Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Chennai, 4 October 2017: There was a lot of excitement this morning at K P Street High School, as Mark Field, UK Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, met a student club formed through British Council’s Pudumai Palli Project  being implemented in partnership with the Greater Chennai Corporation. This three year project, initiated in 2015 has been implemented as a pilot in 70 secondary schools run by the Corporation of Chennai and impacted 70 head teachers, 140 teachers, 408 student leaders, 3500 students directly and over 6,000 students indirectly over these three years. 

The Minister participated in a charades-like game where club members asked him to guess a word based on clues they mimed. The club members also grabbed the opportunity to ask the Minister questions about the UK and London. 

After an engaging meeting, the Minister said: “I was very pleased to meet these young students and see the British Council project in action. The British Council and the Greater Chennai Corporation are successfully developing 21st century skills in more than 4000 students and supporting over 200 teachers.“ 

Mei-kwei Barker, Director, British Council South India added , “Leading student clubs has given girls a boost to their confidence and developed leadership, 21st century skills including English language.  The clubs have become aware of a number of social issues including child labour, drug abuse, environmental issues, sanitation as part of school level projects.”  

Vimaladevi, Teacher Facilitator from the school said, “I have learned many new things by participating in the British Council project. This has motivated me to form and support student clubs in my school. It has also helped me in my own teaching in the classroom.” 

Amidst a lot of fun and laughter, there has been some serious learning as well. Through learning materials and resources provided by the British Council, the clubs have taken up activities to develop their 21st century skills and also practice English. 

The K P Street High School established their current student club in July 2017, following a two-day club leaders’ workshop conducted by the British Council earlier in the same month. This club meets to conduct activities to develop skills like critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and communication. This is the second cohort of clubs formed under the Pudumai Palli Project.

Notes to Editor

About the project:

The Pudumai Palli Project: Developing Innovative Schools in Chennai (P3DISC) is implemented by the British Council in partnership with the Greater Chennai Corporation. This project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, started in 2015 and aims to improve the livelihood prospects of students, particularly girls in Chennai. In the long-term, it aims to ensure that secondary level students (especially girls), studying in Corporation high schools and higher secondary schools, stay in school longer and acquire the 21st century skills required to enhance their employability prospects; and to build a sustainable system to support in-service teacher education, continuing professional development of teachers.

The objective is to build a sustainable system to support in-service teacher education, continuing professional development and the ongoing support for teacher and student learning within the larger goal of developing 21st century skills for employability among secondary students.

About MacArthur Foundation

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. More information is at

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

About UK/India 2017

UK/India2017 is a year-long celebration of the long-standing relationship between India and the UK, which will see a vast programme of cultural exchange and activity take place in cities across both countries. Working with a huge number of partners and institutions, the British Council is developing a programme of cultural activity which will connect and inspire people in both countries; and strengthen and celebrate the UK and India’s cultural ties. 

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