English learning enhanced the employability level of students and also provided an edge in any field in a competitive environment, said Ian Cawley, Global Manager, Cambridge English Language Assessment (CELA), a no-for-profit organisation of the University of Cambridge.
Mr. Cawley, who was here to interact with leaders of educational institutions, said that English had become essential for Indian students who were lacking in soft skills. The CELA provided tailor-made modules to learn English to different sections of people at the school and college levels. It worked in partnership with several higher education institutions and governments.
“For the University of Cambridge, one of the oldest universities of the world, which houses the biggest research department, it is an educational mission,” said Mr. Cawley, speaking about the partnerships entered with governments and universities across the world to facilitate reforms in education. In Tamil Nadu, the CELA has 12 centres of excellence that are involved in enhancing the English skills of students. Among them, four – Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai; National College of Engineering, Kovilpatti; Mepco Schlenk Engineering College, Sivakasi, and Kalasalingam University, Krishnankovil – are in south Tamil Nadu.
Referring to a 2014 survey which said that 83 per cent of Indian engineering graduates were unfit for employment due to lack of soft skills, Mr. Cawley said that the CELA had English teaching modules even for corporation schools, using the latest technology.
It was involved in implementation of Society for Creation of Opportunity through Proficiency in English in Gujarat since 2007. The objective of the programme is to develop English language proficiency among the youth, with Cambridge curriculum, through an established network of 630 centres. Such programmes could be launched in other States also, he said.
The CELA through its packages and tests opened doors to higher education and improved employment opportunities.