Only 70% of students admitted in class I have kindergarten education

The Chennai Corporation has identified the areas where 10 new kindergarten (KG) sections will come up in schools.

It is now in the process of finalising the schools. The areas identified are Tiruvottiyur High Road, Arthoon Road, Thiru. Vi. Ka. Nagar (Pulianthope), Ayanavaram, Arumbakkam, Kamdar Nagar, Triplicane High Road, Puliyur, Maduvankarai and M.G.R. Nagar (K.K. Nagar).

The proposal to add KG sections in 10 Chennai Schools was announced in the Corporation budget this year. The sections will be added to Chennai Primary Schools attached to Chennai middle, high and higher secondary schools.

“There is a lot of demand for KG classes, and this way we can work with students from the beginning,” a senior official said. It is also being viewed as a means to increase enrolment.

“Parents enrol children in private schools that have kindergarten sections because they can continue up to class 12 in the same school,” the official said.

Most of the schools under consideration are attached to high and higher secondary schools that have English-medium sections, an official said. Such schools should have adequate space (two classrooms) and, ideally, be located close to a balwadi which can act as a feeder. The official said a resolution finalising the 10 schools was likely to be passed in this month’s council meeting.

As in the existing KG sections in 30 Chennai schools, which have a combined strength of around 3,000, there will be at least one classroom with Montessori ambience, the official said.

Teachers would be a mix of redistribution from existing kindergarten schools and contractual appointments, preferably Montessori-trained. Currently, teachers are being taken on board on a contractual basis for arts, music and physical education, the official said.

While 70 per cent of students admitted in class I come with kindergarten education, the rest usually start afresh as pre-primary education is not a pre-requisite at the time of admitting a child.

An official said they would also incorporate best practices observed during their recent visit to schools run by the Pune Municipal Corporation.

Four headmasters and six teachers along with the joint commisioner (education), Chennai Corporation, went on the visit organised by Teach for India.

“Among other aspects, we are looking at the diaries and uniforms of the Pune schools,” the official said.