In U-turn, UP bats for English schools

Poor language skills big hurdle: Officials

Once known for its strong anti-English stand, the Samajwadi Party government has decided to set up English medium schools across Uttar Pradesh to prepare children to compete with others in the country.

The government plans to start the English medium primary schools at every district from the next academic session, officials of the education department here said
“At least one English medium school will be set up in every district to start with,” said an official.

In the next stage, the big towns might get more than one English medium schools, if needed.

The officials said lack of English medium schools was the “biggest hurdle” in the way of bringing the children to the government schools.

“Despite our best efforts we failed to attract the children to the primary schools run by the government,” said an official.

The situation is worst in the government primary schools in the towns but the rural areas are no exception.

“Even in the rural areas, the parents prefer to send their children to the English medium schools, which had mushroomed there off late,” the official said
Earlier, English as a language was taught at schools from sixth standard. Later on it was introduced from the first standard. But even then the government schools were no match for the private English medium schools.

“We do not want our children to lag behind others in this age of competition. We have to prepare them to compete with others,” said the official.

However, the officials said the government would have to put in a huge amount of capital to improve the infrastructure if it wanted to set-up quality English medium schools.

“We will need well trained and qualified English medium teachers besides uniforms and books for free distribution,” they said.

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