TAMIL NADU

Tamil medium schools fast losing patronage

FEW TAKERS: The Tamil medium North Chennai Middle School, Tondiarpet. Photo: K. Pichumani

FEW TAKERS: The Tamil medium North Chennai Middle School, Tondiarpet. Photo: K. Pichumani  

Swahilya

Parents prefer to send children to English medium schools

CHENNAI: It's 5 a.m. The long queue of parents waiting in line for admission of their wards to St. Joseph's Preparatory School at Arathoon Road in Royapuram is still growing.

While admissions for kindergarten is a rat race in the south Chennai, even in north Chennai, where primary schools are dime a dozen, the situation is not very different. The rush to get their wards admitted in one of the "prestigious" schools in the area never seems to cease.

E. Earnest Paul, Vice President of the Royapuram Residents' Welfare Association and patron of the St. Peters Higher Secondary School, says that in some schools there are 600 applications for 150 seats in three sections.

"To prevent large crowds, the schools can increase the number of applications," he says.

A recent trend is the craze to admit children in the mushrooming English medium nursery schools. M.L. Shanmugasundaram, Correspondent, North Madras Middle School, a 60-year-old institution in Tondiarpet that admits students from Class 1, says there is a 50 per cent drop in admissions over last year.

The reason he gives is that parents want to admit their wards in English medium schools where they get to wear shoes and socks and sit with a table and chair, even though the fees may be higher.

Though the Government pays the salary for teachers, there is great difficulty in providing better facilities without a source to generate funds. There is also the problem of retaining teachers when Government aid dips because of fewer students enrolling.

He said that there is a sharp drop in the number of students who want to get admitted in the Tamil medium in the elementary schools of the area. This trend is also seen in Tamil medium in the middle school-level at P.A.K. Palanisamy Nadar and K.C. Sankaralinga Nadar Schools in Royapuram.

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