On Sunday our Youth Empowerment Program students gathered at the National Centre for Performing Arts to celebrate their graduation from the Teach India English program. The English component of our Youth Empowerment Program has always been a huge focus and draw for the program, however this batch we made a significant change to the curriculum and elected to become part of the Teach India program. This is a Times of India initiative which uses a curriculum designed by the British Council and taught by volunteers from around Mumbai.
"There were two main reasons we decided to adopt the Teach India program. First, it focuses on conversation and speaking skills, which our students have always struggled with. Some students come to the YEP with pretty good written skills, but lack the confidence to speak and are looking to improve this in particular. Second, there is a job opportunity component in particular for individuals who wish to work in the retail sector. We have always hoped that the YEP could be a stepping stone to employment or other education or training programs and this is a first step towards developing this sort of career ladder." said Summer Starr, Executive Director, Reality Gives.
Teach India focuses on the speaking ability of students with the goal of making them more employable. They then offer students the opportunity to meet employers and apply for positions at their career fairs.
Sunday's event included performances from about 15 schools across Mumbai who also participated in the program and a high tea. Performances included english musical and dance performances as well as skits. Supporting the environment and the benefits of speaking English were big themes for the skits this year. The Reality Gives YEP students did not perform this time, but we look forward to participating in the future.
Teach India Volunteers teach for 2 hours a day, 3 alternate days a week for 100 days. They commit to 8.5 days of compulsory training under the British Council. The next batch of trainees will start March/April 2013.
If you would like to volunteer to teach English through the Teach India program, see their website for more information: http://www.itimes.com/public_teach-india.php