US Consulate-sponsored English-language course ends

Karachi:11July:Seventy-five students were presented with medals and certificates for the completion of a six-month English-language programme at the graduation ceremony at the Royal Rodale Club on Monday afternoon.

The programme, termed ‘English Works’, was designed by the US Consulate General and the Evolution Education Programme. John Warner, public affairs officer of the US Consulate General, who was the guest of honour, gave away the medals and prizes and congratulated the graduates of the English Works programme.

In his exhortation to the graduates, he said: “We can all change the world. You can change the world by changing the minds of the people towards progressive thinking.”

Warner said that he was very proud to be part of the programme.

Graduates and teachers both expressed their views on the efficacy of the programme.

Shoaib Siddiqui, project manager of the programme, advised the students to “stay connected”, and chances of further training and advancement would certainly come. He said that while the duration of the course was only six months, more opportunities for improvement would certainly present themselves. “Just stay connected.”

Siddiqui said that apart from brushing language skills, the course was also aimed at bringing to the fore the candidates’ leadership qualities and inculcate the trend of creative thinking among them.

Syma Javed Khan, one of the teachers, said, “This is not the end. Learning is a life-long process.” Turning to the fresh graduates, she said, “Most of you will find yourselves well-equipped for the 21st century.”

Later, talking to The News, she said that the programme was really beneficial in that it was very comprehensive, and apart from English, students were also groomed in community service. “It polished their employable skills,” she said. “It brightened their future prospects,” she added.

One of the graduating students, Rehana Khatoon thanked the US Consulate General for having drafted such a constructive programme for the young people. “Initially I was hesitant,” she said, “and today here I am. The harder you work for something, you’ll see it better when you achieve it.”

Now a teacher in the Educators’ School System, she said that she planned to work for students who had no resources. “I am looking forward to changing the world forever. Success is a journey, not a destination.”

Later, talking to The News, she said, “The programme was very beneficial indeed. It polished my communication skills.”

The programme began with a tableau depicting the strain being imposed on the oceans by human beings in the present day and age. It was presented in the form of a case between the marine animals and human beings, with one of the students playing the judge. The marine animals and life present a list of their complaints against the humans to the judge which includes over-exploitation of marine resources and hunting of marine animals, some to extinction. This was in light of World Oceans Day, which was marked on July 8. Apart from broadening their horizon from just the language to other pressing global issues, it also displayed their fluency in English.

The English Works programme was launched to improve job-related English and practical skills among disadvantaged young people aged 18-25. The programme provides participants up to 12 hours per weekly classroom instruction in English vocabulary, grammar and writing for use in workplace environments.The news.