Kolkata: The Backward Classes Welfare (BCW) department has chalked out an elaborate plan to teach English, Mathematics and Science to tribal students of Ekalavya Model Residential Schools in the state (EMRS).
There are seven EMR schools in the state. They are situated at Bankura, Purulia, Birbhum, South Dinajpur, Jhargram, Jalpaiguri and Burdwan.
It may be recalled that after coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave special attention to provide education to tribal boys and girls. She also requested to the then general secretary of Ramakrishna Mission Swami Suhitanandaji to take steps to provide best education to tribal students. Accordingly, RKM set up the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira (Ekalavya Model Residential School) at Jhargram. She also awarded Uday Murmu who got the highest marks in Santhali language in Higher Secondary examination. The BCW has brought out a trilingual dictionary in Olchiki script having over 24,000 words.
The students of EMRS studying in Classes X and XII will be given special residential coaching in North Bengal. The coaching course will be for seven days. The teachings will be provided by the teachers of Ramakrishna Mission Sikshan Mandira, Belur Math that give training to the teachers. The teachers will be taught at the residential camps. The students will be taught about the techniques of writing answer scripts and the methods to improve their scores in English, Mathematics and Science. The basic concept of the residential camp is to learn through fun.
Meanwhile, the BCW department has decided to train the teachers of EMRS and students in Bussu which is a computer aided spoken English course. It may be mentioned that Bussu is a language spoken in Cameroon. According to an ethnological study conducted in 1980s, only eight people in that time were still able to speak the language.
Bussu is the world's largest social network for learning language. Through online and apps, the business offers free and premium paid services for access to audio visual courses for 12 languages. Bussu offers courses based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) levels A1, A2, B1 and B2. In 2015, Bussu formed a partnership with McGraw Hill Education, one of the largest and most respected education companies.
A meeting was held between senior officials of the BCW and Bussu and it was decided that the educators will go to the EMRS to teach both the teachers and the students. The students will be using electronic gadgets to improve their spoken and writing skills. If the project turns out to be a success, then the tribal students residing in the hostels will be taught English with the help of Bussu.