Students of classes 1 to 10 in government and aided schools to have spoken English classes

A DSEL official said providing spoken English training at the school level will help students prepare for their future education and competitive exams.
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The Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL) will introduce spoken English classes for students of classes 1 to 10 in government and aided schools from the academic year 2024-25. It plans to conduct the 40-minute class every Saturday. Activities such as conversation, dialogue, script, role play, storytelling, situation explanation, and experience sharing will be part of the spoken English class.

The proposal for spoken English classes has been made in the department’s ‘Educational Guidelines’ of 2024-25, which was released recently.

Learning English has been a challenge for students of rural areas, and English is essential to crack competitive exams like Joint Entrance Exam, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, and Common Entrance Test, which are gateways to professional courses like engineering and medicine. “Providing spoken English training from the school level will be helpful for students for their future education and competitive exams. It is also helpful in increasing enrollment in government schools,” said an official of the DSEL.

A spoken English manual should be prepared by the Graduate Primary Teacher (GPT) English Language Teachers Team to help students learn to speak fluently in English. During the third period every Saturday, students should be spoken to only in English for the entire period, the guidelines say. It also suggested that teachers should conduct spoken English classes, and if required, outside skilled resource persons may be utilised.

B.B. Cauvery, Commissioner of Public Instruction, said, “We have a mega plan to introduce spoken English classes from class 1 to 10, with the Samagra Shiksha-Karnataka, the Department of State Educational Research and Training, and the Regional Institute of English from the academic year of 2024-25 in a phased manner. RIE has already developed the spoken English module and we will implement the same. But in the initial stage, the GPT teachers will create the contents of spoken English,” she said.

Across the State, there are 53,782 schools, including 67,273 government and 6,479 aided schools. While the medium of instruction is bilingual in 2,403 schools, it’s English in 283 schools. Most of the English-medium schools are in towns and urban areas. English-medium education is a daydream for children of government and aided schools in rural areas, and spoken English classes will be a boon for these children, said many education experts who welcomed the DSEL decision.

Niranjanaradhya V.P., a development educationist, said, “Imparting spoken English is important, and it is a welcome development. However, the educational guide also mentions English/Hindi vocabulary. This is quite surprising. Bilingual education combines the mother tongue (Kannada) and the second language, English. Though intentions of introducing spoken English is ideal, the plan is quite confusing.”

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