CHENNAI:Presidency Girls Higher Secondary School in Egmore, one of the few schools in the State that offered various language mediums of learning, will discontinue mediums other than English and Tamil from the next academic year.
Due to lack of patronage, the school will formally end teaching in Telugu. Malayalam medium, which was once popular among Keralites in the city, was closed about five years ago for the same reason, said V Rama, a retired teacher who worked at the school for 29 years.
“About 20 years ago, Malayalam and Telugu mediums of learning were sought after. There would be at least 30 students in these sections. But in the last decade, interest has dwindled and students strength has been declining,” Rama said.
As English is increasingly becoming the preferred medium of education, numbers in Malayalam and Telugu mediums have dwindled. Currently, there is only one student studying in Telugu medium at the school, teachers said.
Finding teachers to teach in Malayalam and Telugu was yet another task. “We had to stop the Malayalam medium classes as the teachers retired. Next year, teachers who teach in other languages will retire too — so we have to discontinue them,” said C Pushpa, principal.
“As always, students studying in mediums other than Tamil and English will be given special attention and taught in Tamil or English,” said a teacher.
The school will continue to be the only government school in the city to offer German as an optional language.
P B Prince Gajendra Babu, general secretary of the State Platform for Common School System, said, “The State government’s rule that Tamil must be learnt in school does not bar learning in other mediums like Telugu and Malayalam. Even if a single student wants to learn in a particular language, the child must not be denied the opportunity,” Babu said.