Thanks to a new initiative of the State Govt.
For generations, English medium education has been viewed as accessible only to a few sections of society, endowed with wallets fat enough to fork out huge fees in private schools.
This seemed to have ensured that children coming from a large segment of the populace that eked out a living in rural areas by farming and engaging in manual labour were confined to Government schools which provide education free of cost albeit solely in Tamil medium.
Now, an English medium of education was no longer a pipe dream, thanks to a new initiative of the State Government which has relaxed the norms for those starting such sections in government schools.
Said A. Usha, a daily wage labourer in Madukkarai: “We thought of pledging the few gold jewels in the family to get admission to private English medium school for our child.”
Now, it was available to the child free of cost, a jubilant Ms. Usha said on Monday at the Panchayat Union Middle School at Arivoli Nagar where she admitted her child in the English medium class.
It was one of the 125 panchayat union schools and three municipal schools in Coimbatore where English medium sections have been started from the current academic year.
The district had a total of 888 panchayat union, 26 municipal and seven Government schools, according to District Elementary Education Officer T. Ganeshamoorthy. The classes for these new sections commenced from Monday when the new academic year began.
M. Geetha, who has admitted both her children, aged six and seven, in the Arivoli Nagar School, said she never thought a day would come when her kids would be able to get education in English medium.
K. Charmila, Headmistress of this school which has been functioning since 1992, said many parents withdrew their children from private schools once the English sections were announced.
A total of 25 students have been admitted in her school, she added.
School Management Committee president R. Annamalai said lack of English medium was the main reason a lot of students left the school. Now, he confidently predicted a reversal of this trend. Further, he was also requesting the Department of School Education and the district administration to upgrade the middle school to high school.
M. Mary Margaret, Assistant Educational Elementary Officer, Madukkarai Block, said headmasters and teachers went on a publicity spree about the English sections among the population during April and May. Also, announcements were made in the last Annual Day celebrations of the school.