Kochi: To keep pace with changing times, cops in a police station in Kerala are taking spoken English lessons to enhance their language skills and communicate better with people.
At least 100 constables and police personnel in the 25-55 age group of `Janamaitri` (People friendly) police station at nearby Aluva are taking the lessons since last month, Aluva Rural Superintendent of Police T Vikram told reporters.
"Learning English also helps them access the Internet. All police stations have been given computers with Internet facilities. It helps personnel access mails. The IT revolution
in the police department has changed case filing and communication procedures. They are also separately taking computers classes to be computer savvy," he said.
Aluva region has a vast migrant population from different states. So learning English helps them hear and understand the problems better while trying to help the people, Vikram said.
English classes are held on Fridays for an hour.Normally on these days, policemen go for parade.Since the rainy season has begun, this period is being wisely used by them, says Ramesh Kumar, Circle Inspector, Aluva police station.
Philips Sam, Director of `Super English` institute, who takes classes along with other teachers, said the students are divided into batches.
"Initially many did not like it. But now all of them are interested and want the classes to be extended," says Sam, who has taught students in Ethiopia, Abu Dhabi, Mauritius,
Describing his policemen students as "disciplined" and "cooperative," he expressed confidence that most of them would be able to communicate better after the classes.
Circle Inspector Ramesh Kumar said group discussions and translations were also held as part of the classes.
The policemen were asked to translate some popular Malayalam film songs into English in the last class and they were all very excited, he said.
At least five to eight teachers take classes for the policemen in batches. They are taught how to create dialogues, frame appropriate questions, besides improve their translation
ability, Sam said, adding that grammar classes are also taken.
Vikram said, "We plan to have the classes for at least six months".
Learning English has helped the policemen communicate better, he said.
"We want to increase their skill base. The policemen themselves wanted to learn English," he said.
If the scheme succeeds, this could be extended to other police stations in Aluva, he said.