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Now, government teachers learning the English language through WhatsApp: Ranga Reddy DEO takes initiative to drive away from the fear of the language among teachers and students. ‘Children be regular to school’, a message that landed at 6.30 a.m. in the WhatsApp box of Jyothi, a government teacher at Zilla Parishad High School, Uppal, perplexed her first. A series of such messages in English like ‘Srinu why did you beat Mallesh’ and ‘Venkatesh, why didn’t come to school yesterday’ that followed along with the translation in Telugu language only increased her curiosity.
The messages were from the District Education Officer of Ranga Reddy District, G. Ramesh and she was not the only one flooded with such messages, but all the government teachers in the district. The messages were part of a new initiative by Mr Ramesh to prepare the government teachers and build up the mood to speak English in schools as the government plans to focus on infusing English skills among children from the ensuing academic year.
“Since every teacher uses a smartphone and invariably WhatsApp as well, we decided to use it as a tool to prepare the teachers in learning English through simple sentences and pass onto the students,” Mr Ramesh said. All the teachers get five sentences in English every day along with five words and a few proverbs explaining their meaning in Telugu and the context they are used. The teachers are asked to share them with their students in the class.
The messages reach 10,400 government teachers in Ranga Reddy district and they are segregated Mandal-wise for easy delivery. It is spreading to other districts with teachers sharing them with their friends.
Mr Ramesh wants to drive away from the fear of the English language among the vernacular educated teachers and students. The simple sentences that are related to daily life and learnt and remembered easily are sent. “This will generate interest among teachers and students. “After all, possessing English skills makes a huge difference to teachers’ and students’ confidence,” agrees Harshvardhan Reddy, president of Telangana PRTU appreciating the DEO’s initiative.
“Students fear the very presence of books in English while teachers are reluctant. So learning these few sentences daily using the social media tool will increase our confidence,” says Ms Jyothi, who teaches Telugu at ZPHS, Uppal. It will be a 50-day programme and Mr Ramesh feels there will be a marked change in teachers’ confidence after 50 days. It will continue once students come back from the summer vacation as well. Source: TheHindu