British Council Chair’s Honorable Visit
15 November, 2012
British Council Chair’s Honorable Visit

Highlighting importance of boosting British-Georgian Cultural relations

 

The British Council will soon mark its 80th anniversary. At the same time, it so happens  that Georgia is one of the countries where the demand  to study the English  language is very high, which  is confirmed by the British Council - Georgia. On the other hand, the fact that our country is subject of concern to  the UK was acknowledged by the visit of the British Council Chair Sir Vernon Ellis who

met with journalists on November 8 at British Council -  Georgia office.

Sir Vernon Ellis’ visit is viewed as confirmation of the British Council’s strong interest and support for Georgia and for the work that is carried out with Georgian partners. He told the journalists that he always wanted to visit Georgia, as he had heard a lot about this country. Sir Vernon says that he likes how English is taught in Georgia and the aspiration of the people to learn and teach English. “I think that the energy of our team [British Council Georgia] is an example of that. We have a small but very important team here”, he noted.

Sir Vernon Ellis named teaching, exams, working in educational system and working in culture as main directions of the British Council - Georgia. He also mentioned a wide range of the partners that British Council - Georgia collaborates with, including Rustaveli National Theatre and National museum in culture, BP in the corporative sphere and ministries of culture and education in the governmental sector.

To the question of Georgian Journal, how his visit would influence  the bilateral cultural relations, he responded:  “It’s important to develop cultural relations, and part of that is doing it through English language, which we have as one of the tools. The long-term relations are training the University (Ilia University) students in English. The cultural understanding we have gained by working in arts projects, working for example with our theatre in London with young playwrights here to develop new plays and hopefully, find ways to staging them the next year. Also we work with National Museum here in the area of Fashion show, which will give you the best understanding of something creative that we have in Britain. So, all these, I think, are the opportunities to understand each other and work together and learn.”

British Council operates in Georgia for 18 years now. Zaza Purtseladze, Director of British Council Georgia told Georgian Journal: “The main purpose of Sir Vernon Ellis’ visit is to emphasize the importance of developing the British-Georgian cultural relations and the role of the British Council in this context. Our main priority is still raising the skill of English teachers and assisting those who wish to learn English, but our office is distinguished from others with a wide range of arts projects, including literature, theatre, fine arts, etc.  I am glad that all these were mentioned by our distinguished guest with admiration.“

Sir Vernon Ellis is a Chairman of Martin Randall Travel Ltd, the leading cultural tours company and of One Medicare, a company providing primary health care services. He is a non-executive Director of FTI Consulting. He was a Chairman of English Opera from 2005 to 2012 and led the organization through a period of transformation to its position now as one of the most innovative and productive opera companies in the world. He is also involved in several musical organizations and charities, and many more.

Sir Vernon Ellis’ visit featured numerous meetings with British Council’s key contacts in the fields of education and culture, while a rich cultural programme also constituted an integral part of his schedule, including the presentation on the history of fashion exhibitions in UK and screening of fashion films on November 9 at Georgian National Museum, as well as the play that was taken to Britain called “We Resemble Refugees”, now already at Rustaveli Theatre, Tbilisi.

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