Shillong, Aug 16: The Meghalaya Football Association has announced that the Grassroots Leaders Course and D Licence programmes can now be conducted in the Khasi language following the modules’ translation from English.

The MFA had sought for and received the approval of the All India Football Federation to translate the modules into Khasi, thereby expanding the potential for football coaches to take up the Grassroots Leaders Course and D Licence in the state.

The MFA has also received the approval of the AIFF to translate the modules into the Garo language.

The translation was undertaken by Bala Nongkynrih, a researcher at North Eastern Hill University, with the active help of Shillong Lajong coach and D Licence instructor Alison Kharsyntiew and MFA CEO and Grassroots Leaders Course instructor Arki Nongrum.

The first grassroots leaders course conducted in a language other than English in India took place in Maharashtra in the Marathi language in June and Meghalaya will be the second state to hold one when it begins on Monday.

“Many coaches worry that a lack of familiarity with the English language may prove to be a barrier in gaining qualifications,” Nongrum said at a press conference to announce the translation here today. “With the course now available in Khasi – and with Garo to come – this will benefit many more coaches and boost their confidence. Although certain technical terms remain untranslated from English, putting them into perspective through use of local languages will go a long way in helping coaches understand the meaning and spirit behind those terms,” he added.

Currently only around 10-20 percent of those coaches from Meghalaya who undertake the D Licence and Grassroots Leaders Course pass the exam and the barriers posed by studying the course in English is a big part of the high failure rate, Nongrum said.

Although there is, as of yet, no Garo D Licence or Grassroots Leaders Course Instructor, the MFA is committed to translate the courses into the Garo language as well, Chairman of the MFA’s Coach Education Committee Dipshon Ryntathiang said. “These translations will not only help coaches but the children as well who are trained under them in their mother tongue,” he added.

The MFA has also requested the AIFF to approve translating the C Licence course into Khasi.

“It is a great advantage for coaches to have the courses taught to them in Khasi. It will enable them to get a good grasp of the concepts, but we have to also encourage them to learn other languages if they are to go further because as of now the B and C Licence programmes are taught in English,” Kharsyntiew said.

(Photo contributed by the Meghalaya Football Association. From left: Alison Kharsyntiew, Dipshon Ryntathiang, Arki Nongrum and Bala Nongkynrih)

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