Admission to be voluntary; nod obtained to commence Class I

Come June 10, the dream of many parents from the low and middle income families to enrol their children in English medium schools will come true.

Helping them realise their dream is the Directorate of Elementary Education which has said all Government schools can offer English medium education in Class I, provided there was adequate demand.

In Coimbatore district, as of Wednesday, 128 government schools have applied for and obtained permission to commence Class I in English medium from the current academic year. Of these, 125 are panchayat union schools and the rest municipal schools, District Elementary Education Officer T. Ganeshamoorthy told The Hindu here on Wednesday.

The State Government relaxed the rules to commence English medium sections this year to increase enrolment in Government schools.

Headmasters of these schools have applied for the permission based on the response from students, admission levels and the willingness of parents.

At present, he said that permission was given only to schools that had adequate teachers to handle the English sections. Care would be taken to maintain the teacher-student ratio at 1:30 as mandated under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act.

Mr. Ganeshamoorthy, however, stressed that admission to English sections was voluntary. These sections were only in addition to the Tamil section which was mandatory in all Government schools. Coimbatore district had a total of 888 panchayat union, 26 municipal and seven Government schools.

Applications for starting English sections were still being received. They were being studied and sanction would be accorded at a later date. In the last academic year of 2012-13, English medium sections were started for Class I for 195 students in five panchayat union schools located at Madukkarai, Sulur, Anamalai, Sultanpet and Pollachi North.