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Sierra Leone News: British Council Director bids farewell

On Sunday 26 August 2018, British Council Director, Simon Ingram-Hill bid farewell to Sierra Leone after four years of distinguished service. Ingram-Hill came to Sierra Leone in January 2014, at the height of the Ebola outbreak and led the British Council through thick-and-thin.
Under his leadership, Ingram-Hill helped continue deliver and ensure quality education programs, cultural initiatives and social gatherings. Ingram-Hill was a fixture on the Salone social circuit and hosted countless cultural events and information sessions at the British Council Hall. From music to dance… to debates, Ingram-Hill ensured high-quality and dignified events.
The British Council was established in Sierra Leone in 1943 under a technical co-operation agreement with the Government of Sierra Leone.
Operating out of Freetown, the British Council works principally in the areas of education, youth society and good governance.
Under the most challenging of circumstances, British Council under the leadership of Ingram-Hill managed to maintain its schools service and provide a professional lifeline in times of extreme hardship.
Ingram-Hill led the operations to expand programs of English teaching by radio to cover all of the core subjects.
“Communities would have a big radio and the children would gather around to listen, although they were encouraged not to touch each other to prevent the spread of infection,” Ingram-Hill stated.
He furthered on his contribution towards the Connecting Classrooms program, which he said also continued to operate with success during the outbreak. Connecting Classrooms, he added, equips teachers to deliver the 21st century learning skills also known as core skills for young people’s need in today’s world.
“Teachers themselves also stepped in to provide vital, on-going support. Through Connecting Classrooms, a group of schools in Sierra Leone had forged working partnerships with a network of schools from Hull in the UK. Teachers from Hull designed lesson plans for the teachers in Sierra Leone to deliver by radio and also through house visits. The house visits were particularly effective as communities struggled to afford radio batteries as the crisis ensued,” he stated.
Ingram-Hill is described by Tony Reilly, incoming British Council Director, as a British Council baby who has worked in twelve countries across three continents.
Born into the British Council family, Ingram-Hill followed in his father’s footsteps who was head of the British Council in Kenya.
Many commended the service of Ingram-Hill during his distinguished career in Sierra Leone, especially in the area of art, culture and education.
Meanwhile, Reilly also pointed out his desire to work on and excel the legacies of his successor adding that he will be particularly focused on education, young people and entrepreneurship.
By Sylvia Villa
Tuesday August 28, 2018.

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