One hundred and twenty five students from the Polytechnic College housed in the Ramakrishna Mission Students’ Home will benefit from the two-year English Access Microscholarship Programme offered by the Regional English Language Office at the US Embassy.
One of the students of the 108-year-old institution who is receiving the scholarship is S. Vasudevan. He is making a leap into English medium education, after studying in Tamil medium up to class X. Vasudevan’s father works as a priest, and his mother is a helper at a school back in Bangalore. “In the past few weeks of the course, we were made to converse in English. At the end of two years, I can face job interviews confidently,” he said.
Diane M. Millar, head, RELO, US Embassy New Delhi who inaugurated the programme on Wednesday said it was not just about learning English, but also about helping students develop critical thinking skills and writing skills among others.
The programme aims to give access to English skills to enable students to get better jobs and improve educational prospects. Swami Satyajnanananda, secretary, Students Home, said that 700 students were given education free of charge at the Home. The programme targets students from disadvantaged backgrounds and has benefited close to 95,000 students since 2004, according to official information.
Mangalam Neelakantan, master trainer for the programme at the institute, said that the programme is confined not just to classroom teaching but also involves visits, 30-hour camps, and also sessions with storytellers, among others.
S. Srinivasan, principal, Vivekananda College, Heera Kaur Kamboj, Acting public affairs officer, US Consulate Chennai, were among those present.