Delhi government schools to teach more English, skills

April 8th, 2008 - 12:38 pm ICT by admin  

By Rajeev Ranjan Roy
New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) Students in Delhi government schools will be taught how to speak better English and develop various technical skills in a bid to check the dropout rate in state-run schools and increase their employability. “To begin with, we plan to give training in skill development and the English language to around 5,000 schoolchildren in the current academic session. It is being started as a pilot project in at least 60 schools,” Rina Ray, secretary for education in the Delhi government, told IANS.

The optional training programme, which hopes to strengthen self-employment, will cover students of Classes 8 to 10.

Students who enrol will learn how to repair air-conditioners, mobile phones, television sets, watches and other home appliances. They will also be taught how to make candles, paper carry bags and other such eco-friendly things.

The programme will also address another problem. Students in government schools also find themselves at a disadvantage compared to those in private institutions when it comes to the English language.

“As English has virtually become the potential medium of expression in the era of liberalisation, everyone should have good knowledge of English. One must be able to speak in English. So language development is an important ingredient of the programme,” said Ray.

The Delhi branch of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is the city government’s partner in implementing the innovative programme. The students will get certificates after successfully completing the optional courses.

Government officials feel the scheme will substantially help students who drop out of school midway for various reasons like inability to cope with studies and family problems.

According to the planning department of the Delhi government, nearly two million students were studying in Classes 1-5 in state-run schools in 2006-07. The figure peters down to around 691,000 for Classes 10-12.

“The initiative will ensure that students are equipped with certain skills so that they can start their own independent business units. They will also be eligible for loans against the certificate provided by the government,” Ray added.

The CII is enthused about the move. A formal memorandum of understanding (MoU) is going to be signed shortly. The industry chamber will get “token funds” from the government to run the programme.

“The skill development is an area that needs more attention. It increases not only one’s employability but also adds to his overall personality development. Such programmes should be implemented at a larger scale,” Kartikeya Bharat Ram, chairman of the CII Delhi state council, told IANS.

“Our teams will comprise experts from different fields. Whosoever undergoes the programme will end up learning skills for being financially self-reliant. It will be open for all.”

As per the latest Economy Survey, around two million children study in the city’s over 2,668 government-run primary schools, mostly run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). The city’s 2,000 odd secondary schools offer education to over 700,000 children.

The survey pegged the total number of government schools at 5,063 in 2005-06, with 3.4 million students. Over 82.73 percent of the city’s children aged 7-18 attend these schools.

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