English Vinglish: Students of Nidamamuru ZPHS not afraid of being trolled for speaking English

"We got negative comments on our videos saying that it is fake and we are made to mug up for the video. But all we say is ‘We Don't Care’. That is what our teachers and parents told us,” said Farheen

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  26 July 2022 3:22 AM GMT
English Vinglish: Students of Nidamamuru ZPHS not afraid of being trolled for speaking English

Vijayawada: "My mother is a teacher in a private school. She shows videos of me and my friends speaking in English to her school children and asks them to learn better. Isn't that a proud moment for me?" says Farheen, class IX student of ZPHS, Nidamamuru. The students of Zilla Parishad High School (ZPHS) in Nidamamuru, Vijayawada, are learning English with dreams of becoming an automobile engineer and inventing a car or becoming a railway officer. Every student has a story to tell. At least 100 students from class VI to X have already set their future goals.

How did it start?

It all started during a summer camp for spoken English conducted by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. ZPHS Nidamamuru was selected as one of the schools for the pilot project. About 100 students attended the 12-day workshop where around 15 resource persons from each district taught them English.

"It was a full-day session for the students who were taught how to pronounce, read, and speak English without grammatical errors. We wanted the children to learn proper English and develop their communication skills. We also created a WhatsApp group and gave them topics to discuss every week," said Sridevi, English assistant at the school.

'Elon Musk is my inspiration'

For class IX student Farheen, her inspiration is Elon Musk and she wants to invent a car and ride in her own car with her parents. "For any future development, we need to speak English and I have got that opportunity now. The majority of IAS officers are from government schools, so I think we should feel proud that government schools are far better than private schools," said Farheen.

'My neighbours were shocked'

"When students of government schools speak in English, it is a shock to many. My neighbours were shocked too. When they saw my videos and heard my family speaking about my English-speaking skills, they had a shocked look on their faces and they asked me many questions," said Damini Tiwari, a class VII student.

'We are ahead of private schools'

Joy, a class IX student, said, "Gone are those days when government school students had poor communication skills. There were times when private schools blamed us for our poor communication skills. Now, we are the best and I am proud to say that."

'My sister feels jealous'

"After I started speaking in English at home, my parents were so happy. But my sister who is studying intermediate first year is jealous of me. She says she can speak better, but I know who speaks better," said Satwik of class VIII with a smile on his face. According to Satwik, English is the key to communicating anywhere. His aim is to become a railway officer, and he hopes his good communication skills will help him build his future.

'Don't care about trolls'

The students of ZPHS, Bendapudi, were the first to prove that government school students can speak better English. They also got a chance to interact with Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy and have become quite famous. However, they were trolled on social media. But now that the students of Nidamanuru are speaking English, they are not afraid of being trolled by netizens. "We have seen the girl students of Bendapudi being trolled which is very bad. We feel that those who troll do not speak English. We got negative comments on our videos saying that it is fake and we are made to mug up for the video. But all we say is 'We Don't Care'. That is what our teachers and parents told us," said Farheen.

Speaking about the trolls, headmaster B. Suresh Kumar said, "After videos of government school students speaking in English were uploaded on social media, we saw many trolls. It will impact the future of girl students. After the workshop, our students started speaking good English. Many parents requested us not to let their children give any interviews. They fear their children will be trolled."

Model school

Established in 1962, this ZPHS school is one of the model schools in the state. With more than 1,000 students, the school has six digital classrooms, a solar power project, labs, CCTVs, and an NCC office. "This is among two schools in the state selected for Nutre Gro, a pilot project, a machine which calculates the body mass index (BMI) of every student. During the mid-day meals, the students have to scan the food plate under the machine and it shows if the food quantity is sufficient for the student. The data will be connected to the CM dashboard," said Mr. Suresh Kumar.

To encourage the students' competitive spirit, some of the teachers of the school gift Rs. 5,000 each to students who achieve above 90% in academics every year.

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