ON THE MADRAS SNOWBALL
Summary from one of Billows' Curricula Vitae
(written after 1980):
my last two years in Madras [1959/60] I organized and started
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
of Education of Madras State asked me to organize
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
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
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