New Delhi, India — — A government-sponsored education program in the Indian capital of Delhi has started offering classes in English for the children of people who came to the city from the neighboring country of Bangladesh.
The initiative comes after India signed an agreement with Bangladesh in November 2016 to provide a $15 billion loan to help build up the countrys infrastructure and economy.
More than a million people from the Bangladeshi diaspora have settled in India since the late 1990s, and more than 30,000 children have been enrolled in English-language classes.
But the programs have faced a challenge of ensuring that the children are able to speak the language, given that it is difficult to get proper English education in the country.
The new program, dubbed the Hindi Education Program (HEP), aims to address the issues of language, the training of teachers, the delivery of information and support to the children.
The government hopes that the program will give the children an opportunity to learn English, which they have been struggling to do since childhood, said Pramod Kumar, the head of the Indian Education Commission (IEC), the agency that runs the program.
The HEP is part of the government’s efforts to increase the number of children who learn English from primary to secondary levels, he added.
The state government has started a pilot program to provide classes in the language to children who arrived in the capital last year, Kumar said.
The program is a collaboration between the government, the IEC, local government and private sector.
According to the government-run Center for Science and Technology Education (CTSE), the HEP has been running in various cities in the past three years.
The group runs two languages programs in Bengaluru, where the majority of students are in Hindi, and Hyderabad, a city in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, which has a large Bengali population.HEP teacher Shabana Azam told TechRadars that the focus of the Hep is to provide English classes for all the children in the program, and to make sure they have a positive environment.
She added that since many children are still struggling with learning the language at home, it is important that they are educated in the local language.
“They are very excited to be able to learn a foreign language,” she said.