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Earl and Countess of Wessex strengthen UK-Sri Lankan education partnership

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By Shannon Jayawardena

The Earl of Wessex Prince Edward together with his wife the Countess of Wessex Sophie arrived in Sri Lanka for the celebrations of the country’s 70th year of independence. During their stay the couple also strengthened the education partnership between the two countries.

On 31 January, the Earl and Countess paid a visit to Third Space Global which is a British-owned institution that employs young Sri Lankans to deliver online one-to-one teaching to over 6,000 primary school children across the UK.

Prince Edward speaking briefly at the event said: “I think that there are many countries that deal with a lot of complexities, especially schools that deal with a lot of different cultures and one of the problems is to maintain that respect for teaching professionals and to make sure that the society really understands how brilliant they are and what a difference they can make in a young person’s life.”

“The trouble however is that everyone has their own opinion about education. That is the biggest challenge, I think. You must recognise people’s individual achievements. If you build confidence among students in the long run, it will be much easier. What we are aiming for is to build purpose and passion,” he added.

Third Space Global launched its new mission statement at the event – “We seek social change by cultivating a global community of the most ambitious talent to make effective online teaching more accessible than ever before” – in the presence of the couple who unveiled a plaque with the company’s statement.

Together they discussed the importance of education, the challenges and opportunities of a more connected world through education with the Third Space Global staff while joining alongside a mathematics lesson with few primary students back in the United Kingdom via the virtual classrooms.

The company not only provides children in the UK the opportunity to learn and grow more but also supports Sri Lankan education through its free elearning hubs for children and free teaching workshops for teachers.

Third Space Global CEO Roshan Nilaweera stated: “I believe education is the most important investment a country can make in its future and this applies to Sri Lanka as much as the UK. We should all feel very proud of the great role we play in supporting UK children whilst providing training and employment opportunities here in Sri Lanka. We were delighted to host the Earl of Wessex Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex and discuss our shared commitment to education.”

Pix by Indraratne Balasuriya

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