The state government will set up 1,000 English medium schools across Bengal, 900 more than it had promised last year, education minister Partha Chatterjee said in the Assembly on Monday.
The government had announced last year that it would set up 100 English-medium schools across Bengal to ensure that parents who couldn’t afford private schools could give their wards English-medium education.
The proposed schools will be equipped with facilities for modern teaching and learning as well as extra-curricular activities, an official in the school education department said.
Minister Chatterjee said 65 out of the 100 English-medium schools promised last year had already come up and the rest were in the pipeline.
“We now have a target of 1,000 English-medium schools across Bengal…. It is not possible to attract parents to stateaided schools only by providing mid-day meals. The schools need to be equipped with modern facilities to attract parents who have the inclination to provide Englishmedium education to their children,” Chatterjee said.
The minister announced the government’s plans to set up 1,000 English-medium schools while replying to a question by Abdul Mannan, the leader of the Opposition. Mannan wanted to know why fewer students were enrolling in state-aided schools.
Admitting the problem, Chatterjee blamed the erstwhile Left Front government’s decision to scrap English at Partha Chatterjee the primary level.
“We are trying to upgrade the infrastructure facilities for converting these schools into English-medium institutions…. Emphasis is on computer education…The pre-primary units are being modernised with modern teaching facilities… In some schools we are trying to install modern sports and playing apparatus on par with the private schools,” the minister said.
A senior official of the school education department, however, could not confirm whether all the proposed 900 English-medium schools would be on the campuses of existing state-aided Bengali-medium schools or would come up as independent institutes.
Most of the 65 schools that have been set up are on existing campuses.
In 2016, the state government had announced plans to introduce English-medium sections in vernacular schools. But the attempt did not materialise because of a shortage of teachers capable of teaching in English.
The government had also said that schools opening English-medium sections at the primary level would have at least one additional teacher with the skills to impart education in English.
Source: The Telegraph