India will soon export English teachers to southeast Asia to cater to massive demand from the region and earn some foreign exchange in return.
Sources said India and Malaysia will sign a memorandum of understanding during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit next month and the first batch of 100 teachers will land in Malaysia next year.
They will teach children in pilot schools for over two years and the agreement will be renewed thereafter, depending upon the success of the teachers in helping the students learn the English language.
“There has been a demand for English teachers from non-speaking countries in southeast Asia, west Asia and Africa. It’s a huge market for us. This MoU between India and Malaysia is the starting point of India’s export of teachers to the world,” said an official involved in the programme.
India is the world’s second largest English-speaking nation after the United States and the government thinks this could be used to our advantage, he added.
The move comes as India faces a shortage of over 5 lakh teachers and an additional 6.6 lakh teachers need training.
India’s teacher-pupil ratio is also a dismal 1:49, compared with an ideal 1:30, the Annual Status of Education report found last year.
The decision to send teachers abroad is in line with the Prime Minister’s Teachers’ Day address last year when he said there was great demand for good teachers in the world, and India, being a young country, should be able to produce good quality teachers.
The selection of teachers for foreign assignment will be done by Educational Consultants India Limited (EdCIL), a public sector enterprise under the HRD ministry.