Teachers, students, parents grapple different issues
A different classroom, new teachers, new sets of uniforms and, for some, a new school. With the morning rush, crowded autorickshaws, traffic jams and diversion, there were enough reasons to guess that schools in the city have reopened.
While government and government-aided schools in the State reopened on Tuesday, private educational institutions, including Matriculation and CBSE schools, started from Wednesday onwards.
On the first day, teachers, students and parents were grappling with different issues, including the ‘Samacheer Kalvi' textbooks, the revised fee structure stipulated by the government and new subjects on the timetable.
If a good majority of parents are happy that schools are reopening after a long vacation, children also had other reasons to be excited.
Sabarish Elango of Anna Gems Science Park is going to Class IX and for the first time he would have practical classes in biology, physics and chemistry. A welcome break from theory classes, he says.
The 175-year-old Madras Christian College (MCC) Higher Secondary School in Chetpet has thrown open its gates to girl students. “We have been a boys school all these years, but we realised that today's children need to be brought up in a more mixed environment to enhance their overall outlook,” said G.J. Manohar, headmaster and correspondent of the school. To start with, the school has enrolled nearly 30 girls in L.K.G and 20 in Class VI.
German teaching got a fillip, with five more State Board schools introducing the foreign language in their curriculum for Classes XI and XII.
It is a first for the Kendriya Vidyalayas in the city, as eight schools would start teaching the subject from Class VI onwards from this academic year.
According to the Directorate of School Education, 125 high schools in the State have been upgraded to higher secondary schools and 200 middle schools to high schools.
Schools such as Christ Matriculation Higher Secondary School are still awaiting textbooks for Classes I and VI, while a few others were waiting for language books.
Chaos over fee
Quite a number of parents have started protesting that schools are not abiding to what the Private Schools Fee Determination Committee, appointed by the government, had asked them to collect.
On Wednesday, parents of several children studying in Mohammed Sathak Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Arumbakkam, protested outside the school.
“We are ready to pay the fee charged last year, but the school has doubled its fees. Last year, I paid Rs.6,000 for a year, this year they are collecting Rs.12,000 with Rs.6,555 going towards cost of books,” said M. Marimuthu, parent of a class VI student.
Similarly, a protest was held outside the DPI complex by a different group. Many other schools heads, who are waiting for the revised fee structure, said they have clearly carried announcements in the school notice boards that fee would be refunded once they have clarity on the amount they can charge.