KARACHI - British Council (BC) Karachi on Friday celebrated the success of its Connecting Classrooms Programme by organising a vibrant Mela attended by member schools of Connecting Classrooms and local educational dignitaries. Connecting Classrooms is a unique approach bringing together students and teachers from diverse global, cultural and economic backgrounds, encouraging the dissolution of barriers that keep societies from understanding each other. Launched in Pakistan in 2007, Connecting Classrooms has built lasting links between 208 schools in Pakistan and the UK. British Council Connecting Classrooms Mela recognised the efforts put in by the participating schools and local educational authorities that have encouraged Pakistani students and teachers to think beyond the boundaries. It is very important that our students get international exposure, understand other cultures and explain their point of view to their counterparts across the world because they are the most important stakeholders of Pakistans future, said Syed Mashhood Rizvi, director British Council, Sindh & Balochistan and head of Connecting Classrooms project. Dominic Regester, the project manager for Connecting Classrooms in Central and South Asia, was the keynote speaker on the occasion. He discussed some of the projects that schools in Pakistan and the UK were working on together. This interaction between the classrooms has enhanced the level of understanding about cultures and will help to cultivate empathy between the students. It will increase awareness of each others situations. He spoke about the importance of intercultural dialogue, an aspect around which the entire Connecting Classroom project revolves. He said, The world in which we live is a world of differences - differences within cultures as well as between cultures. Intercultural dialogue acknowledges that differences exist and seeks to develop mutual trust and understanding between people with diverse opinions, viewpoints and values. Senior Education Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq has been involved in this project since he became the education minister. He said, A good global education consists of more than simply facts and figures about nations and their relations with one another; it allows children, young people and adults to experience that conflicts can be solved without violence and that living together is possible. Todays display of Connecting Classrooms work is a depiction of that possibility. In addition to such dialogue and discussion, Connecting Classrooms also focuses on teachers training in Pakistan. Teachers training has been identified as one of the most pressing educational issues of the day, and British Council Pakistan is taking a significant step towards improving the classroom performance of local educators with teachers development and training component of Connecting Classrooms. Certificates were distributed to the 60 teachers from government and private schools in Karachi who recently attended a week-long training on Leadership, Internationalising Education, and Pedagogy and Learning in Karachi.