Try reading this – mαζί ας φέρνουμε την αλλαγή
Well, unless you know Greek language, you will find it impossible to read it. For you these are just a set of random symbols.
Today, this is exactly how millions of kids in India feel everyday when they try to read English. For them, English feels like what Greek feels to us; just a set of random symbols with no meaning.
Now imagine if your dream was to become a doctor and you discover that all your subjects will be taught in Greek language. You will be shocked and heartbroken. You may even consider on giving up on your dreams.
Thankfully you don’t have to go through this but this is what most kids do. They can’t pursue their dreams of becoming doctors or engineers or scientists because the higher education courses are English-only courses. Imagine the energies we could unleash if all of them become proficient in English.
So, How Big Is This Problem?
● Today, out of nearly 200 million kids studying in Indian rural government schools, 86% of them cannot even recognise the alphabets.
● 82% of these school kids cannot read simple English words.This is as big as the population of Germany, Spain and Canada put together.
● In Maharashtra alone, almost 9 million students cannot even read simple English sentences by the time they reach eighth grade
(Need to add source for all the above stats)
But Why English Language?
English is one of the most used languages in the world. Today an estimated 1 billion people worldwide speak English. One can say it is the primary language of the world today.
The English language helps us connect with other individuals across the globe to exchange ideas, build new things and learn new skills. It is that magic door that opens up the world to new possibilities.
Knowing English increases the chances of getting a good job. According to a survey report, for same-skilled jobs, people who speak fluent English earn 34% more than those who cannot speak at all (The India Human Development Survey 2005).
But the single most important benefit is that “English provides an equal opportunity for these kids to better their lives and their family’s lives”. And this is the mission that drives us at LeapForWord.
Where Is The Challenge?
The responsibility of teaching English to our kids falls on the local government school teacher who himself/herself is a product of the same constrained education system. Thus, the teacher how much ever well- intentioned, does not have either the skills or the confidence to teach English.
This dependency on an English-competent teacher is the single biggest bottleneck in the pursuit of English Literacy. And due to this, millions of kids in schools across India continue to remain cut-off from opportunities to better their lives due to poor English skills.
We at LeapForWord see the possibility of completely solving the English learning problem for regional language schools in India.
The above Greek phrase means Together, let us bring change.