Private schools told to comply with multitude of norms

With the schools all set to open on Monday, an array of challenges await them this academic year.

The State Government has been coming down heavily on the Government schools — whose students have been showered with incentives ranging from free bicycles to laptops — to produce commensurate results.

The performance of Government schools in five districts in the region was reviewed by Secretary of School Education D. Sabitha on Friday.

For the private schools, trouble seems to be brewing right at the beginning of the academic year as they have been told to comply with a multitude of norms under the threat of heavy penalties for non-compliance.

The norms relate to safety of students, fee and quota.

Providing admission free of cost for economically weak and socially disadvantaged under the 25 quota in private schools as mandated by Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act also continues to cause some unease among some schools managements who are worried if these students’ fees will be reimbursed promptly by the Government.

Chief Education Officer A. Gnanagowri says the main challenge is to get Coimbatore on top of the rankings list in the Class X and XII public examinations.

Towards this, class and special coaching sessions will be held from day one itself. Further, teachers have been told to focus on classes VI to VIII as the basic foundation has to be strong.

Another major issue is making sure all classes in the district, particularly those in remote and difficult terrain such as Valarpai, have teachers.

Towards this, she says, the Department is planning to rope in businesses and make them contribute under their corporate social responsibility. The Department will also make sure all government incentives get disbursed on time to the eligible students, adds Ms. Gnanagowri.

Tamil Nadu Private Schools Association president R. Visalakshi says the minimal curriculum of Samacheer syllabus is a cause for concern.

Also, ambiguities in the Transport Department norms for school buses are resulting in different interpretations by various Regional Transport Offices leaving the schools confused, she adds.

C.M.S. Matriculation Higher Secondary School Principal H. Hajah Sheriff says motivating the students to study hard is going to be an issue with the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system doing away with the concept of marks and toppers.

Seetha Poovaiah, Principal of G.R.N. Matriculation Higher Secondary School, says ensuring safety of students while coming to the school will be a major challenge due to the increasing vehicle congestion in their area.

The school, he says, plans to work towards regulating the flow of traffic in the interest of students.

Geetha Jayachandran, Principal of Yuvabharathi Public School, says involving parents in the process of developing a student has become a challenge. While all parents want their child to succeed, she says parental support goes a long way in the better performance of the child.

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