British Council to support English in Afghanistan

November 04, 2013

The British Council (BC) has announced two major programmes to support English language teaching in Afghanistan, following meetings in London with the country’s President Hamid Karzai.

Source: President Karzai (left) meets with John Mitchell, BC Director in Afghanistan (right)

The BC will work with the Afghan Ministry of Education to train 16,500 English teachers – estimated to be around a third of the country’s total – to help improve the standards of English language teaching across the country.

The second agreement will see the BC working with the Ministry of Higher Education to support the transition of Kabul’s public universities towards teaching in English.

President Karzai said after the meeting, “We are very pleased that the British Council is able to support the future generations of Afghanistan and we are happy and committed to support these educational programmes. When the British Council takes one step, we will take many steps to further your initiatives. English as a medium requirement at schools will create many more opportunities for our students in higher education.”

John Mitchell, Director of the British Council in Afghanistan, said, “I am delighted that we have agreed these new programmes with President Karzai and the Afghan government. The British Council is committed to working in Afghanistan and supporting its long-term development. Having an integrated approach to English language teaching implemented across the national education system will enable the best possible results and impact, supporting the next generation of Afghans to gain international skills, attract investment and present their country on the world’s stage.”

Mitchell said that international collaboration would still be required when Afghanistan transitions away from a military presence in 2014/15, and added that the Afghan government recognised that education, including English, was critical to development.

The British Council has been working in Afghanistan since 1964 and currently runs programmes across the arts, sport, English language, secondary and higher education in the country.

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