DURING his visit to Qatar, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown expressed his support for a British Council-Supreme Education Council (SEC) partnership aimed at improving the quality of teaching and learning of mathematics and science in Qatari schools.
Welcoming such a partnership, Brown said: “This new project in Qatar demonstrates the importance of education in strengthening the long-standing and close ties between our two countries, and the British Council plays a unique and important role in fostering such links”.
The visit by the British prime minister coincided with the start of the groundbreaking Academic Language Support Programme at its dedicated premises in the formerly Qatar Technical College.
The programme, funded by the SEC and implemented by the British Council, aims to develop language and teaching skills of those teaching maths and science in English at government-funded independent schools in Qatar.
Currently, 54 Qatari schools fall in this category, with many more set to gain independence in the near future.
British Council director Simon Winetroube said: “Independent schools in Qatar teach maths and science in English. This can bring enormous benefits when the students progress to tertiary education and the workplace.
“With over 35 years experience of teaching English in Qatar, the British Council is well-placed to help ensure that English language is not a barrier to a high-quality maths and science education.”
Education Institute director Sabah al-Haidoos commented: “The academic language support programme is an exciting project which is addressing an issue of great importance to the Qatar education reforms. We expect it will have a major impact for the benefit of our students.”
Implemented by the British Council’s team of 20 teachers and trainers, the programme will build on British Council experience of projects to address similar issues in Malaysia and Spain.
‘With such extensive use of English in maths and science globally, improving the teaching of these subjects in non-English speaking countries is critical for future generations,” said British Council project manager Eilidh Hamilton.
“This programme in Qatar will use content and language integrated learning methodologies, a new field which has been designed to address this very issue.”
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