Mamata urges civil servants to improve spoken English

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday advised state civil service officers to improve their spoken English. She said that she had observed that many of the officers lacked the ability to speak English fluently after the subject was withdrawn from primary-level education under the Left regime.

"I was too weak in English when I became a MP for the first time. There was a feeling of inferiority in my mind as I was not fluent in English," she said, addressing the West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) Officers Association at Town Hall.

"You have a good command over English grammar and you can write in English very well. But many of you do not speak English fluently. We are contemplating arranging a bridge course for improving your spoken English skills in collaboration with the British Council. The seven-day course will help you improve your spoken English," the Chief Minister said.

She also advised civil servants about how to be stress-free. "Play games, listen to music and be relaxed. Even I used to play dangoli (a popular game children in villages play). This is essential," she said. She further instructed her secretary Gautam Sanyal to give all Block Development Officers her telephone number and e-mail address so they could contact her when required.

Some civil service officers said the Chief Minister wanted to open a direct channel of communication with BDOs to keep the pressure on District Magistrates.

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