Twenty Government middle schools in the district are likely to be upgraded, if the proposal sent by the Education Department here is anything to go by.

Sources said the schools were chosen based on the criterion that there ought to be no high school within a five km radius. If the proposal came through, it would benefit around 1,000 students.

Last year the Department sought for and upgraded four schools: Saravanampatti, Kummittipathi, near Madukkarai, Andipalayam, near Kinathukadavu, and Pethanaickanur, near Anamalai.

After the upgrade, the Government gave Rs. 52 lakh to each of the schools to build additional classrooms, laboratories and staff room to cope with the increased need.

The Department had also sought for strengthening facilities in 56 schools. If the Government accepted the proposal and sanctioned funds, it would pave the way for construction of classrooms and toilets and establishment of laboratories in newly upgraded schools.

The sources said the Government would grant the funds only after a team from Chennai audited the needs and the district education office officials followed up the same with another visit.

The next demand was for training Class IX and X teachers in computers. They said that training the teachers had become imperative as the Government was supplying compact disks for all subjects as part of computer assisted learning programme.

The teachers should have the basic knowledge to at least switch on the system and play the files on the CDs. Last year, more than 500 teachers were taught to read and write e-mails.

In addition to the computer training, the Department had also asked for training science teachers in practical. It was an area that needed concentration, as it had been introduced in Government schools for the first time this academic year, they reasoned.

The fourth of the Department’s demands to the Government is for continuation of payment of Rs. 40,000 to each Government, Corporation and Municipal high and higher secondary schools to purchase of lab equipment.

The sources said last year the Government granted the amount to 160 schools. They money was also used for availing power and internet connection as well.

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