Schools unlikely to be upgraded

Staff Reporter

Corporation may find it difficult to get higher secondary sections started

TIRUCHI: Though eagerly anticipated by poor and lower middle income group residents for several years now, the City Corporation may find it difficult to go ahead with its earlier plan to get higher secondary sections started in K.K. Nagar Panchayat Union Middle School and Mathuram High School along East Bouvlevard Road, with effect from the next academic year.

Education Department authorities are yet to receive written representations to that effect from the parent-teacher associations of these schools though the deadline for the proposals to reach the Director of School Education is this month-end, only a week away.

The PTAs have not been successful in mobilising Rs. 2 lakh, which the State government expects as a mandatory requirement reflecting on public involvement for up-grading any school, it is learnt.

Corporation authorities maintain that their role is limited to maintenance of the buildings and carrying out need-based improvements to infrastructure.

About 50 elementary and high schools under the maintenance of the Corporation are administered by the Education department.

Students from these institutions find it extremely difficult to secure higher secondary admissions in the limited number of government-aided schools in the city limits.

Responding to a petition submitted earlier this week by Makkal Maiyam, a non-governmental organisation, advocating efficient utilisation of the education cess being levied by the Corporation by way of starting higher-secondary sections in deserving schools, the Commissioner T.T. Balsamy had expressed the readiness of the civic body to strengthen the initiative of the Education department by making its own representation to the Director of School Education.

However, the possibility for the upgradation proposals to pass through the stages of Assistant Elementary Educational Officer, District Educational Officer and the Chief Educational Officer, before reaching the level of the Directorate in a week is virtually impossible, felt an official of Education Department.

According to the official, the Corporation could have played a pro-active role well in time by constituting School Upgradation Committees and also coming forward to remit the amount meant as public contribution to the Government, with the consent of the Corporation Council.

Also, the Corporation should realise the need to impress upon the Government to issue an order such that even the administrative control of the local body schools in the city limits are brought under its control, as in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore, he felt.

For fructification at this juncture, the proposals for upgradation of the two schools should have powerful backing by ruling party politicians, a retired headmaster said, pointing out that the local body schools in Airport area, Ariyamangalam, Senthaneerpuram and Edamalaipattipudur also have enough student strength for making a case for starting higher secondary sections in the coming years.

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