ON THE MADRAS SNOWBALL


Summary from one of Billows' Curricula Vitae (written after 1980):

In my last two years in Madras [1959/60]  I organized and started the Madras English Language Teaching Campaign, which I usually referred to as the MELT Campaign, but it was usually known as the Madras Snowball, because of the rapidity with which it got under way. The Minister of Education of  Madras State  asked me to organize and plan it so as to introduce the teaching of English into the Primary Schools. We re-trained 28,000 teachers and made use of 8,000 secondary school teachers to pass on what we gave them in short three-week refresher courses. The whole programme had to be completed in three years. Afterwards a follow-up institution was set up in Bangalore to serve the whole of South India.



There is a 24-page type-written manuscript with details of  the Campaign, titled

A CRASH EDUCATION PROGRAMME – the Madras Snowball

It was probably written shortly before 1990, i.e. in Billows' later years, when he was about eighty. It is not a straightforward factual account of the Campaign, but is interspersed with personal reminiscences of the years in India. The manuscript is obviously a first and largely unrevised draft. Still – the reader will learn many interesting details about how the Campaign was planned and run, but above all he or she will learn a great deal  about the man himself. So if you should feel confused in places, do not let this stop you – do read on!

The text I have available is only a photocopy, parts of which are of bad quality. I have scanned it directly into a pdf-file. Apart from a few handwritten corrections, the text should be legible enough.