Commencement of the “English Teachers Development Project” by Aditya Birla Group

24 April, 2013 | The Nation

The Nation
April 24, 2013

Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Patron of the Aditya Birla Foundation for Community Initiatives in Thailand, recently accorded certificates to 17 teachers who had successfully completed the “Train the English Teachers” course. Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Birla said that this first-of-its-kind project, providing fully integrated professional development of teachers, aimed to raise the proficiency levels and teaching skills of school teachers in the English language.

Mrs. Birla said: “As you may know, by 2015, less than two years from now, the ASEAN Economic Community will be launched officially and English is to be the official language of the AEC. This makes it necessary to focus upon English.

“To make as many Thais as proficient in English as possible is a huge task. It cannot happen overnight. My own sense is that many people have fluency, many people are not so fluent. So how to take this forward? I believe we have to begin with the foundation and then strengthen the process – step by step. Our approach therefore focused on students, and in order to reach the students, teachers would be the best medium. Once children develop better English language skills, it would automatically enter their homes and gradually parents would also take interest. This in turn, would have a ripple effect and Thailand as a nation would grow in stature.”

Mrs. Birla remarked that furthering education is the Aditya Birla Group’s priority in the larger interest of the people and the country. In her view, “education is a great leveler.” The Aditya Birla Group enlisted Nation University’s International Language Institute to conduct the classes and train these 17 teachers. The course, which began in September 2012, spanned 12 weeks of intensive training and classroom teaching, besides observation classes where the instruction was translated in actually teaching the students.

In this context, Mrs. Birla commented: “Today, we see the first fruit of our collective endeavours. I most sincerely hope that these 17 teachers, who have been awarded certificates, will work to spread the knowledge that they have gained to many other teachers, like a candle. They will hopefully light many other candles. In this way, the torch of knowledge will spread. Soon then should dawn a day, when thousands of Thai children will be as fluent in English, as they are in their mother-tongue. As they say – the world is a global village. So the children of Thailand, armed with good English language skills and a good education, can easily become global citizens.”

Two years ago, the Group set up the Aditya Birla Knowledge Centre in Saraburi province, with the support of the provincial government, regulatory authorities and the Skills Development Centre. Recently, Mrs. Birla visited this centre, along with Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group. Both of them were extremely delighted with the progress made. It was a very rewarding experience. More than 1,700 youngsters have been trained, and most of them are now able to earn a livelihood. This is an ongoing project, which will continue to help develop and hone the skills of the people of Saraburi. This has been the Group’s first major project, and is a great success.

The Aditya Birla Group has 10 factories in Thailand, employing more than 3,500 Thais, producing world-class products in the textiles and chemicals businesses value chain. These products are the preferred choice of customers in the most advanced countries of the world, such as countries in Europe, the USA, Japan and many other countries. The Group is very proud of its workforce in Thailand.

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