Krishnanagar, Jan. 9: The Nadia district primary school council from January has introduced a mandatory ten minute’s special English speaking session for the primary school children so that they can express their understanding clearly and speak confidently about their affairs of daily life.
The special session which has been started at the 2624 primary schools in the district clubbing all the students of the school after the last period is actually aimed to overcome their fear about the English language and to introduce the language as a ‘utility tool’ in their daily life.
However, many schools have accommodated the session before the last class as per their convenience, particularly for the students of class one, whose classes end after mid-day meal distribution.
The English language for over become a bone of contention and political controversy since the Left Front government withdrawn it from the primary level as a ‘non-compulsory’ language. The language was later brought back to the primary school, but the language remained a fearsome one to children and their parents largely in rural areas.
NDPS chairman Ramaprasad Roy said: “This is a special initiative by Nadia district primary school council. Our objective is to help the students to overcome the fear about English language at the initial stage so that they could realize the need of the language from the elementary level. We would like to introduce the language to them as a utility tool or ‘Kaajer bhasha’, which has no alternative”.
But why the need of such special additional English session felt by the council?
“The English language has been included in the curriculum of the primary school children, but it has limitations. The continuous comprehensive evaluation (CCE) of the students on subjects like English can increase vocabulary power of the students, but has no scope to build their speaking and conversation skill. Our aim is to develop speaking skill so that the primary students can at least express their understandings on daily life and affairs”, said council chairman Ramaprasad Roy.
To begin with the council has prepared a manual for the teachers, which has emphasized to use content from the curriculum and beyond it using personal creativity of the teachers.
Sukamal Das, a teacher at Juranpur Kugachi primary school said: “It is like a grooming session for the children. The students are given interactive lesson on how to introduce themselves in English, their parents, how to express their daily need in English, how to express formal etiquettes, courtesies and gestures in English, how to express their understanding on daily affairs. There are many other issues which we are trying pick up from daily life and happening around us. This is almost like developing their behavioral pattern”
Council chairman Roy said: “We have told the teachers to include a dialogue session and to encourage the students to speak mutually to express their understanding apart from speaking rhymes and stories in English”.
“We have also instructed the teachers to explore new ideas by increase their personal knowledge and to watch on current affairs. We have also decided to met parents of the children and advise them to encourage their kids giving them small story or comic books in English”, Roy added.
The initiative evoked positive responses among the teachers, students and their guardians, who, however, feel the time constraint may become a bar to achieve the coveted goal.
Shafiqul Islam, head master of Abhaynagar prathamik Vidyapith in Palashipara said: “The initiative is very good. But, the ten minutes restriction is quite limited for this session. It would be if the council considers increasing time to twenty minutes”.
Ramen Biswas, a father of student in Ranaghat said: “This is a great initiative. This would also help the children and parents like us to shed of a sort of inferiority complex and difference with those who read in English medium schools”