Kerala schools hiring non-Keralite trainers to help rural kids get rid of broken English
Keduoselie Zumu from a northeastern state is one of the two persons hired at a government-aided school in Perambra town to train upper primary students.
KOZHIKODE: What is the best way to learn a new language? Being in a non-native environment is one suggestion. And that’s exactly the path several schools in the state have chosen to tread. To enable students — especially those in rural areas — to speak English fluently, various government-aided and unaided schools are now hiring non-Keralite English trainers. Thirteen such trainers — a majority of them from northeastern states — are currently employed in various schools in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.
“The children have no other option but to speak to me in English as I don’t know even a single Malayalam word. Initially, they speak broken English. But as time passes on, they shed their inhibitions and start to pick up the language. From then on, it is all about fine-tuning,” said Keduoselie Zumu, 24, a trainer from Nagaland.
He is one of the two persons hired at the government-aided Kalpathur AUP School in Anchaampeedika, Perambra, to train upper primary students. The fad for non-Keralite English trainers in schools -- despite the presence of regular English teachers -- had begun in 2018. “The English sessions at Kalpathur school are organised by the PTA and the parents liked the idea,” said headmistress Sushama K.
“Apart from the classroom sessions, the trainers interact with children during the intervals and they converse in English. We test their communicative and oratory skills with events like ‘English Fest’,” said Sushama. Sumit Kujur, 27, another trainer from Assam, said their modules have helped the children shed their inhibitions.
“We correct students’ English accent before entering into the grammar part,” said Sumit. Though all types of schools -- aided and unaided-- in state syllabus are opting for non-Keralite English trainers, it’s the CBSE schools that hire them the most.
The apparent concerns over students migrating to government schools, which have developed a lot in terms of infrastructure and other facilities, are prompting aided and CBSE schools to go for additional attractions like English trainers. “We started providing non-Keralite English trainers to schools in 2013. Graduates from northeast and Goa, who are proficient in English, are being given training and sent to schools. We have separate modules of English training -- starting from UKG to plus two,” says Clinil P Cleetus, academic director of Koduvally-based Crescendo Educational Innovations, which provides English trainers to schools. He said that, while the schools in the rural areas demand communicative English, those in the city need IELTS-standard training, to prepare students for higher studies abroad.