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English training for teachers benefits students
- State’s capacity-building programme helps tutors improve language skill of pupils in rural schools

Patna, Jan. 9: An initiative taken by the Nitish Kumar-led state government has turned a distant dream of a remote village school into a reality.

Most of the students at Babu Lal Yadav Plus-Two School, located in the remote village of Ekdara under Khajauli block in Madhubani district, are talking in English.

The students and some guardians credited an English teacher Subhadra Yadav for this “unthinkable transformation”.

Subhadra herself called it a “miraculous turnaround” but refused to take the credit. “It has all been possible because of the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), which conducted spoken English skill training and capacity-building programme for the Bihar government high school teachers in 2010,” Subhadra said. Courtesy, the training imparted by British Lingua, a New Delhi-based company, under the government scheme, Subhadra has been able to train the school students better and in a more effective way.

Students at this village now can converse in English and also hold group discussions. A brief visit to the classroom gave an idea of their etiquettes. “Good morning ma’am,” the students said in unison as a teacher entered the classroom.

The improvement in spoken English of school students is the realisation of a dream long nurtured by Subhadra.

SCERT director Hassan Waris also expressed his satisfaction with the teachers’ training programme and its outcome.

Part of the capacity-building exercise under the teacher training programme was to encourage students to speak in English with confidence. Subhadra has applied all that she learnt in the programme in her classroom.

She asks students to make charts and collages with newspaper clippings and also conducts discussions on articles chosen from English newspapers. The pupils have also been introduced to English poetry, story-telling and creative writing.

Birbal Jha, director of British Lingua, said: “British Lingua is running the teacher training programme in four backward districts of Bihar. The main focus is to train English teachers from government schools in spoken English.”

The training programme covers various aspects of English such as improving the conversation skills of the teacher, grammar and vocabulary apart from right body language while talking to people.

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