03 July 2010

English medium sections in Corporation Schools

This morning’s edition of THE HINDU carries a news report according to which 25 schools began introducing English medium sections and 15 schools will be doing so this year. This is a commendable move.

We all know that today’s parents prefer sending their children to private schools to government or corporation schools. Although they think that private schools impart quality education, if we look deep into how these schools function, we can easily understand that many of these schools `seem' to perform well due to better physical infrastructure, which they acquire by means of donations from parents, extra coaching facilities, educated parental community etc. and not because of teachers' qualifications, curriculum or any evidence based exceptional school processes. Many private schools admit children after interviewing parents to ascertain their educational qualifications, although this practice is against the very foundation of `Education for All’.

As far as building repairs in schools are concerned, our government agencies can follow what Trindiad, an island nation in the West Indies does. In Trinidad, `Education Facilities Company Limited' takes care of all repair and maintenance problems occuring in Government Schools.  Their website is very user-friendly with instant messaging system which can be used by school principals.

Chennai Corporation’s move will pave way for healthy competition between private and Corporation schools in today’s context where most parents seem to prefer private schools mainly because of the medium of instruction. The move will take schools one step forward toward the aims of our Government's Right to Education Bill and Dakar Summit's Education for All.

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About Me

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Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
I am a retired K-12 Education Management Professional. I have worked at different levels in K-12 school systems, textbook publishing, elearning and Education NGOs. I have held memberships in The Association for Science Education (UK), American Association of Physics Teachers and The Malaysian Institute of Physics. I hold a 1st class B Sc Degree in Physics followed by B Ed [English and Physical Science] and M A [Childcare and Education] degrees. My published works include 59 articles in teacher development magazines in India and the US and a book entitled `Creative Classrooms and Child Friendly Schools' (listed in Amazon). This book is almost an anecdotal account of my professional experience in six countries (including Cambodia where I worked as Technical Adviser to the Ministry of Education, Youth And Sports). I served as mentor in the Certificate of Teaching Mastery Program offered by Teachers Without Borders.