Mumbai schools begin exchange programme to break language barrier

Aug 27, 2014, 11:03 IST | Shreya Bhandary

A unique exchange programme seeks to bridge the language divide between English-medium and vernacular-medium students in the city. Two suburban schools an Urdu-medium and an English-medium one have joined hands to initiate an exchange programme, in which students from one school will spend a day attending classes at the other.

In the first batch, 50-odd students from Bandra’s Anjuman-E-Islam Girls High School attended classes at Kamla High School in Khar yesterday. The purpose, stated the principals, was to focus on overall development of students by facilitating a healthy interaction between students studying in two different mediums.'

50 students from the Anjuman-E-Islam High School attended classes at the Kamla High School in Bandra, and took part in other activities
50 students from the Anjuman-E-Islam High School attended classes at the Kamla High School in Bandra, and took part in other activities

“We were not sure how this would turn out, but the first meeting helped break the inhibition between those studying in English- and vernacular-medium schools. Even teachers were invited to our school and teaching modules were shared, while the students attended regular classes and participated in activities organised by our students,” said Rekha Shahani, principal of Kamla High School.

Over the next few months, all of the 350 Std X students of Anjuman-E-Islam Girls High School will participate in this exchange programme, and spend a day in this English-medium school. Girls from the Khar school will also go over to the Bandra school over the course of this semester.

Activities galore
On Tuesday, students stood together for the assembly session and followed it with activities focusing on history. This was followed by classes.

“The focus was on different modules for curricular and co-curricular activities. The entire purpose of this link between our schools was to help in personality development of the guest students and, at the same time, to ensure that our students understand and reduce the gap between them and their counterparts,” added Shahani.

“Many international schools regularly organise exchange programmes with schools from other countries, in order to build a bond between two cultures. That is exactly what we are trying to achieve here. One tends to learn more, and better, the minute we start adapting to new people and a new environment,” said Saba Patel, principal of Anjuman-E-Islam Girls High School in Bandra (West).

She added that even though this plan is specifically for Std X students as of now, they might open up the programme for Std IX students as well, depending on the response. “We expect students to break the barriers of language in doing so. And I’m sure the response will only be positive,” she told mid-day.

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