Ugu: District schools urged to form UK partnerships

2011-09-13 00:00

SECONDARY schools in the Ugu district have been encouraged to forge global school partnerships to take advantage of educational benefits.

The British Council and Ugu District Municipality hosted a seminar at the Ugu Sport and Leisure Centre, outside Gamalakhe, on Thursday.

Global School Partnerships manager Le-Anne Ponen urged local schools to form partnerships with UK schools for exchange programmes.

“The partnership will be successful for pupils from different backgrounds to learn together and teach each other what they know. A learning programme like this will challenge stereotypes and promote diversity globally.”

The partnerships need to involve parents and local communities to be sustainable, said Ponen.

“The partners need to be fully involved to grow their participation and establish honest and transparent relationships where benefits are shared,” she added.

Ponen explained the procedure of writing a winning partnership agreement as a school.

“Each school should do some initial work to identify their own expectations before a first draft is produced. Staff within the school may have different aims and visions for the partnership,” she added.

She explained that partnering schools might want to consider specific issues before putting them in writing.

“The process of negotiating and drafting the document is crucial. The school committees working on the project need to be well represented by parents, students, and teachers.

“Visits to a partner school can be excellent occasions to draft or review partnership agreement. Funding may be available through a reciprocal visit grant,” Ponen said.

St Martin de Porres School principal Kay Nair said, “We have had an opportunity for an educational exchange programme with UK schools and benefits are huge. We need to build good relations with our partnering schools for mutual benefit and success.”

The district municipality’s youth development manager, Sipho Khuzwayo, said they initiated the seminar to expose local schools to educational exchange programmes with UK schools.

Khuzwayo said, “We want the attending schools to digest what they have learned from the seminar and thereafter draft partnership agreements which will solicit educational exchange projects, grants and donations from UK partners.”

“By January these schools will submit their proposal to British Council and Global School Partnerships. We want to facilitate the development and learning of young people within the Ugu district.”

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