With teachers and students in government schools in Rajasthan grappling with the issue of communication, the schemes for personality development, improvement of language skills and developing self-confidence are set to support youngsters in their attempts to build the future career and search for jobs.
While a scheme named after former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is helping the meritorious students, another programme launched in the tribal-dominated Dungarpur district has boosted confidence and enhanced the expression skills of rural students in public speaking.
The State government has approved a budget of ₹5 crore for the A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Personality Development Scheme for 2,000 meritorious students. Under the scheme, the students will be taught about cultural heritage, natural heritage and traditions of Rajasthan as well as other States where they will be taken on the tours.
Education Minister Bulaki Das Kalla said that the scheme, which was announced in this year’s State Budget, would help students get an exposure to different cultures and widen their horizons of knowledge beyond textbooks. The initiative in Dungarpur, named Padhega Dungarpur, Bolega Dungarpur, will benefit over 57,000 students from Class VI to VIII in 381 schools in the district’s 10 blocks.
The schemes for the students have been launched following the internship programmes started for teachers in several districts to help them overcome the language barriers with the help of specially invited tutors. Most of the teachers in the Mahatma Gandhi English medium schools started three years were earlier found unable to converse and teach in English.
The programme in Dungarpur, which will be extended to other districts, involves making the books available to the children as per their interest. Books are kept at such a place in the libraries that the students can access them without any hesitation. The students are encouraged to read the books and participate in the discussions on their contents.
Dungarpur Collector Shubham Chaudhary said each student was given an opportunity to present the stories and poems from the books in their classrooms once in two weeks and the best ones among them were rewarded at the school level. Children performing well in the schools will be selected to participate in the district-level activities, while the district performance committee will review the progress made by all the students.
Ms. Chaudhary said the idea behind launching the programme came up during her field visits to different government schools in the district and her interaction with the students in their classrooms. “Many children were hesitant to talk despite being talented. We found it necessary to enhance the expression skills among the students, as they will be facing interviews for jobs in future,” she said.
In the internship programmes for teachers, the faculty members have been trained with an emphasis to motivate and guide their students in learning and conversing in English. An English booklet on general awareness is also being prepared for the students to generate curiosity among them about their surroundings.