partner schools overseas.
The four schools include: Hallal College, Port Harcourt; Oxbridge Tutorial College, Lagos; Redeemer’s International School, Lagos; and Start Rite School, Abuja.
It was gathered that the international work assesement on the various schools include: international day of zero tolerance to female genetal mutilation; impact of global social media on education; aids awareness; religions of the world; let’s go green- sustainable living and protection of the environment; historical sites of the world; cultural festivals around the world; children in need; active citizennnship; our beautiful planet.
According to John Rolfe, an official from the British Council,the school’s fantastic international work has rightfully earned it this prestigious award.
“ISA is a great chance for schools to demonstrate the important work they are doing to bring the world into their class rooms. The award is available in countries such as United kingdom, India, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus and Pakistan as part of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms Programme, and around 5000 international school awards have been presented to successful schools in the UK since the scheme began in 1999.
“The International School Award also encourages and supports schools to develop as an international ethos embedded throughout the school,” Rolfe said.
In her welcome address, the representative of British Council, Louisa Waddingham noted that educators need to recognise the needs to solve problems in a way to create innovative new solutions to facilitate constructive relationships.
“As educators, you will all recognise the need to solve problems, to create innovative new solutions, and to facilitate constructive relationships between diverse groups of people – is critical to address the challenges the world is facing both at a global and local level,” she said.
She noted that research and media reports over the last few years, from across the political spectrum, have highlighted the paradox of large scale youth unemployment and employers struggling to fill entry level vacancies.
According to her, whilst employers still require and value subject knowledge, they are placing a much greater premium on the need for soft skills – that students are struggling to demonstrate because very few education systems are focused on giving students the opportunity to develop them.
“Our young people need not only to be globally competitive but competent – able to analyse, to develop and to understand intercultural issues and with the social, emotional and leadership skills to contribute to the world’s challenges.
“This is what a relevant education system in the 21st century.
“Our young people need and deserve the opportunity to grow into well-rounded, creative and critical citizens, ready to engage with labour markets and shape the future for themselves and future generations.
“Our work with schools, through our Connecting Classrooms programme directly addresses these issues through contribution to education discourse, system development and provision of support services for teachers and school leaders. Within these work areas, we have brought together international thinking and practice in core skills, competencies and teacher development,” she said.
The awards combine within it the six elements of the Connecting Classrooms programme in internationalising learning such as Creativity, Problem Solving, Student Leadership, Citizenship, Digital Literacy, Collaboration and Communication.
She stressed that British Council remains committed to supporting effective School Leadership and ensuring quality in educational systems.
“Our School Leadership programme focuses on developing essential leadership skills while uniquely applying these skills to the context of embedding an international dimension in the curriculum and ethos of a school,” she said.
In his earlier remarks, the key note speaker, Feyisara Adefisayo, who is also a falilitator with the British Council and and educationist in Wordingham’s discussion on: Effective School Leadership in the 21st Century, averred that in-school factor that affects the success of a child is the quality of teaching, that means the quality of the teachers, teachers are really key, the system cannot rise beyond the level of the teachers, that is how teachers are.
“There are many things that could be done in overhauling Nigeria education system to meet international standard, using the low hanging fruits that is something we can do quickly and something we can address is the quality of our teachers to improvr the quality of training to make teaching a much interesting and widely sought career,” he said.