41 new English medium schools in 8 years but no Marathi ones
The education board of the Pune Municipal Corporation set up as many as 41 English medium schools in eight years,but no Marathi medium ones. Also,a few Marathi schools like the Jhansi Ki Rani School in Shanipar had to be closed down owing to shortage of students.
If that doesnt explain the dwindling demand for Marathi medium schools in the city,take a look at the data on students in Marathi schools available with the board. The number of students in Marathi schools was 1,19,088 in 2001-02,which went down to 72,640 in 2009-10. It has reached 70,136 in 2010-11, says PMC education officer Ramchandra Jadhav.
He adds this has nothing to do with shortage of funds. We got funds to the tune of Rs 207 crore for this academic year. We have the money but cannot do much about it because of the decrease in demand.
The board had started setting up english medium schools in 2003. PMC school board chairperson Sangeeta Tiwari says,It basically has to do with the mindset of parents. Today,people think that if a child does not go to an English medium school,he will not be able to survive in todays competitive world. Also,there is an obvious fall in the quality of teachers. I am from a Marathi medium school and am doing well. A change in the mindset can bring about a big difference.
She says the board has come up with a few programmes to improve the quality of education being imparted in these schools. Apart from door-to-door surveys that will be conducted in the coming months,we are also planning a few training programmes for teachers that can help us bring our teachers at par with private schools. We need to lay more stress on quality improvement.