Rajasthan govt's English medium schools to introduce pre-primary language class as demand rises

With the govt limiting seats and paying attention to teaching quality, these schools are giving a tough competition to pvt schools, writes Rajesh Asnani
Mahatma Gandhi English medium schools were set up in 2019.
Mahatma Gandhi English medium schools were set up in 2019.

RAJASTHAN:  The Mahatma Gandhi English medium schools that have become quite popular in Rajasthan, are all set to conduct pre-primary classes for children aged 3 years and above. Rajasthan will become the first state in north India to take this step.

These pre-primary classes will be spread across three years—Nursery, KG1 and KG 2 in Mahatma Gandhi’s English Medium Schools’ existing buildings. The number of pupils per class will be limited to 25 to ensure maximum student-teacher communication. The administration will hire Level 1 teachers through interviews. Classes will continue daily for four hours and five days a week. If there is a need for an extra classroom, it will be constructed separately school-wise.

Govind Singh Dotasara
Govind Singh Dotasara

State Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasara said the government has issued orders to conduct pre-primary classes at these schools in 33 district headquarters. “This will not only improve the level of education but will also create positive competition in the educational environment of Rajasthan. It will directly benefit parents and students. I am happy to say that this is the first initiative in north India,” said Dotasara.

The decision will greatly benefit people like Laxmi Devi who works as a maid at Nehru Nagar, Jaipur. Her husband is a daily wager and a habitual drinker. She could not afford private English medium schools, but now she is trying to secure admission for her daughter in English medium school in her locality. “It’s like a dream coming true. I am able to earn around Rs 8,000 per month. It’s a challenge to run my family given how prices of everything have shot up. If my daughter gets admission to an English medium school, she will get quality education and a better future,” she said.

Mahatma Gandhi English medium schools were set up in 2019. In the first year, they had only Classes 1-8. Since then, one class each year is being added to accommodate promoted students. The schools in total have shot up from 33 to 200, and 168 new schools were added last year. Impressed by the popularity of these schools, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has decided to open 1,200 more such schools. In July, the number of applications for admissions received was nearly thrice the available seats, says Sourabh Swami, Director, Secondary Education Department, Bikaner. “We received nearly 60,000 applications for 18,093 seats for Class 1 alone,” informed Swami.

“Private schools are forcing parents to pay last year’s fees as well. Due to the pandemic effects on their economic status, many parents are unable to pay up and want to shift their children to government schools,” says Abhishek Jain Bittu, state spokesperson, Sanyukta Abhibhavak Sangh, a platform for parents who have enrolled their children in schools.

“Education that is available for lakhs of rupees in private schools is now being made available free of cost in these schools. Many parents are choosing to stay away from this fee dispute and at the same time seek quality education for their kids, by choosing such English medium schools. The teachers’ cadre has also been created separately to give high-quality education,” observed Dotasara.

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