By Fred Ezeh
Start Rite International School, Abuja, and three others, Oxbridge Tutorial College, Lagos, Hallel College, Port Harcourt, and Redeemers’ International Secondary School, Lagos, were last week celebrated as winners of the 2017 edition of the British Council International School Award (ISA).
The ISA is a global benchmarking project that recognises outstanding work by schools that are committed to developing international dimensions in their curriculum, to help young learners become effective global citizens.
It also provides a framework for schools to develop an action plan and implement international academic activities throughout the year, and encourage schools to partner with their counterparts abroad to create a rich learning experience for students using ICT, creative pedagogical practice and real context for learning.
The Director of Programmes, British Council Nigeria, Louisa Waddington, in her welcome address said, “While we have much to gain from our increased international connections, supported by digital technologies, we are also more exposed to the reality of increasing inequalities.
“Our young people need not only to be globally competitive but also globally competent, able to analyse, develop and understand inter-cultural issues and with the social, emotional and leadership skills to contribute to the world’s challenges. That is what a relevant education system in the 21st century needs to offer.”
She congratulated the winners and challenged them to maintain the standards that won them the award, to remain relevant and satisfy the educational needs of young learners and prepare them, academically and otherwise, for future challenges.
Project Manager, Schools Education, British Council Nigeria, Lynda Ashaolu, reminded the guests and other schools that ISA was not the exclusive right of some school but open to all.
She explained that the award was open to any recognised school offering any curriculum, state, national or international. The minimum requirements include basic infrastructure, at least one computer with Internet facility, and one teacher with adequate working knowledge of English language.
She said that schools stand a better chance of ISA recognition if they are proactively seeking ways of improving classroom transaction and initiate some transformational changes from traditional to more innovative methods of learning.
In a brief presentation, the Principal Consultant/CEO, Leading Learning Limited, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, highlighted the importance and effectiveness of quality school leadership in the 21st century, stressing that such quality school leadership was the only way to make learning more fun and effective.
She reminded school managers of the obvious change in times, which requires a change in approach, to achieve the primary objective of education, which is to impart knowledge, skills, competence, character and other similar traits that would help the student withstand future shocks.
For Executive Director, Start Rite School, Abuja, Mrs. Amaka Ndoma-Egba, the award was a landmark achievement and justification to all the efforts put in place, academically and otherwise, to bring the school up to international standard, providing and delivering academic programmes that would make children global citizens.