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Surat Municipal Corporation plans English medium schools
Aug 27, 2012: SURAT: Surat Municipal Corporation ( SMC) has started a pilot project to run English medium schools in seven zones of the city. Nagar Prathmik Shikshan Samiti (NPSS) that runs 272 municipal schools in seven mediums imparting primary education to nearly 1.35 lakh students will implement the decision immediately.
"We have made the provision for English-medium schools in our budget," said Bhimji Patel, chairman, standing committee. "The need for education in English is felt by everyone. There are large number of families who can't afford English-medium education for their children in private schools. Thus, it is an attempt by us to provide a level-playing field to students from the lower strata of the society," he added.
NPSS chairman Atul Patel told TOI, "We have started the process of getting approvals for running the schools in all zones. We have no problems with regard to premises. English-medium schools will become functional in all the zones in the next academic term. We have also demanded teachers for these schools from the education department."
Patel said, "At present, there are just 255 students in the two English-medium schools run by us in class I, II and III. In three years, we want these schools to have at least 10,000 students and VII and VIII classes also in English-medium. This is our pilot project. However, looking at the response, we are not averse to increasing the number of English-medium schools across the city."
NPSS runs Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Urdu, Telugu, Oriya and English mediums.
Rakesh Desai, professor and head of the department of English at VNSGU, said, "It is a welcome change. We do need English in all spheres of life."
The number of English-medium students has increased manifold in Surat after the entry of schools affiliated to CBSE and ICSE boards. Five years ago, the number of English-medium students appearing from the city in classes X and XII were at about 8,000. At present, 10,000 students give their examinations conducted by Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board and 15,000 by other boards every year in English from the city.