Not lost in communication

Not lost in communication

TherEmpowering  Vineeta Gupta and Jayaram with the kids.  dh photo by kishor kumar Bolare is a dichotomy between the pronouncements of politicians, who preach in favour of Indian languages and almost prohibit the study and use of English on the one hand, and the growing value added to the mastery of English in the job market.

To bridge this gap and empower disadvantaged kids, who are at the mercy of said politicians, ILID (Institute of Leadership and Institutional Development) is taking English into the classrooms of Government and poor rural schools through an interactive and easy-to-learn programme called Pygmalion.

Pygmalion is a full-fledged programme that is delivered free of cost to the schools, right from computers to software and the necessary curriculum to train the teachers. The programme uses computer-aided instructions, role-playing and interactive games to teach English in an effective manner to children from poor communities in the State.

Shivraj and Jyothi Lakshmi, two children from the government schools in the city spoke confidently about the positive way Pygmalion impacted their English learning abilities.
“When we harness the best brains in the country to make potato chips or computer chips, shouldn’t we invest some professionalism in the development of our human resources,” asked Dr Jayaram, founder of ILID.

A finding showed that academically brilliant children, who performed exceptionally well in the 10th grade were often forced to drop out in the 12th grade, and take up low paying jobs with no future primarily due to their lack of English, confidence or communication skills.

Pygmalion is also sponsored by The Global Fund for Children, (GFC) a grant-making organisation, based in the United States, which supports innovative community based projects and organisations.

“Learning English is such fun,” said Jyothi Lakshmi and her ernest be-spectacled friend Shivraj echoed her sentiment while their teacher looked on with justifiable pride. “The desire to learn and master English for a better career in these days of globalisation is manifest in urban schools and colleges but students in rural and semi-urban areas still experience fear and alienation in their English classes. Through programmes like Pygmalion for kids and Ekalavya for young adults, we hope to equip them with good language and communication skills in English, thereby increasing their employability in a competitive environment,” added Dr Jayaram.

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