State schools

Public schools to increase students’ English skills



As the central government focuses on educating students in their native language and regional languages ​​in line with NEP 2020, several state education departments are working to make public school students proficient in English in order to increase their employment opportunities and study prospects abroad.

Over the past decade, the British Council has partnered with 21 state governments to positively impact the teaching skills and classroom pedagogy of around 1 million English language teachers. These include the governments of delhiMaharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra PradeshKarnataka, Telangana, Bihar, Odisha, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and all North Eastern states. “Through our partnerships with state governments and institutions, we design and deliver interventions to improve teachers’ confidence and English language proficiency,” says Gauri Puranik, Deputy Director, English Programs – India, British Council.

The British Council had a 10-year partnership with the Maharashtra government to improve teachers’ and students’ English proficiency. “We have established four overlapping programs which have successfully trained nearly 2,000 master trainers and 146,000 teachers, benefiting 4.38 million learners in public schools in Maharashtra over the past decade . TEJAS – the latest capacity building program (in the series) for teachers – started as a pilot project in nine districts of Maharashtra in 2016 but later expanded to all 36 districts in the state reaching 51,000 state teachers; it peaked in 2021.

“In India, our English programs have focused on partnering with state governments to collaboratively build capacity and sustainability within education ecosystems. Our tools are a mix of frameworks and resources (both synchronous and asynchronous) that we have developed to strengthen the skills of English teachers. These include Continuing Professional Development (CPD) frameworks which are compressive frameworks for the continuing professional development of teachers, teacher educators and school leaders and serve as guiding principles for our approach to training and development. teacher professional development. For example, in a project for the Government of Delhi, we partnered with Macmillan Education to develop the English fluency and communicative competence of Class XI students through a 160-hour spoken English course, in three phases. To ensure that students spent a large proportion of their class time talking, the English workbook included three key elements that formed the basis of the delivery model – whole class production, practice sessions, independent learning and group project work. In 2019, this project benefited nearly 40,000 students studying in public schools. As of May 2020, around 466,000 Delhi government school learners and teachers have improved their spoken English skills through our digital packs,” Puranik says.

The Government of Delhi has also recently partnered with Burlington English, a digital English content provider, to enable students to speak and learn English among students of the Government of Delhi’s Dr. BR Ambedkar Specialized Excellence Schools. Delhi.

Himanshu Gupta, Director, Education, Government of NCT Delhi, says, “It is important for 21st century learners to communicate in English with confidence. This opens up a plethora of opportunities for them. We also launched Project Voices in public schools in Delhi to build students’ confidence and communication skills. For better employment opportunities for public school students, we have also introduced French, German and Japanese languages ​​in public schools. Learning a foreign language will allow students to travel abroad for higher education. Countries like Germany offer many opportunities if a student chooses to study there.

Good quality digital learning
As part of several initiatives to lead students into high-growth careers, public schools in Andhra Pradesh have focused on English language training and digital adaptability. The state government has taken steps to offer English as a language in all public schools to ensure that students become familiar with the language before entering the workforce. “In just under three years of initiating these education-intensive programs, over 7 lakh students have joined public schools in Andhra Pradesh. The state government has revamped schools and is currently installing smart TVs or digital billboards in every classroom. This initiative is expected to benefit more than 38,000 schools in Andhra Pradesh. The government will also provide free tablets to 4.7 lakh students in Class VIII to help them reap the benefits of technology adaptation. Public school students receive language kits consisting of bilingual textbooks that provide content in English as well as telugu. The kits also consist of workbooks and Oxford English-Telugu dictionaries to help students master the English language,” says S Suresh Kumar, Commissioner, School Education, Andhra Pradesh.

complementary medium
English and other Indian languages ​​complement each other to ensure a comprehensive and holistic outcome. “An Indian language as a medium of instruction creates a comfort zone for students who do not have the means or the support structure at home to help them in the learning process. If Indian languages ​​are to be at the center of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, there must be a proper roadmap to produce reading materials in Indian languages, especially in subjects such as science, math, business and economics. These are subjects that have only English content and little has been done to translate them into Indian languages,” says Rudrashish Chakraborty, Associate Professor, Department of English, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi.