Reading newspaper daily helps improve language skills and keep us updated about current events. In today’s competitive world, competency in English is essential to excel in any field.

The Hindu Group of Publications’ initiative to reach out to school students, Newspaper in Education (NIE) programme, for the academic year 2012-13 was launched in Coimbatore at a function held at Stanes Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School on Monday.

Chief guest for the event Ashok Bakthavathsalam, Chairman of The Confederation of Indian Industry, Coimbatore, said that Newspaper in Education was an international programme launched in 1955 based on studies which emphasised the role of newspapers in improving knowledge and language skills of students.

“Reading newspaper daily helps improve language skills and keep us updated about current events. In today’s competitive world, competency in English is essential to excel in any field. I have been following the ‘Know Your English’ column published in The Hindu since my school days and this has strengthened my foundation in English language,” said Mr. Bakthavathsalam.

Activities, including debates and quiz, based on issues covered in newspapers could help students have a better grasp of current events while helping them improve their language and communication skills, he added.

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Principal of Stanes Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School Llewellyn Xavier said, “Newspapers could serve as a good learning resource for students as it covers a wide range of topics in an interesting manner while giving attention to grammar and sentence construction.”

According to Shobha Ramprasanth, coordinator of The Hindu-NIE, Coimbatore, NIE in its ninth year, covered 1,100 schools in 115 cities and towns reaching around 10 lakh students across the country. The NIE sessions in schools were conducted by 387 resource persons.

As many as 75,000 students in around 100 schools in Coimbatore district benefited from the programme. According to Ms. Ramprasanth, the interactive sessions familiarised students with the content of the newspaper while focussing on vocabulary, grammar and other learning skills.

Regional General Manager of The Hindu, Coimbatore, D. Raj Kumar and Assistant Regional Manager Suresh Menon also spoke.

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