Celebrating Commonwealth Day by Connecting Jersey and Cameroon Schools

11th March 2024

​March 11th is Commonwealth Day, and the Jersey Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is celebrating by initiating a cultural exchange meeting between Jersey school children and their counterparts in Cameroon, central Africa.

The Commonwealth Education Trust has arranged the virtual meet-up for year 3 children, so they can ask each other questions about their culture, lives, and countries. It's hoped this will be just the start of a longer relationship between the schools, benefitting both pupils and teachers.

d'Auvergne School in St Helier has been partnered with Bridget Bilingual Nursery and Primary School in Bamenda, North West Province of Cameroon. In the weeks running up to Commonwealth Day, children aged 7 to 8 in both schools have been learning about each other's countries, the Commonwealth, and thinking about how to aid their understanding of each other's lives.

Deputy Rob Ward, Chair of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, who initiated the partnership, said he is passionate about encouraging a global outlook and two-way conversation between Jersey and other countries around the world. 'It's vital that here in Jersey we aren't inward focused but learn how best to play our role in a global culture. At the CPA, we not only share our knowledge and experiences with those in other parliaments around the Commonwealth, but we also learn from them and bring back ideas and innovative solutions to implement in Jersey. I'd like our next generation to also benefit from these connections and I'm delighted that d'Auvergne School will be taking the lead.'

Head teacher of d'Auvergne School, Sam Cooper said the Commonwealth Day celebration would be just the beginning of an ongoing relationship. 'We have over twenty languages spoken at d'Auvergne and a strong commitment to multi-culturalism and diversity. We want our pupils to have an understanding of life beyond our island and to be able to relate to those from a background very different to their own. In addition, our teaching staff are also looking forward to exchanging experience and contributing to the professional development of their counterparts in Cameroon to support a more equitable education for all.'

Betty Abeng, CEO of The Commonwealth Education Trust which works to connect schools in order to end education poverty, said they are delighted that a Jersey school is joining their programme, 'Children have a totally different view of the world depending on which country they live in, and so it's incredibly valuable to raise their awareness of the diversity that exists in order to aid understanding and promote global citizenship. We work with teachers to deliver professional development to ensure quality education for all of our children, no matter which country they live in. This unique opportunity will enrich the lives of all those involved at d'Auvergne school and the Bridget Bilingual Nursery and Primary School, and we look forward to helping forge long lasting relationships across the globe.'

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