Some Government-aided schools in the city have been grappling with problems arising from an unprecedented rush of parents and students seeking admission to the English medium sections over the past week or so.
They find themselves in an unenviable situation of regulating the crowd of parents. To ensure orderliness, parents were being issued tokens and permitted inside in batches in one of the schools. Last week, a section of parents carried out an agitation in front of another school since they were reportedly refused application forms. Senior Education department officials had to intervene and prevail upon the school to issue applications to all the parents.
Owing to such an overwhelming patronage, head masters are of the view that the Government must permit government and aided schools to increase the number of English medium sections in each standard – at present only one English medium section is allowed. “The Government should consider starting State Board English medium schools. Parents firmly believe that education through English medium will ensure a secure future for their wards. Hence the rush,” reasoned out a headmaster of a reputed government-aided school.
Education department officials have instructed headmasters that entrance examination must not be conducted for admitting students to the English medium sections. The school education department has also advised head masters to wait for the recommendations of the Committee headed by former Madras High Court Judge K. Govindarajan before fixing the fee.
The recommendations of the Committee constituted by the School education department late last year to determine the fee structure for unaided private schools in the State under the Tamil Nadu Schools (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act 2009, will also be binding on those government and aided schools that have been permitted to offer English medium education through one section in each standard on a self-financing basis, the Chief Educational Officer K. Swaminathan said.
So far, be it a government or aided school, fee fixation was not guided by any official norm for admission to the English medium section. For each student admitted under English medium, a government or aided school had to pay to the Government an amount ranging from Rs. 200 to Rs. 400 depending on the standard. The school committees fixed the fee factoring in the salaries they need to pay for teachers recruited specifically for the English medium sections and other expenditures towards provision of sanitation facilities, payment of telephone and Internet bills and paying non-teaching staff.
For a few government aided schools, English medium sections are being run with Government-sanctioned posts. Such schools need to levy only the fee specified by the Government, Chief Educational Officer K. Swaminathan said.