Kolkata: The education department wants to start an English medium section in Bengali medium government schools from the primary section (Class-I onwards), said education minister Partha Chatterjee on Friday.
In September 2009, Partha De, the then school education minister, had met the heads of government-run schools at Bikash Bhavan and proposed to set up one English medium section in classes XI and XII in select government schools.In the meeting some school heads wanted one English medium section in primary level too.
But the cabinet later discarded the proposal to start English section from primary classes mainly due to opposition from an RSP minister.
In fact, De is among the handful in the CPM who had shown dissent against the government’s decision to stop English and English-medium teaching till Class-V in government-run schools in 1984. Teaching of English language was brought back to Class-V in 1992, Class-III in 1998 and to Class-I in 2003.
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When Bratya Basu became the education minister, he started one English-medium section in all remaining government schools at Higher Secondary level.
Now, Partha Chatterjee wants to revive the old plan proposed by De. “Each year, one new class will be added starting from Class I from next academic year,” he said.”The officials have already surveyed some government schools to get an idea where to start English medium classes and a list will soon be published,” said a source.