British Council on Wednesday, introduced the Teacher Educator Award to recognise and celebrate the contribution of individuals involved in the in-service education of teachers to develop the quality of classroom teaching in Punjab. Through the Punjab Education & English Language Initiative (PEELI), the British Council is working jointly with the provincial Ministry of Education to improve the quality of classroom teaching in government primary schools. A key element to the success of PEELI is the work of the expert trainers who provide training and support to the 250,000 primary school teachers who, along with the children they teach, are the beneficiaries of the initiative. To celebrate their contribution, the British Council has launched the Teacher Educator Award, an annual prize awarded to five expert trainers who have made outstanding contributions in support of the professional development of primary school teachers in Punjab. The awards were presented by Education Minister Murad Raas. Winners of the Teacher Educator Award will attend the 53rd International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language conference in Liverpool. Attended by approximately 3,000 ELT professionals from more than 100 countries, it involves a four-day programme of around 500 talks, workshops and forums as well as a vibrant social programme. This offers delegates a unique opportunity to meet leading trainers, theorists and writers and exchange ideas with fellow professionals from all sectors of English language teaching and learning. Appreciating the achievements of PEELI and its implementing partners, the minister said, “Teacher training and motivation is the key to improving the state of education in Pakistan. There is nothing that is more important at this time.” English Education Services Director John Shackleton said, “It was a very educating experience being part of the discussion today on continuing professional development, digital accessibility among primary school teachers and introduction of English language as a medium of instruction. Questions from the participants to the panelists were very useful and I hope that we keep the conversation going.” Research forms an integral part of this collaborative initiative and the British Council will be presenting the results of three research assignments that focus on digital access and literacy, school-based continuing professional development, progress and perceptions of the introduction of English as the medium of instruction in early grades. A panel discussion deliberated over the findings of the research and key questions were raised. Panelists included Quaid-e-Azam Academy for Educational Development Course Coordinator Dr Samia Naz, PEELI Focal Person Fiona Robertson, British Council Senior Academic Manager Aasiya Khurram, Education Minister Adviser & United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund Principal Consultant Dr Khalid Mehmood and Fame Consultancy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abbas Rashid among others. The participants acknowledged notable developments in the education sector in Punjab, marked by an exceptional improvement in the quality of teaching. This is achieved by equipping teachers with the skills and knowledge they require to adopt a child-centred, activity-based approach. This helps to ensure that students’ cognitive and linguistic abilities develop hand-in-hand, leading to improved learning outcomes, a pre-requisite for better life chances. Published in Daily Times, December 6th 2018.