[EDLING:80] Teaching of Indian languages gets a boost in Singapore

Francis M. Hult fmhult at DOLPHIN.UPENN.EDU
Fri May 4 02:41:26 UTC 2007


Teaching of Indian languages gets a boost in Singapore

Singapore, May 4 (DPA) Teaching of five Indian languages, other than Tamil, 
will receive a $1.5 million (nearly US$10 million) boost next year from the 
government of Singapore.

Community groups organised by the Hindi Society have been running weekend 
classes in five non-Tamil languages in 20 schools. Mainstream schools do not 
offer the classes.

In recognition of the effort, languages such as Bengali, Hindi, Gujarati, 
Punjabi and Urdu will benefit. The funding will go toward teacher training and 
development of teaching materials, the society told The Straits Times.

Singapore's predominantly Chinese population of 4.5 million includes seven 
percent Indians.Students in the regular school system learn English and a 
second language, usually in their mother tongue. These include Chinese, Malay 
and Tamil.

The weekend classes are run "like a normal school, with prize-giving ceremonies 
and concerts", Hindu Society President S. Tiwari was quoted as saying.

The budget has been limited to $800,000 Singapore dollars annually from fees 
and donations.

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