IntroductionThe students from the rural and semi-urban areas have a big issue on their hands when they migrate to the big cities for education. Apart from their lack of spoken and written English skills, their major handicap is in terms of being unable to come to grips with the perceived superiority of their urban counterparts. This leads to an inferiority complex. This translates into shyness and a big reluctance to even speak out in their classes. Sometimes, they are also teased by the urban students and this adds fuel to the fire.
Each of these issues can be solved through a) Focused socialization b) Simultaneous learning and presentation in two languages c) Taking up part-time jobs d) Interaction with urban students on the weekends and e) Greater involvement of teachers in the transition.
Focused socialization Breaking the ice exercises are available aplenty. These are simple and easy to use as well. Once the teachers receive some basic training, they can easily manage this socialization process, including the art of introducing oneself, articulating fresh ideas, being attentive in classrooms where the learning happens in English and also through increased group work. In fact, this is actively being done in many B-schools, where the MBA or PGDM courses are taught. Hence, the learning templates are already available. One just needs a bit of research into existing practices.
Simultaneous learning and presentation in two languagesSince India is a melting point of several languages, learning has to necessarily take place through the local language and through English as well. It has to be noted that English cannot be neglected at all. China, for example, is enabling learning through the Chinese language and the English language and it is reported that in the next decade, the number of graduates or educated people who read and write and speak English in China, will be ten times that of India.
The trick is to discuss simple concepts in both languages. The initial discussion can be in the local language, including Hindi. Further explanation and linking of ideas that take the learning forward can always happen in English. For example, if the discussion is about the application of the GST to various businesses, the learning can initially be in the local language and it is even wise to call a local entrepreneur to explain how GST is being calculated.
Furthermore, the students of the B.Com course, for example, should be made to make a presentation on "Growth of GST revenues in India" and this presentation can be done in the local language and in English as well. Through a process of continuous presentation in English, the rural students will gain maximum confidence and come out of their shell.
Taking up part-time jobs In the big cities, it is becoming extremely common to find students taking up part-time jobs in three star hotels or the big branded restaurants. This has really helped them to easily understand the nitty-gritty of interacting with the different categories of customers, including those who understand only the English language. This should be actively encouraged. The students should also be encouraged to share their experiences with their classmates.
In this process, the students will not only get the required exposure, but also be able to relate to anyone around him or her in a very effortless manner. The girls are also seen to be taking up jobs in the Event Management roles. This also helps the girls to understand the nuances of quick decision making or in making all arrangements with limited resources.
This sort of practical experience will enable the student to gain the vital exposure and also gather the vital confidence to navigate the highly dynamic urban or metro environments. In particular, those who have moved to Mumbai, it has been noted, have done exceedingly well for themselves.
Interaction with urban students on the weekends A limited amount of outbound training can be done for the students. For example, if the students are exposed to team work exercises, they will easily transition to being able to conduct themselves in a far better manner. They will forget all their shyness and the net result will be positive.
The Sundays can also be used for limited online knowledge sharing between students, and this can be a starting point for more interactions that will facilitate the transition from rural to urban life and adjustments that are called for. It also has to be acknowledged and understood that exposure does not mean just knowledge limited to the courses that the students study. It also includes all the elements of whatever one can find in the external environment, including changing fashions, food, tourism and so on.
This is exactly where the increased interaction between the urban and metro students and the rural and semi-urban students can easily help a great deal.
Greater involvement of teachers in the transition Teachers also need to voluntarily chip in and facilitate the big issue of exposure. Teachers always form a vital link in any teaching process. Their role becomes all the more important in the vital issue of exposure. When the students get the required exposure, not only will the students learn, they will also acquire the various competencies needed to go ahead in life. This also extends to their careers and stability in life. Emotional intelligence will always translate into better inter-personal skills.
Conclusion The rural and the semi-urban students need to be exposed to the vagaries of urban and metro life, much more today, than ever before. In a globalized world, the process of acquiring exposure is as vital as the formal learning. The aforesaid points need to be implemented in all possible ways with all seriousness.
In many parts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu, many engineering colleges exist in semi-urban and rural areas. Almost all the colleges have buses for the transportation of students from the nearest city to these colleges. In the same fashion, the colleges in the city are having buses for transporting students from semi-urban and rural areas to the college in the town. Thus almost all students are getting exposed to both urban and semi-urban/ rural atmospheres and that is making them all-rounders.
After the evolution of the internet, all villages are also getting connectivity and students are getting updated knowledge on almost all subjects. That is making them as good as urban students in the majority of aspects.
The main difference in my opinion between these two types of students is their communication abilities. So a student has to concentrate on improving his conversation skills. Many students may be good orators in their mother tongue but they may have to search for words when they want to communicate in English. If these students can try and obtain the required skills, these students will also have equal opportunities to establish well in their careers.
In the current times, we can observe that the institutions existing in rural areas try to update their teaching at par with urban areas so that the difference between the two is minimal. This is even all the more necessary keeping in view of basic needs of essential skill development of students.
Connectivity of internet has made education more easy and in search of relevant details, they are not dependent upon text books only which was the earlier norm and hence we can conclude that awareness of the students has grown tremendously to update themselves irrespective of the places, they belong to.
Providing regular opportunities to mix the students of both the areas through the efforts of the college management would certainly help the students to overcome their difficulties in the areas of communication.
Rural students who are exposed to urban environments often face a number of challenges that can make it difficult for them to succeed academically and socially. These challenges include cultural differences, language barriers, and limited access to resources and opportunities. However, with the right approach, these challenges can be effectively managed to help rural students thrive in urban environments.
One of the key strategies for managing the challenges of rural students to urban exposure is to provide them with a strong support system. This can include mentoring programs, counseling services, and academic support. For example, a mentoring program can match rural students with urban students who can serve as role models and offer guidance and support. Counseling services can help rural students cope with the emotional and psychological challenges of adjusting to a new environment. And academic support can help rural students overcome any learning barriers they may encounter.