Learning spoken Arabic in crowded classrooms of Technical Training Centres in the capital is proving difficult for housemaids seeking jobs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.
Each classroom remains crammed with over 150 job seekers with a lone teacher imparting lessons, participating teachers as well as the trainees told New Age.
Though the TTCs are required to provide mandatory language training for one month they have an acute shortage of trained or experienced teachers of Arabic teachers.
Hawa Begum of Zianagar, Bagerhat, said after attending spoken Arabic class with 164 other learners at the Bangladesh-Korea Technical Training Centre that she could not learn even a single Arabic word in 15 days.
She said that inexperienced trainers try to acquaint the leaners with Arabic synonyms of select Bangla terms over the loudspeaker which always remains inaudible to the leaners in the overcrowded classrooms.
‘I am staying at a mess rented by the broker to attend the TTC’s noisy classes and I am not sure whether it would help me pass the recruitment test.’ she said.
Tania Begum of Nagarkanda, Faridpur after attending spoken Arabic class for two weeks narrated a different experience as she could herself learn some of the Arabic synonyms which were written in Bangla against their Bangla terms.
Her advantage was that she had attended school up to class VIII and she wants to go to the KSA to join her husband.
But she also got 95 participants in the same classroom.
Asked about the overcrowded classrooms, Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Women Technical Training Centre principal Fouzia Shahnaz told New Age that students were given working Arabic lessons in groups and group leaders help the rest learn the lessons.
She said that the more intelligent learn the lessons faster.
Trainer Supriya Shahnewaz, who trains housemaids for the KSA, Lebanon, UAE and other Arab countries at TTC’s programmes in smaller classrooms run by Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program, an NGO better known as OKUP, said that inexperienced trainers cannot impart basic spoke Arabic lessons which vary so widely between Arab countries.
The number of learners in her class never exceeds 25.
She said that learning foreign vocabulary becomes difficult for the seekers of housemaids jobs as most of them were usually unlettered.