Post-graduate teachers in government and aided schools have welcomed the recent statement of the School Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu on the importance that schools ought to accord to Plus One portions.

The Minister's observation was that the Plus One portions that constitute the basis for higher studies should not be neglected by any school. Teachers' associations are hopeful that the school education ministry would devote its attention on the issue in the interests of the students in government and aided schools who find themselves denied of a level-playing field in a scenario where private schools utilise more than one and a half years to prepare students for the X and XII public examinations.

According to a Government school higher secondary teacher, the acquiescence of the Education department so far to the “unethical” examination-oriented practice by private schools that was detrimental to the interests of students in Government and aided schools was baffling. “Unlike in the case of Government schools, private schools utilise the entire duration of summer vacation after the Plus One examinations also for teaching Plus Two portions. The entire academic year in Plus Two is utilised by private schools for repeated revision of the portions. On their part, the government school teachers hardly find enough time in the schedule to complete two volumes in each subject,” T.Velusamy, district unit president of Tamil Nadu Higher Secondary Post Graduate Teachers' Association, said adding that post-graduate teachers have taken the issue to the notice of the department on very many occasions.

“It is not that the officials at the Directorate are not unaware of the happenings. Their reluctance to handle the issue with an iron hand is disturbing,” Mr.Velusamy said, observing that the district-level examination for Plus One was a mere eye-wash.

According to the teachers, the continuity of the practice was harmful even to the students of private schools. They (the students) are not only denied the opportunity to compete for seats in Indian Institutes of Technology, National Institutes of Technology and other institutions of national repute (equal importance is accorded for Plus One and Plus Two portions in the IIT-JEE and AIEEE), they would also find the going very tough in under graduation, a government school headmaster said.