Centre's English schools are model to State

Centre's English schools are model to State

Such is their popularity that the State wants more such schools, but the Centre has capped opening more schools. 

Under the Model School programme of the Union Ministry of Human Resources Department, the State opened two English medium sections in sixth standard in 74 select schools last year. Each section has 80 students. Seventh standard classes were opened this year. The demand-availability ratio of seats in the centrally-sponsored English medium schools is 1:8, and as high as 1:16 in districts like Bijapur and Bagalkot.

The schools impart education in English medium from 6th to 12th standard. Students are selected through an entrance exam for the 6th standard. Only those who have studied in Kannada medium are eligible for admission.

Under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) programme, the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) has sanctioned funds for constructing buildings to house the schools. But the civil work is yet to begin.

For each building, Rs three crore has been sanctioned. The rules stipulate built-up area of 8,000 sq ft on a minimum of five acres of land for each school. The Central funds should not be spent for purchasing land. 

Adarsha Vidyalayas (AVs) should be on par with Kendriya Vidyalayas, which follow the CBSE syllabus. But, the State has adopted the State syllabus as students find it difficult to follow the CBSE syllabus.

But, are the government school teachers equipped to teach in English medium? M N Baig, Director, RMSA in the State replies that selected teachers have attended a training course at the Regional Institute of English, Bangalore University.

Baig said a separate teaching cadre would soon be in place. An agency has been identified to recruit 370 teachers to function full-time and 298 teachers on a part-time basis. They will not be government employees.

“We are going to prescribe set goals to the teachers. If they do not achieve, they will lose the job,” the Director said.

The success of AVs is one of the factors that has made Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri to go in for English medium sections from class six onwards. “I wish the Centre sanctions more such schools. Only educationally backward areas are eligible. Hence, we have only 74 schools,” he said.

The report ‘Education in Karnataka 2009-10’ brought out by the Department of Public Instruction has stated that 11.09 per cent of students in all schools in the State are studying in English medium, with Kannada being medium of education for 78.98 per cent. The State’s language policy states that students in the lower primary schools should get education in their mother tongue.

As the number of people who have mentioned English as mother tongue in the census is much lower than 11.09 it is obvious that children whose mother tongue is not English have opted for that language as medium of instruction.

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