A group of students in a city school have started teaching “communicative English” to the support staff that would help them to interact with parents or visitors who come to the school.
Julien Day School Ganganagar started the initiative last week to ensure that all members of the staff are “well versed with the basic linguistic medium of the school,” that is English and it will also teach adolescents to be socially responsible.
Students of classes IX and XI have been allotted the responsibility of taking online classes of the office bearers, security guards, supervisers and lab assistants.
“The idea is that they will know how to interact with visitors or parents in English and it will reinforce the medium of the school,” said Bobby Baxter, the principal of the school.
“The best part is they are enthusiastic to learn and some of them are picking up fast. They just needed some mentoring,” he said.
The school has started with two classes a week and with 12 staff at present.
In a class held on Saturday, students taught them how to introduce themselves in English and ask simple questions like the purpose of their visit (to the visitors) to the school, whom they have come to meet or whether they would like to have tea or coffee.
“These are simple words or sentences and once they start learning it will instil confidence in them,” said a student taking class.
For lab assistant Debashis Sarkar, this skill will help him interact more confidently with students and visitors without feeling “awkward”.
“At times there are visitors who would interact in English and though I can follow what they are saying I cannot respond in English. It creates a communication gap,” said Sarkar.
“Also speaking in English will stand us in good stead in future,” he added.
The school believes that it would also teach students to be more sensitive and responsible and foster a sense of compassion. “It is a social service for them and they would learn how to give to the community. Moreover, when you teach you learn the importance of teaching,” said Baxter.
The training would also include a session on technological knowhow and to know how to access the various online platforms.