Graduation Ceremony of English Access Micro Scholarship Program

February 3, 2023

Amritsar — In partnership with the Regional English Language Office (RELO) of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, the Nanhi Chhaan Foundation (NCF) has successfully completed a two–year English Access Microscholarship Program for 100 economically disadvantaged students. Fifty undergraduate students from the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) College in Verka and fifty students from the Government Institute of Garment Technology (GIGT) polytechnic in Amritsar participated in the program from November 2020 to January 2023, receiving two years of after-school English language classes, along with career readiness and other personal development classes. NCF’s collaboration with the U.S. Embassy started in 2015 with a grant for a program for 100 students from the Government High School in Qila Jiwan Singh village, followed by another grant in 2017 for a program for 100 students at Fatehpur Rajputan village, both in Amritsar district.

The graduation ceremony was held here today at Guru Nanak Dev University College, Verka village (Amritsar). Graduates received certificates signed by Ambassador Elizabeth Jones, the Charge d’ Affaires for the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, and were distributed by Guest of Honor, Mr. Anthony Miranda who is the Cultural and Educational Affairs Counselor at the U.S. Embassy. Other dignitaries gracing the occasion were Ms. Puneet Randhawa, Principal GNDU College in Verka and Mr. Amit Khanna Chairman, GIGT Polytechnic in Amritsar and Mr. Harpal Singh, Chairman of NCF

The U.S. Embassy supports education in Punjab in several ways, including a collaboration since 2022 with the Ministry of Education and the State Council of Research and Training (SCERT) to provide support for English language training for mentor teachers in government schools, and to fund participation in educational exchanges to the United States.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Miranda said, “Increasing the skills of youth is good not only for them, but also for their families, their communities, for India, and beyond.”

The English Access Microscholarship Program is a U.S. State Department-sponsored global initiative that provides English communication skills to talented students from socio-economically disadvantaged communities and includes activities focused on volunteerism, leadership skills, global awareness, and developing an appreciation of Indian and American democratic principles so that participants are better able to successfully compete for opportunities in higher education and the job market. The classes were led by four English language teaching professionals who used a learner-centered communicative language teaching approach. To ensure the quality of teaching, they received regular professional development by an expert trainer, as well as multiple training opportunities provided by RELO.

Nanhi Chhaan Foundation:

The Nanhi Chhaan Foundation (NCF) is a not-for-profit organization set up with the objective of addressing three important social issues namely an adverse gender ratio, environmental degradation and promotion of secularism. The Foundation reaches out to a diverse audience irrespective of their religious and socio-political beliefs to achieve its objectives. Nanhi Chhaan has touched a sensitive chord across all sections of society as is evident from the response it has evoked since its launch on 27th Aug 2008. Eminent Patrons guide NCF and liberal support is available from government schools, CII, hospitals, Save the Children, Worldwide Fund, CRPF, and State Governments. Mr. Harpal Singh is the Chairman of the Foundation