CHENNAI: The city’s Corporation, which runs 281 schools in the city, is now planning to take the Kindergarten route to challenge the increasing demand for private schools. With this academic year, the civic body is introducing kindergarten sections in 35 of its schools. Not just that, all these schools will follow the Montessori system of learning in these sections, which is usually considered expensive. But for the Greater Chennai Corporation, this is a way to attract more students to its schools — a challenge considering the lure that parents have towards private schools.
The kindergarten sections began in Corporation’s schools in June 2013. Rather than adhering to conventional teaching practices, the education department had adopted the Montessori method, which is based on hands-on learning experience and collaborative play. Nearly, `30 lakh was invested to train the teachers and buy Montessori materials.
“The student intake has increased almost three-fold in the KG sections compared to the launch in 2013. Working parents from the middle-income group benefitted the most as the children remain in school until they get back from office,” said a senior official.
As of now, 165 out of the 281 Corporations schools in the city have kindergarten sections. Encouraged by the higher enrollment achieved by kindergarten, the officials are introducing kindergarten sections in 35 new schools this year. Officials said the application forms for these classes were available at the campus of the respective school and the Corporation’s headquarters, Ripon Building.