Chennai: At the heart of the historical heritage garden of the Theosophical Society, lies the Olcott Memorial School with a vision to provide quality education to economically disadvantaged children. Making this vision a reality is The Pemanda Monappa Trust, a non - profit, gender neutral and non-denominational entity working to support the needy and the weakest. Partnering with the British Council, who are experts in teaching of English, and the Theosophical society, the trust has embarked on an initiative to improve the skills of teachers from the Olcott Memorial School to teach spoken English.
It is a fact that India is emerging as a favoured destination for investment and English has become a language that creates opportunities for employment and self- growth. The growing demand for professionals with effective English speaking skills makes it imperative that young learners are enabled to become proficient in its use. This is all the more necessary and important for those belonging to the economically and socially weaker sections of society, who are handicapped due to circumstances beyond their control.
The initiative at this school is as poignant as it is ambitious because the children who will be benefited by the programme belong to marginalised families and are children of fishermen, construction workers, etc
Mr. Belliappa, Managing Trustee, Pemanda Monappa Trust, speaking on the initiative said: “This programme involving The Pemanda Monappa Trust, the British Council and the Theosophical Society will be a landmark initiative exemplifying the value of partnership and collaboration where each of these organizations contribute their resources for the good of the weakest and needy. It is also proposed to identify a group of students who have shown interest and competence, and put them on a fast track so that they get optimum benefit.”
Being launched on April 22, 2015, the programme will run for a year, in the course of which the British Council will deploy experts, guide and monitor the progress of the project, and provide substantial inputs, for teachers and learners, both online and offline. About 10 teachers and 500 children will benefit immensely from this programme.
Ms. Mei-kwei Barker, Director, British Council South India said, “Ensuring greater access through digital content, improving quality, and teacher training will be the focus areas of British Council’s English intervention with Olcott Memorial School”.
The programme covers 3 main strands:
LearnEnglish for Schools, a digital resource to improve Spoken English, will be installed in the English language lab and a programme of engagement for teachers and learners will be implemented.
LearnEnglishPathways, an online course to improve language proficiency, will be delivered to selected teachers from the school.
Online moderated teacher training courses will focus on methodology and classroom interaction, improving the skills of teachers in the classroom and ensuring improved learning outcomes.
For more information on our English digital resources please visit: www.britishcouncil.in/english/learn-online