Schools in Tayside and Fife are being encouraged by the Foreign Secretary to sign up for a scheme which partners pupils with their peers in the developing world.
On what is World Teachers’ Day, Dominic Raab urged more schools in the region to support the Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning (CCGL) programme.
The scheme puts Scottish pupils in touch with children of the same age in 29 developing countries across Africa, the Middle East and Asia via video link.
Beath High School in Cowdenbeath, Rosebank Primary School in Dundee and Muthill Primary School in Crieff are some of the schools who are already in involved in the programme.
Through the initiative, pupils at both Beath High and Rosebank Primary have formed a partnership with schools in Malawi.
Ian Mitchell, principal teacher of physics at Beath HS, and secretary of the Beath Malawi Partnership said: “Our cluster is very excited to be involved in the Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning Project.
“We trust that our involvement will bring the communities around Beath HS and those around our partner schools of Mapanga PS and Njale PS in Malawi closer together through common goals.
“There are so many similarities between the communities in the different countries but there is also the opportunity to explore and understand the differences between our two countries.”
Connecting Classrooms has become more than just a partnership between our schools in Scotland and Ghana – it feels like we are now family.”
Keri Reid, principal teacher at Muthill Primary School
Headteacher of Rosebank Primary, Jennifer Heffell, added: “It is a wonderful to be part of something that promises to bring communities around the world together, giving young people the opportunity to explore both the similarities and differences of growing up in different countries.
“The lives of our pupils and staff will be hugely enriched by being encouraged through CCGL to learn how issues like climate change, gender equality and sustainable development goals can help bring positive changes for everyone in the world.”
In Perthshire, pupils at Muthill Primary School have linked up with the Juliet Johnson School in Tafo, Ghana.
The principal teacher of the school, Keri Reid, was awarded an MBE by the Queen last year for her work in bringing a global awareness to her pupils – and has even had a Ghanaian baby named after her.
She explained: “Connecting Classrooms has become more than just a partnership between our schools in Scotland and Ghana – it feels like we are now family.
“We’ve become so close that when my daughter was born, we named her after the director of the Ghanaian school, Juliet, because she’s just such an inspirational woman. She was christened Grace Juliet.
“Last summer Juliet told me her son had had a baby girl and they were calling her Kendra Keri after me. I cannot wait to meet her when I eventually get a chance to get back over to Ghana. She looks a real cutie.”
The lives of our pupils and staff will be hugely enriched by being encouraged through CCGL to learn how issues like climate change, gender equality and sustainable development goals can help bring positive changes for everyone in the world.”
Rosebank Primary head teacher, Jennifer Heffell
The £37million programme, run by the British Council and co-funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, has already helped over 2,000 British schools.
Speaking about the scheme, the Foreign Secretary said: “From Lockerbie to Kirkwall, this initiative is connecting Scottish teachers and pupils with schools worldwide to discuss – and find solutions to – global issues like climate change, while building friendships for life.
“As we celebrate World Teacher Day, we want to encourage more Scottish schools to get involved so that even more children can enjoy the benefits of this inspirational programme.”