Over 5,000 students from slum neighbourhoods will soon receive top-quality education at 32 residential schools to be run by Chennai Corporation. The higher secondary schools will be provided an additional floor for boarding. Chennai Corporation teachers have convened a meeting of parents on Friday with officials of the civic body to finalise the list of student beneficiaries.

“Four schools will begin free residential training in three weeks. Chennai Corporation Higher Secondary School on Pulla Avenue, Subbarayan Street and Saidapet will start the residential course in July,” said an official of Chennai Corporation. The commencement of courses in 28 schools will be decided based on the feedback from parents on Friday.

The civic body will commission separate facilities for boys and girls, offering nutritious food, learning materials and continuous teaching support. Efforts are also under way to bring the level of education at the residential schools on a par with the best private schools.

“Teaching has improved in many schools. But learning by students in slum neighbourhoods is severely affected by their socioeconomic conditions. Students say they are unable to learn at crowded homes. Residential schools will offer the optimum environment to learn,” said a teacher of a Chennai Corporation School.

Teen marriages

Some teachers pointed to the number of marriages of teenagers in such areas and its impact on education. “We are sending a few of our students to medical colleges and engineering colleges. In two years, hundreds of our students will join these institutions. Chennai Corporation is in search of the best talent from the weaker sections to achieve greater goals,” said an official.