141 Dubai workers 'graduate' in spoken English| MENAFN.COM

Saturday, 26 November 2022 06:31 GMT

141 Dubai workers 'graduate' in spoken English


(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Learning to communicate better in English language has been a far-fetched dream for many blue-collar workers in Dubai.

To empower these workers so that they can communicate better in English, Dubai based non-voluntary organisation, Smartlife, launched an English speaking programme called Smartreading about three years ago.

It was a big moment for 141 workers who graduated from yet another batch of the programme on Friday. They received certificates of appreciation, some of the outstanding workers were also rewarded for having a good attendance. Sumathy Vasudev from the Indian Consulate Dubai, in charge of Consular and Labour Affairs; Steve Burnell, managing director, School Transport Services; Simon Andrews, HR director, School Transport Services; Janine, HR coordinator, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) were among the guests at the event.

About 10 toppers of the programme were rewarded with laptops, gifted by the BCG group.

"Not everyone has the resources to invest in formal learning. When I came to Dubai I could not speak or write in English but here I am today in front of you giving a speech in English. So, it is these volunteers of NGO SmartLife and my employers who invested their time and resources and encouraged me to make use of this SmartReading programme. I cannot thank them enough for changing my life," said Rami Francis, a graduate.

Manjula Ramakrishnan, Project Lead, SmartReading and spokesperson for SmartLife, said: "What started as less than a dozen students sitting around a teacher wanting to get a reasonable command over the English language, has over a short time grown beyond our expectations. From a class of less than 12 students, the current intake with its 500 plus students across 28 classrooms and covering at least 10 different nationalities makes us feel more motivated to reach out to a lot more students."

Looking at his newly acquired laptop in disbelief, one of the toppers of the course Abu Bakar said: "I could never afford a laptop with my salary but see what this learning process has blessed me with. This has just motivated me to go on and further this process of my learning."

How the programme runs?

With 580 students on board, 53 permanent teachers and eight substitute teachers, SmartReading programme runs like a mini school. Lessons are ready by Monday every week, giving teachers time to prepare for their Friday class. The programme is strictly for the workers who earn Dh2,500 monthly or below. Companies have to take the initiate to send workers for the English reading programme Smartreading, a campaign started by SmartLife.

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