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Andhra govt ties up with Cambridge University to develop English proficiency among teachers, students

To develop proficiency in English language among teachers and to provide students of municipal schools a level-playing field when it comes to job opportunities, the Andhra Pradesh Government on Thursday partnered with the University of Cambridge to train teachers and students.

The Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy Government is bringing in reforms in the education sector by introducing English as the medium of instruction in all government schools, and gradually transforming all Telugu medium schools into English language schools while still teaching mother tongue Telugu as a compulsory subject.

Cambridge University is one of the several institutions that the AP Government approached to seek advice to revise the existing school curriculum to make it more suitable for existing situations.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Thursday between the University of Cambridge and the Urban Development Department of Andhra Pradesh, under which training in English language skills would be imparted to teachers and students under the Municipal Department. The MoU was signed by Vijay Kumar, Commissioner of Municipal Administration on behalf and T K Arunachalam, Regional Director of Cambridge University, South Asia.

As part of the programme, 12,378 teachers working in municipal schools along with students across the state will be trained to develop proficiency in English language. In all 14 language labs will be set up in 13 districts across the state. Training will also be given in Science and Mathematics.

The Municipal Department, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, will provide the required infrastructure. The University of Cambridge will provide the training programmes free of cost under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Nearly two lakh students studying in municipal schools will be trained in English along with Mathematics and Science.

Already 8,000 teachers have completed a 30-day training to teach various subjects in English and have passed the Cambridge Assessment English test. The remaining 4,000 are under training. Three studios will be set up at Visakhapatnam, Kurnool and Vijayawada. The teaching material will be prepared by the teachers in all the municipal schools and will be provided to the children through these studios.

There are approximately 44,000 Telugu medium elementary schools in AP including Panchayati Raj, Municipal and Government schools. The teachers trained by Cambridge University will train the remaining teachers. “Introducing English medium from Class 1 will ensure that all the students passing out of government-run schools have a level playing field and they can compete with students passing out private schools and colleges,” said Education Minister Audimulapu Suresh.

The AP Government has already started a massive exercise to train nearly 1 lakh teachers to start teaching in English. To prepare the teachers, training was first given at village and mandal level. Later, students were prepared to adjust to English medium. A 2 months bridge course was held starting for students of class 4 and 5. For students of class 1, 2 and 3, a two months intensive learning course was conducted to initiate them into English medium. The training was given through digital classrooms, educational movies and videos.

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