British Council and South Africa's Department for Basic Education sign joint work plan at Education World Forum 2024.

British Council and South Africa's Department for Basic Education sign joint work plan at Education World Forum 2024.

21st May 2024

21 May 2024, London, UK – The British Council and the Department for Basic Education officially sign a joint work plan during the Education World Forum in the UK. This milestone enhances education in South Africa.

George Barrett, Country Director, British Council South Africa, and Mr. Hubert Mweli, Director-General, Department for Basic Education, lead the signing ceremony. The joint work plan represents a comprehensive roadmap for the continued partnership between the British Council and the Department for Basic Education. It outlines strategic initiatives to improve education quality, focusing on Schools Connect and English Programmes.

"We are excited to formalise our joint work plan with the Department for Basic Education at the Education World Forum," says George Barrett. "This partnership already yields significant benefits for the South African education system, and we look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts to improve educational outcomes for learners across the country."

The Schools Connect programme focuses on inclusive education, core and foundational skills, and international opportunities. Through our Schools Connect programme, we bring together policymakers from the UK and other countries to learn from each other and collaborate on shared challenges.

English Programmes focus on enhancing English language teaching and learning, especially in reading through teacher training, curriculum development, and provision of learning resources. Both initiatives already achieve notable success.

Notable achievements include partnership in the ‘Teaching for All initiative’, which equips educators with inclusive teaching strategies to better address diverse learner needs.

The Department for Basic Education also partners with the British Council in the ‘Learn English Audio Programme’, which supports teachers, parents, and caregivers from remote and under-resourced schools in African countries to improve listening and speaking skills, the building blocks of foundational literacy, and to access quality English learning resources.

The joint work plan builds on these achievements, ensuring sustained progress and impact. Key areas of focus include:

  • Expanding teacher training: Increasing the number of teachers trained in the content and pedagogy of reading comprehension.
  • Resource enhancement: Providing additional educational materials and digital resources to schools across South Africa.

The British Council's Schools Connect and English Programmes have strong ties with the Department for Basic Education, improving teacher capabilities and learner performance. By signing this joint work plan, both reaffirm their commitment to fostering educational excellence and creating opportunities for learners and educators in South Africa.

The Education World Forum 2024, held from May 19 to 22 in London, is the world's largest gathering of education and skills ministers. This annual event brings together ministers, policymakers, and experts to discuss and address key issues in education, share best practices, and foster international collaboration.

The forum's theme for 2024 focuses on encouraging Artificial Intelligence understanding, building human relationships and resilience, and accelerating climate action, all aimed at prioritising policies for a stronger, bolder, and better education system.


Notes to editor:

About British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2022–23 we reached 600 million people.

For more information about the Education work that we do in the British Council South Africa, please contact, Glenn Allies, Head of English Programmes +27769108025 /

For more information about the British Council, please contact Nebiyou Worku, Senior Regional Marketing Manager, English Programmes and Schools Connect, Sub Saharan Africa, +251116174300 / +251911512840 / .

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