Empowering Young Learners with Spoken English & Libertarian Values

Grant Details

 Center for Civil Society
Country: India
Funding Year:
Project Duration: 3 years


Funding Areas

Empowerment of Individuals ✓
Teaching Freedom ✓

The ability to fluently read, write and speak English has emerged as a crucial determinant of opportunity, choice, employability, social inclusion and mobility in India. There are growing aspirations for English speaking even among India’s poorest - demonstrated by increasing parental preference for private schools perceived as sites for better learning and opportunity primarily because of English education. With the recent trends in the Indian economy towards service industries, there is also an increasing market demand for an English-speaking workforce. However, a large proportion of India’s people cannot read, write or speak the language - only 4 percent of the population speaks the language fluently. English language education continues be poor in low income schools with poorly trained teachers, misaligned assessments, and lack of investments. Education in India, along with the popular media and public discourse also continues to harbor a predominantly statist and socialist bias with the result that young students and teachers have had little exposure to libertarian ideas and values and an understanding of their potential to transform their lives and life chances. 

The project aims to train 5,000 teachers to improve spoken English skills for students currently attending low-fee private schools in India – incorporating classical liberal content into the curriculum. The project will create a mobile-based app called Bolo English with conversational English and libertarian content while also conducting in-person training for teachers and students.  

Learn more about Bolo English here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZYxkCJ7A_U.

Contribution to Enhancing Freedom

Through English proficiency, the project seeks to foster better opportunities for education and employment, as well as social inclusion and mobility amongst low-income communities. This project from the Centre for Civil Society addresses these two pervasive challenges in Indian society: (1) poor knowledge of English, particularly in disadvantaged communities, and (2) a prevalent bias towards Nehruvian socialism. 

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