Chhattisgarh Government’s English Medium Schools Runs Out Of Seats Amid High Demand

The Logical Indian Crew Chhattisgarh | 26 Jan 2021
The government had received as many as 60,000 applications for admission in a span of three months but admitted only 28,000 students due to limited availability of seats.

The Bhupesh Baghel-led Chhattisgarh government’s English medium schools are in high demand in the state. To bring government-aided institutions at par with its private counterpart, 52 English medium schools under the name of Swami Atmanand, a well-known educationist from Raipur, were set up in the first phase of rebuilding the structure. According to The Print, these schools were formally inaugurated on the state’s foundation day on November 1, 2020, but the enrollment procedure had already started in August. The government had received as many as 60,000 applications in a span of three months but admitted only 28,000 students due to limited availability of seats.

“We are moving ahead to complete one of our dream projects to ensure greater access to quality education in uniquely conceptualised English medium government schools. Improving education should remain a critical area of investment and the students’ performance should be the indicator of success”, said Chief Minister Baghel, reported The New Indian Express.

Swami Atmanand English Medium Schools

The state-run schools mainly cater to the children belonging to the economically weaker section of the society. The idea behind this is the notion that access to the English language is the right of the elite. Hence such targeted measures to bring a shift in the mindset in the society plays a key role.

English is taught to students from primary classes and around 500 seats have been fixed for the same for each school till secondary level. Reports have pointed out that the school infrastructure has been refurbished with clean ambience around the campus, while the buildings have been beautified and are equipped with adequate furniture. The schools are equipped with science labs, smart classrooms and libraries stocked with inspirational literature and grounds with multi-sporting facilities would help in bettering the learning experience. Reportedly the experienced and qualified teachers are also turning to such schools in search for better opportunities and well-paying stint.

“The effort to set up government-owned English medium schools became extremely popular in the first year (2020) itself. Further admissions were stopped after enrollment of about 28,000 students before November due to jostling between the parents for admissions and a heavy influx of recommendations,” said Alok Shukla, Principal Secretary, State School Education Department. “The quality parameters of these schools were determined keeping in mind private schools and their students’ performance. It will not be proper to compromise with the quality of education by providing admissions to more than available,” he added. The government had been facing persistent demand from the public to set up educational institutions that would provide quality education with an affordable fee structure. “English learning has become indispensable for the children to keep pace with the modern world. There was a huge demand for government English medium school from parents. Also, the Chhattisgarh government believes that no child should be deprived of the opportunity for education of his or her choice mainly due to parents’ inability to pay the cost. However, there is no hurry in opening new schools as we are moving in a planned way. Other editions of the schools will be rolled out only when entire infrastructure is put in place,” Shukla explained. “I never thought my daughter could ever study in such an outstanding English medium school,” said an Ajay Pandey, resident of Mahasamund district. The Chief Minister had during one of his addresses had said that his government would work towards resolving concerns for the overall development of the state and that a lack of money will never come in the way of progress. Surprisingly, there have been reports that parents reached out to local political leaders seeking help in getting their wards enrolled in such schools. “It was quite surprising for me that almost 100 parents – from many districts including Raipur – sought recommendation from me to get their kids enrolled in government English medium schools. Apart from enrollments, parents also demanded the opening of more such schools,” said Raipur Congress MLA Vikas Upadhyay. Congress spokesman R.P Singh also shared a similar experience. “I recommended nearly 50 names for admission in these schools on parents’ requests. If the experiment of Government English medium schools succeeds, then, I must say, 25 per cent private schools in the state will have to be shut down in the coming years,” he said. The District Mineral Foundation (DMF) funds are channelised by the respective district collectors to meet the expenses. On the road ahead, the Chief Minister had said that the state is planning to raise the number of such schools from the existing 52 to 100 from the next academic session across 28 districts.