In a launching ceremony to mark the 6th installment of the English Microscholarship Access Program at the American Center in Tanjombato, U.S. Ambassador Robert Yamate along with the Minister of National Education Paul Rabary congratulated the 48 students from 11publiclycées in Antananarivo who have been selected to participate in a two-year English study program at the English Teaching Program (ETP.)
These students will benefit from the “English Access Microscholarship Program” administered by ETP and funded by the U.S. State Department. The program aims to help talented youths ages 13 to 20 years from economically disadvantaged sectors to gain English skills through after-school classes and intensive sessions. A good command of the English language leads to better educational and career prospects, to the possibility of future exchange programs and studies in the U.S., and to appreciation for U.S culture and democratic values through cultural enhancement activities.
Congratulating the selected students, Ambassador Yamate said: “As you learn, keep asking questions. Ask where all these new and different words come from, and you could end up learning American and English history, and how immigrants and sometimes invaders integrated into our societies. Ask about the holidays we celebrate, and you might end up learning about anything from what crops we grow, to what values we hold most dear. And don’t be surprised when the answer to each question leads you to another question, or another great idea.”
Participants study every Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning to improve their English skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking, plus an intensive full-time training for two weeks. During the intensive courses, they participate in different personal development and cultural activities such as films, dancing and singing activities, and visits to the U.S. Embassy, the University of Antananarivo, and other businesses and cultural sites in Antananarivo. They also have lunch with teachers to keep practicing the language in an informal setting. In addition, they receive computer training.
Since the inception of the Access program in Madagascar in 2011, 368 students have received free English training. Forty-five students from the first cohort received their certificates of completion of the program on January 16, 2013 at the U.S. Embassy. Today’s group, the sixth cohort selected to participate in the training come from the following public lycées; LMA, Lycée Ambohidratrimo, Lycée Ambohimanarina, Lycée Ambohitrimanjaka, Lycée Andohalo, Lycée Itaosy, Lycée Ivato, Lycée Nanisana, Lycée Rabearivelo, Lycée Talatamaty, Lycée Technique et Professionnel d’Alarobia.
Access is a State Department program which has provided free English study to more than 100,000 students in more than 85 countries since 2004.