The British Council celebrates the Spirit of Sports and Commonwealth Values
The British Council “Commonwealth Class” project has been an integral part of its global schools “Connecting Classrooms” programme. Bangladesh has joined with other Commonwealth countries including Australia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Canada, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal to celebrate the Commonwealth values which have been integral to the British Commonwealth since it was formed in 1930.
The Commonwealth Class project, implemented throughout 2014 – the year of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, UK- has seen over 8700 Bangladeshi primary and secondary schools and over 20000 students take part in online debates and different interactive competitions.
These competitions have included arts, quiz and athletics for the students of 7-14 years old. As is the case in the Commonwealth Games themselves it has not been the winning but the taking part that has been important. And in taking part, the Bangladeshi students have been introduced to the Commonwealth values- respect, tolerance and understanding, Mr Quazi Akhter Hossain, Honourable Secretary of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Chief Guest at the ceremony said: “These three values are at the heart of the Bangladesh education policy for schools”. Brendan McSharry, OBE, British Council Country Director said: “Commonwealth Class’ energized young people around the world in the run up to the Commonwealth Games this year, inspiring then to find out more about each others’ nations, each others’ ways of life and work, each others’ languages and sports”.
Bangladeshi Commonwealth Games 2014 Silver Medallist for shooting, Mr. Abdul Baki, talked about his sporting achievements and experience in Glasgow earlier this year, inspiring the teachers and children about the spirit of sports.
Special Guest, Robert W Gibson, His Excellency, the British High Commissioner applauded the British Council’s ‘Commonwealth Class’ project and congratulated the nine winners in of the three age categories between 7-14 of the three activities- arts, sports and Commonwealth quiz. Each winner received a British Council branded tablet, uploaded with British Council English language learning apps.
Special Guest, Syed Shahed Reza, Secretary General of the Bangladesh Olympic Association attended the ceremony and spoke of the importance of inclusion in sport- a common value to both Commonwealth and Olympic movements.
Robin Davies, Director, Partnerships and Programmes, British Council looked beyond 2014 and towards the legacy of the Commonwealth Games and school’s Commonwealth Class project, which aspires to the inclusion and tolerance of, and respect for minority groups in society, sports.