‘Semi-English’ soon as medium of instruction in all PMC schools
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With more and more students migrating to English-medium schools from the Marathi ones, the education department of the Pune Municipal Corporation is now in the process of introducing what it calls "Semi-English" medium of instruction in all its 200 schools from Class I onwards. Under the plan, select subjects will be taught in English language.
Currently only 25-30 schools follow this approach of teaching. The education board is also planning to set up a basic infrastructure needed to implement the proposal from the next academic year. "The proposal will be taken up for discussion in next education board meeting. We had invited feedback from the schools and almost all the schools have given a positive response," said a senior education board official.
Shivaji Daundkar, education board chief, said all the schools will have two divisions each, one for students who would learn subjects in Marathi and the other under the new plan.
The proposal came up in a meeting held in December 2012. "The worrying trend of increasing dropout rates in Marathi medium schools run by the PMC was discussed in a recent meeting where all school authorities and schools' boards officials had participated," said Daundkar. He said to curb this trend a proposal to gradually change Marathi medium schools to English medium came up.
The PMC education department has also conducted a survey to find out the number of teachers who can be shifted to teach under the new system. "Our criteria for a teacher to qualify for teaching the semi-English students is that he/she should have passed class XII and cleared their B.Ed. in English medium. We need the teachers to have good command over the language so that the students benefit from the change of medium," said Daundkar. He also ruled out any new recruitment to fill the posts. The list of shortlisted candidates will be available in 15 days.
Once the initial procedures are completed, the parents of the students studying in Marathi schools will be taken into confidence. "We will definitely take the permission of the parents before taking any major step although we have got good response from the schools and we think even parents will welcome the move," said Daundkar. The change of medium will be completed and implemented by academic year 2013-14