German language teaching hit by paucity of teachers

EVEN as teaching of foreign languages in the city received a boost of late, lack of trained teachers has become a major stumbling block for better teaching of the languages in the city. In particular, there is a paucity of trained teachers in German language.

The year 2013 marks the completion of 100 years of German teaching in the city. With Pune hosting more than 300 German companies, the German presence is at an all-time high.

Sanjeevani Kuvalekar, head of department of German at Modern College, said the city has roughly 25,000 people studying the language at various levels, while there are only around 300 teachers. "Lack of trained teachers and poor payments are major issues plaguing the education of the language. Teachers are neither paid well nor is there any job security for them," she said.

Ironically, interest in German language seems to be at an all-time high and has lead to changes in the syllabus of the university.

"A few years ago, people who took up the study of the language used to be lovers of literature. But these days, the language is taken up by professionals," she said.

In fact, the university has recently introduced courses in business German to meet the growing demand. "In order to improve the teaching of the language, there are plans to introduce German language at the Bachelor of Eduction level. This would help in improving the quality of teaching in the city," she said.

If paucity of trained teachers is a concern for German teaching in the city, it is the topsy-turvy students to teachers ratio, which is a cause of concern for Japanese language. Anupama Chandrachood, contributory teacher of Japanese in the Department of Foreign language in the University of Pune, said the number of students follows the trends in the markets. "Back in 2006-08, the department had around 600 students. However, the numbers have now stabilised to 350-400, which has become a healthy figure now," she said. Other than the Pune university, the Japanese centre in the city has also started courses in the language. "At present, the number of learners are on the wane, which might be a reflection of the Japanese business interest in the city.

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