Picture shows the launch of the English Language Program by Asokan Kulothungan, District collector of Lunglei, Mizoram along with Chandra Viswanathan, Balaji Sampath, Thara & Parvathy (of AID-India, Disha Foundation).
It can be a game changer when children of day wage laborers from remote rural districts of India learn to speak and read English. ELF, a program whose mission is “English skills for everyone” in 80 days is trying to do just this. AID-India implemented the program in Tamil Nadu (Eureka Walk and Talk program) and seeing the interest and accomplishment of the children, it is now being replicated in 10 states with support of AID and other groups — Mizoram, Nagaland, Assam, Orissa, Telangana, Andhra, Bihar, Rajasthan, Pondicherry, Tamilnadu, and is now running in 265 government schools, which are mostly in remote tribal villages.
Children in government schools in Mizoram enjoy the English language program.
Times of India featured this program on October 31st 2022 with the tag line A for Aspire, D for Dream. ToI quotes AID-India’s V Vasanthi Devi, “Teacher training institutes do not know how to train teachers to teach English. In government schools [in Tamilnadu], English is taught in Tamil and then children are forced to write the examination in English.” In the ELF program, children first learn to read letters of the alphabet, then two-letter words, followed by three-letter words, four-letter words, and then finally sentences. This progress helps build their language skills and confidence in English, according to a teacher from Thiruvannamalai. According to this teacher, it is heartening to see students master the skill so fast, while giving the teachers a high sense of achievement. Video lessons and teaching aids are provided to the school, and the teachers are trained monthly on the curriculum and methodology.
Surya is a 10-year old girl and the only fluent reader of English in her family. To quote Surya’s proud father Ramakrishnan “I’ve told my relatives that from now on if they want to give my daughter something, it should be a book”.
See Times of India Oct 31, 2022: A for Aspire, D for Dream.