Wednesday 21 October 2015


Connecting Classroom programme aims to contribute to Sustainable Development goal to ensure quality education for all. This reflects the increasing international consensus that we need to put our world on a more sustainable development path, and that education is fundamental to it.

British Council and UK’s Department for International Development announce proposals to engage with more than two million young people from the Middle East and North Africa, develop the knowledge, skills and values to live and work in a globalised economy and to contribute responsibly both locally and globally.

The programme, running from 2015-2018, will provide access to high quality resources to 3,500 schools to deliver improved learning outcomes for young people, and build the capacity of 4,000 teachers and school leaders in this region to support them to integrate a range of core skills into the curriculum, with a focus on:

  • digital literacy
  • critical thinking and problem solving
  • creativity and imagination
  •  student leadership
  • collaboration and communication
  • citizenship

Connecting Classrooms will aim to improve teaching in Egypt, Morocco, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Yemen in the following key areas:

  • Professional development for more than 4,000 teachers and school leaders;
  • Sustainable partnerships between schools in this region and the UK;
  • Professional dialogue opportunities for policy makers that will support national and regional level debate, reflection and action;
  • Awards to schools which are successful in equipping young people with the knowledge and skills to live and work in a globalised economy;
  • Online access to high quality resources to support teachers in delivering improved learning outcomes for young people.

The new programme builds upon the success of the first phase of Connecting Classrooms, which ran from 2012 to 2015, and focussed on building global awareness and cross-cultural learning amongst young people. This has so far enabled over 28,000 teachers in this region to benefit from professional development training, with over 900 schools engaged in this programme including 112 international partnerships with UK schools.

British Council Regional Director, Adrian Chadwick said:“Through Connecting Classrooms, learners will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.”

British Council Head of Schools, Mark Herbert said: “As educators, our responsibility is to prepare every young person for their future in the best possible way. Qualifications and knowledge remain essential but on their own they are no longer enough to secure a successful future. Rather, young people need and deserve the opportunity to learn a wider range of skills that help them to grow into well-rounded, creative and critical citizens.  With a combination of knowledge, skills and values they will me more ready to play their part in the global economy and to shape the future for themselves and future generations.

Notes to Editor

1.    Connecting Classrooms is £34 million jointly funded programme with the British Council and The Department for International Development (DFID), for the period June 2015 to June 2018.

2.    Over the past three years and in partnership with ministries of education, school leaders, teachers and students from countries in MENA, the Connecting Classrooms programme has facilitated thousands of school partnerships and has exceeded expectations on professional development for teachers with over 28,000 benefiting from high quality training in global citizenship, ICT and English language for international exchange. 


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

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