This June will mark the beginning of an exciting academic year for schools run by the Chennai Corporation, if the initiatives being planned are any indication.

The civic body, which announced a host of school education-related schemes in its recent budget, is keen on building a positive image for the schools. To start with, the Corporation Boys Higher Secondary School in your neighbourhood will be rechristened Chennai Boys Higher Secondary School. All the school buildings will also be painted in a uniform colour.

“We want students to identify with their school and feel proud about their institution,” said Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni.

In this effort towards what seems like an overall revamp, a series of initiatives have been planned. About 75 vacancies have been identified in the higher secondary schools. “We have spoken to the Teachers Recruitment Board and these posts will be filled soon,” Mr. Lakhoni said.

The Corporation is also in the process of procuring books for its school libraries. “We want to set aside half-an-hour a day as exclusive reading time for students, about thrice a week. We are buying children's literature, comics and other informative books to promote the habit of reading among children,” he said. During summer vacation, one room in every school would be readied as library.

A mathematics laboratory for students of classes X and XII is being set up in collaboration with a non-governmental organisation working in the area of mathematics and science learning.

The laboratory, to be housed at the school in Nungambakkam, would be open to students of other schools, too. “Depending on how this works out, similar facilities will be made available to students of class VI upward,” Mr. Lakhoni said.

One higher secondary school in each zone would be identified as ‘School of excellence.'

“We will make sure that all teacher vacancies are filled and the infrastructure is good. We will also hold regular PTA meetings to make sure that the parents are involved actively,” Mr. Lakhoni said.

From career counselling sessions for students and setting benchmarks in examination scores to ensuring transportation for students and making available scholarships to meritorious students, a host of factors would make these schools “model schools” for other schools to emulate.

“These schools of excellence will be modelled on Kendriya Vidyalayas, where the emphasis will be on quality,” Mr. Lakhoni added.

In addition to these, the civic body would also gear up to implement ‘Samacheer Kalvi' under the Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School Education Act for classes I and VI from the coming academic year, by training teachers.

“We are beginning our admission procedure in April this year. We really hope that the enrolments go up, particularly at primary level,” ,” Mr. Lakhoni said.

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Meera SrinivasanJune 28, 2012

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