A whopping Rs.300 crore was spent on printing them

Because of the proposal of the State government to have a re-look at the school education system, nearly 15 lakh newly printed textbooks under the Equitable Education System are now lying idle in the godowns in Cuddalore district.

These might most probably be rendered obsolete if the committee proposed to be set up by the Ministry of Education finds the quality of contents not up to the mark. Education Department sources told The Hindu that a whopping Rs.300 crore had been spent on printing these books for distribution all over the State. It would work out to roughly Rs.10 crore for every district and it was a matter of conjecture whether these books would ever be used at all. The private matriculation schools were vociferous critics of the new system of education because they felt that it would dilute the quality of education.

They would rather prefer the department to allow them to procure “standard textbooks” compiled within the framework of the syllabus. The parents and students had a differing view that the private schools were thrusting upon them the highly priced textbooks. They were of the opinion that only government-supplied textbooks, as proposed under the new system, would bring down the cost of education. Already, the “Samacheer Kalvi Thittam” (Equitable Education System) was introduced in Class I and Class VI. For the current academic year, it was proposed to bring Class I to Class X under the system.

However, the new government formed by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam had decided to keep at bay its implementation and also withheld the distribution of new text books.

It meant that even Class I and Class VI should also revert to the old system of education. The sources further said that already the private schools had started placing orders with the publishers to fulfil their textbook requirements as per the 2009-2010 syllabus.