HYDERABAD: Over 400 schools have registered with the ‘Bolo English’ programme which consists of 30,000 students for this academic year, said its project director Rohan Joshi, adding that the target was about 1 lakh students.
‘Bolo English’, launched in July 2020, is a pan-India project and an app-based learning programme. In Telangana state, 25 schools with 3,500 students enrolled for the project from four districts in the first year.
“For students in budget schools who belong to marginalised families and whose parents are illiterates, the lack of English has become a hurdle for their success,” a school principal said, during an interaction with the project ‘Bolo English’, which was initiated to empower children from poor backgrounds.
A school correspondent said, “English is a language which needs practice, unless the students speak, they cannot learn this language. These students have none at home who knows English.”
Teachers would be trained on how to use the application, said Joshi. Government schools are not a part of the project as most of their students do not have smartphones.
Dr Brigitte Michael, Principal, St Christopher School, Venkataramana Colony, a budget school, said, “Most of our students are from the economically backward classes, broken families, children of drivers, house maids etc. These children have a fear of speaking English, thinking that if they make any mistake, people will laugh at them. Their parents are interested to see their children speaking English, whereas these children have no option to converse at home.”
“Teachers try their best to teach them, but most often are not successful. Another issue with the budget schools is teachers with good communication skills are not available. For the past five years, there has been a huge shortage of English speaking teachers, because most of them are opting for Call Centre jobs,” she added.
“English is a global language, and if these students are able to speak, their future will be better. As we are a part of ‘Bolo English’, it is helping the students learn the language, even their parents are learning through this,” she said....