The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation school board has introduced English subject from Class I in its non English-medium institutions. Students of the 34,000 government primary schools across the state, however, will be introduced to the subject in Class III.
Gauging parents’ preference for English-medium schools and witnessing a decline in enrolment in municipal schools every year, the AMC school board has been aiming at opening more English-medium civic schools. AMC’s first English-medium school — Shahpur Public School — was opened in 2013 and in four years the civic body has opened 16 more such schools.
“The general impression among parents in Ahmedabad is that municipal schools means Gujarati-medium schools. We want to change this mindset and prove that government schools too can be English-medium and better than any private or public school,” said AMC school board administrative officer L D Desai.
Though the municipal school board is restricting the focus of Class I students to speaking and listening skills than writing and reading, it claimed that the curriculum was designed after a thorough research on all existing textbooks and curricula of popular national and even international boards.
“The idea is to stop parents, especially in the urban slums, from shifting their children to English-medium private schools. We have been losing students to these private schools every year, which lack even basic infrastructure and qualified faculty,” said assistant administrative officer Dinesh Desai, the project co-ordinator.
To counter the flow of students towards English-medium private schools, this academic session, the AMC school board opened five new English medium schools in Sabarmati, Lilanagar, Vejalpur, Odhav and Vasna areas, taking the number to 17 out of total 455 municipal schools with 1.24 lakh students.
Previous year, two English-medium schools were opened in Bapunagar and Khokhra.
At present, students of government primary schools across the state study English from Class III where textbooks are only for teachers and not students. The subject was made compulsory in the second semester of Class III of academic session 2013-14. Earlier, English was introduced in non English-medium government schools in Class V.