Central Transforming Education in Jharkhand: A Chance for English-Medium Learning for Thousands

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Tuesday was a historic day for parents of 37,309 students in different districts of Jharkhand. It was the day when students took entrance tests for enrollment in one of the 80 schools under the Chief Minister’s School of Excellence (SOE) program. These government schools have been converted into CBSE model schools, offering free English-medium education.

Competition is expected to be tough, as only around a third of the students will be accepted. For many parents, English-medium education is a distant dream. On Tuesday, they eagerly awaited the results of entrance tests for Classes I, VI, and IX, which offer 11,986 seats across 24 districts. The results will be announced on June 7.

Ruby Das from East Singhbhum district expressed her gratitude for the opportunity, as she cannot afford quality English-medium education for her daughter. Similarly, Jharna Kachhap and Govind Mandal are hopeful that their children will secure a spot in SOEs in Ranchi and Deoghar, respectively.

Different districts have varying numbers of applicants, with Deoghar having the highest at 3,915, followed by Palamu, Lohardaga, Chatra, Seraikela-Kharsawan, Giridih, East Singhbhum, Ramgarh, and Ranchi.

The state Education Department officials have planned the development of these schools to ensure quality education for children from marginalized backgrounds. Each school will have separate laboratories, libraries, smart board facilities, and proper sanitation to improve learning outcomes and reduce dropout rates.

The students will also receive training in spoken English and reading skills, with a focus on pronunciation and comprehension. Principals of SOE institutions have undergone training in two phases by the Azim Premji Foundation.

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