Over the last few years, research and evidence have shown that the majority of education systems around the world are not equipping young people with the skills they need in this rapidly changing environment.
The Connecting Classroom conference held at the Eko Hotel, Lagos on February 16, 2018, provided a platform for the learning and sharing of best-practice strategies and ideas from education practitioners.
It showcased the core skills teaching experiences from a UK perspective as well as the perspectives of a selection of over 5,000 Nigerian teachers trained across primary, secondary, public and private schools.
The conference highlighted the practicality of these skills in delivering effective teaching and learning within the current education curriculum.
It also initiated a discourse for the embedding, sustainability and uptake within the Nigeria education system amongst representatives of various state and national education stakeholders. These include Federal Ministry of Education Nigeria Education Research and Development Council (NERDC), Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), National Commission of Colleges of Education (NCCE), Lagos State Ministry of Education, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
A major highlight of the conference was the double panel discussion sessions held separately for practitioners and for policymakers. The sessions produced responses from the panellists on the relevance, practicality, adaptability and sustainability of these teaching and learning skills in the Nigerian education system.
One of the planned outcomes of the conference is to promote further collaboration between British Council and the relevant organizations in the integration of the 21st century learning skills in the Nigerian Curriculum.
Connecting Classrooms is British Council’s global education programme for schools. Jointly funded by the British Council and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), it is designed to help young people develop the knowledge, skills and values to live and work in a globalised economy, and contribute responsibly both locally and globally.
In Nigeria, Connecting Classrooms has been delivering professional development courses (face-to-face and online) and workshops for teachers, head teachers (principals) and policy dialogue engagement with Ministry of Education officials since 2009.
In the past nine years, Connecting Classrooms has provided a platform to develop teachers’ understanding and skills to effectively integrate global issues and international learning into their teaching.
It also allows students and young people to collaborate with their peers around the world on joint curricula projects and subjects. The professional development strand has trained over 150,000 teachers and head teachers and fostered school partnership links between over 200 schools in Nigeria and schools in the UK and other Sub Saharan African countries.
The 2013/2014 Education for All Global Monitoring Report stated that curriculums need to ensure that young people learn foundation skills (e.g. literacy and numeracy) in a manner that enhances transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving and advocacy and conflict resolution in order to help them become responsible global citizens.
British Council’s redesigned Connecting Classrooms 2015-18 programme aims to address this gap in global skills and will build the capacity of teachers to integrate a range of Core Skills into the curriculum, therefore improving learning outcomes for students and enabling them to become more globally aware and competitive. The core skills are critical thinking & problem solving, collaboration & communication, creativity & imagination, citizenship, digital literacy and student leadership and personal development.