Facelift for Corporation schools

All the 281 schools run by the Greater Chennai Corporation are set to get a makeover at a cost of ₹200 crore, after the Lok Sabha election results are announced.

The Corporation schools will get a distinct architectural style. Architects will finalise the style for the Chennai Corporation Schools after studying the existing facilities, officials said.

“The makeover will be possible with a tie-up for funding. The aspirations of the poor have changed. So they look for better education in private schools. We will be able to offer the best for their kids after the makeover,” said an official.

At a meeting held to discuss the issue, officials had pitched the idea of migrating to Central Board of Secondary Education to improve the standard of education for the poor children of residents from the city’s slums.

However, the senior officials finally decided not to migrate to CBSE, claiming that the syllabus offered by Tamil Nadu School Education Department was among the best in the country.

A committee will be constituted to study the gaps in the infrastructure of the schools. The primary focus of the makeover will be on infrastructure of the schools and modernisation of the methods of teaching.

The schools are likely to get boarding facilities and world-class sports infrastructure. Preliminary estimates point to a requirement of more than ₹200 crore. Senior officials said the authorised strength of the Chennai Corporation schools was 1.7 lakh students. But many of the schools have been recording a dip over the past few years because of resettlement of the residents of the slums along the Cooum and Adyar rivers.

Ten years ago, the Greater Chennai Corporation merged 30 schools in areas such as Chintadripet, Pudupet, Triplicane and Chepauk. After stiff opposition from the opposition parties, a few schools were reopened.

The number of students during the merger of 30 schools was more than 1.3 lakh. After the dip, the strength in the 281 schools has reduced to less than 85,000 this year.

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