India: English radio lessons: Exit UNICEF, enter govt

After the UNICEF decided to discontinue the implementation of “Interactive Learning Through Radio” programme in Uttar Pradesh from next academic year, the state government has decided to implement the unique scheme on its own.

“This is one scheme that we intend to carry forward, and are working out the modalities to ensure its implementation from the next academic session,” said Anup Chandra Pandey, State Project Director (SPD), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Principal Secretary, Basic Education.

At present, three organisations have been shortlisted for the implementation of the scheme. They have prepared the model radio lessons, which are currently being assessed to be a part of the curriculum. These are Centre for Learning Resources, a Pune-based NGO which has formulated the ongoing English radio lessons, Bangalore-based Education Development Centre (EDC), which is funded by USAID, and English Language Teaching Institute (ELTI), a part of state primary education department.

The government plans to put emphasis on grammar and writing skills of English as well as on spoken English. “We will also include poems, stories, words and sentence formation. These things were not given much emphasis in the earlier English radio lessons, as the main focus was on spoken English. So, we have asked the NGOs and ELTI to prepare model lessons that will address these aspects as well,” said a senior UNICEF official. “Now, we are in the process of examining their model lessons after which we will decide on the organisation,” the official added.

The programme was introduced in over 1,200 primary and 500 upper primary schools in Lucknow on a pilot basis in the last academic session. It was later extended to Hardoi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Rae Bareli, Sitapur and Unnao districts as well in which the lessons are imparted for students of Classes IV, V, VI and VII.

From Indian Express

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