May 7, 2012 12:26:48 am
In one of the first such collaborations between the two very similar cultures,Manipuris and Thais,Manipur University will now teach English to Thai students. More projects are on the agenda as the universities of Manipur and Thailand are set to collaborate on a number of matters.
On our visit to Thai universities last year,they discussed with us a need for their students to learn English. Despite having such a strong tourism industry,the Thais are very weak in English. Their primary aim is that the students be conversant in English so that they are able to deal with the increasing number of international tourists, says Prof Amar Yumnam,Dean of Social Studies at Manipur University. He was part of the delegation that visited Thailand.
Prof Yumnam points out that Thai students start learning English,if at all,only after Class XII.
Dean of Students Welfare and English professor in charge of the project,Professor Ratan says the project will begin in this academic session starting in July. Nearly 40-50 students are likely to come for the first certificate course. We are keeping the number limited since this is just a certificate course. We will look at an expansion only once this course is successful, says Prof Ratan.
Manipur University signed an MoU with Surindra Rajabhat University in the Surin province of Thailand last year.
Talking about cultural similarities between the Manipuri and the Thai people,Prof Ratan says: They feel more comfortable coming to Manipur because we look the same,dress the same,our food habits are the same and there are great cultural similarities in terms of some rituals et al. There are some similarities in the language and the script too.
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