PNS | Vijayawada
In a major step towards enhancing English proficiency among students in the State, Education Minister Botsa Satyanarayana has unveiled a comprehensive programme aimed at preparing students for world-class TOEFL exams. The Minister emphasised the importance of English language skills in today’s globalised world and outlined the government’s initiatives to strengthen students’ Spoken English abilities from a young age.
According to Minister Satyanarayana, the government has partnered with Educational Testing Services (ETS), an American company, to administer TOEFL exams. These exams will begin this year and target students at both the primary and junior levels. Specifically, TOEFL Primary will be conducted for Class 5 students, while TOEFL Junior will be offered for Class 9 students. Certificates will be awarded to successful candidates.
A staggering 6.31 lakh students at the primary level and 14.39 lakh students at the junior level, totaling 20.70 lakh students, are slated to take these online exams. Among the examinees, Minister Satyanarayana explained that 40,000 students from each test category, primary and junior, will be eligible for the certification test, bringing the total to 80,000 students. The exam fee for this certification test is Rs 600 per student, resulting in an estimated expenditure of around Rs 4.80 crore.
Minister Satyanarayana clarified that out of a total annual budget of Rs 6.35 crore, the government allocates Rs 1.55 crore for readiness tests and Rs 4.80 crore for operational tests. Furthermore, the minister revealed plans to introduce a junior speaking course for 5,000 students in the upcoming academic year, with an annual increase in student enrollment. This expansion project, covering the academic years from 2023-24 to 2027-28, is anticipated to cost approximately Rs. 145 crores.
The minister stressed that these initiatives are designed to boost the creative capabilities of the State’s students. However, he lamented that various political parties and individuals continue to hinder these efforts due to a lack of understanding.
Addressing recent controversies, Minister Satyanarayana made it unequivocally clear that the state government has not provided any funding to the Byju’s organization. He revealed that Byju’s had offered to provide free educational content to the state’s students during the World Industrial Conference held in Davos. As a result, around 35 lakh students in the state have benefited from this initiative.
Moreover, 5.18 lakh tablets, preloaded with Byju’s content, have been distributed free of cost to 8th-grade students and teachers. In a stern response to recent political developments, Minister Satyanarayana expressed his displeasure with the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) general secretary, Nara Lokesh, for filing a complaint against Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy with Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The minister defended the right to meet with the Union Minister but strongly criticized the filing of false complaints.
Regarding the BJP’s Andhra Pradesh Unit president, Daggubati Purandeswari, accompanying Lokesh, Minister Satyanarayana urged the YSRCP not to be overly concerned. He emphasized that the Jagan Mohan Reddy government would act according to the state’s requirements and norms. The minister also defended the decision to issue a Government Order for the shift of administration to Visakhapatnam, noting that the Chief Minister’s Camp Office was already situated in Kadapa.
The State government’s commitment to improving English language skills and its resolve to address opposition concerns were at the forefront of Minister Botsa Satyanarayana’s recent announcements.