New Delhi The South Delhi Municipal Corporation has introduced foreign languages in its primary schools to improve the quality of education and bring them at par with private English-medium schools in the city.In a pilot project, Eklavya Education and Social Welfare Society, a non-government organisation, has started teaching Japanese language to children from nursery class in three schools in Subhash Nagar, Kharkhari Jatmal and Suhera.“Rather than holding separate classes for the students, we are helping them to learn select words every week in a playful manner. After six months, we will start teaching them 5-6 sentences, every week. Their teachers, who are given basic training in the language, help them to pronounce these sentences properly,” said Ashok Thakur, founder of Eklavya Foundation.The idea is to make the learning experience interesting and meaningful. “We plan to start sessions in Japanese from class IV, when kids become familiar with the language. They will be told to write in the language from the fourth standard only,” he said.“The students had even presented a drama in Japanese on January 23, during the school’s annual day function,” said Meeta Singh, additional commissioner, SDMC.The NGO plans to introduce French and German languages soon.The three schools are among the 25 adopted by 12 NGOs in south Delhi under the School Quality Enhancing Programme of the municipal corporation. “Under the programme, the NGOs adopt various practices to improve the students’ strength, attendance and quality of learning. Their performances are evaluated every year by the civic agency,” said SDMC official. Local representatives welcomed the step but stressed upon upgrading the education system. “Why we are relying on NGOs? Also, why have we not been successful in developing our own mechanism to increase the learning ability of our kids? A majority of them can’t read and write in English language properly even till the fourth and fifth standard,” said Abhishek Dutt, Congress councillor from Andrews Ganj. Singh said the education department has suggested measures, such as arranging training programmes for teachers, to improve the performance of SDMC schools.