The state government finally implemented its project of establishing six meritorious schools, but the language barrier is turning out to be a major hindrance.
As per education department's figures, over 300 students have quit these schools so far, in its first academic session since August 2014. 70 out of these 300 are from the meritorious school in Patiala.
As per available information, out of total 500 seats, 468 students were admitted at the start of the session. Presently, there are only 398 students enrolled in different streams including medical, non-medical and commerce.
Sprawled over 5.75 acre area adjacent to Punjabi University, the school has been set up for the promising students from the economically weaker sections. The campus which has 18 modern classrooms and residential accommodation admits students who scored over 80% in class 10th.
One of the teachers said that the students coming from vernacular schools find it hard to cope with the level of English.
"It is very difficult for the students coming from Punjabi medium to immediately study complex subjects like physics, mathematics and chemistry in English," a teacher said.
Rajnish Gupta, the principal did not deny this problem but said that a number of students who studied in Punjabi medium schools were doing exceptionally well.
"Many of the students who earlier found it difficult to study in English medium are giving it their best. Homesickness is another reason for students opting out," Gupta said.
Also, these schools are yet to embrace the concept of smart classes, which the government has been promoting in other schools. Also, due to a lack of boys hostel, the male students are currently putting up in one of the blocks in the girls hostel.
Gupta said that talks are already on with PUDA and the hostel will be constructed before the next academic session starts.
The strength of boys is low as compared to that of girls. Out of 398 students, 270 are girls while only 128 boys are enrolled across different streams.
The school is also going to start special coaching classes from March 2, for which the department has already floated tenders to hire best private coaching centre to prepare students for competition exams.
"We are getting good response as parents are approaching us for their queries to get their wards admitted," Gupta added.