Sunday, March 09, 2008

English makes inroads in Bihar villages

David Crystal of the Cambridge Encyclopedia recently said Indian English is set to rule as more people speak the language in India than in the English-speaking world. Surprisingly, Bihar promises to be a trend setter.

In an open-air school in Vaishali, songs help kids unravel the mysteries of Pythagoras and master the nuances of the Queen's language

''My mummy and papa are very happy. I'm also happy to learn English,'' said Priyanka Preeti, Class VIII student

''We won't lag behind anyone by learning English. We'll march forward and prosper as learning English is fun,'' said Kanchan, Class VII student.

The central government's Annual Status of Education Report says that school students in Bihar are now better in English and Mathematics than anywhere else in the country.

This has been possible because of an overhaul of the education system and special emphasis on Mathematics and English, as they are seen as important success tools in today's world.

Last year in Bihar, over two lakh teachers were appointed. Student enrolment in schools is up 10 per cent. It is over 80 per cent now.

''I am not educated but my grandchildren are learning. They are progressing and learning English too. They'll earn a name in the world,'' said Dineshwar Singh, an elder in village.

Adding the learning of the English language and Mathematics to the enthusiasm of these village school children is multiplying into a neat sum. It promises a countdown to the end of Bihar's backwardness.

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