Late last year, the State Government issued an order for introducing trimester system for classes I – VIII from 2012-13.

Schools have now started orienting teachers on the system that envisages creating an atmosphere where teaching and learning will be valued with an emphasis on learning outcomes demonstrated in students' performance. Eliminating the scope for physical strain for students caused by carrying heavy school bags, the GO laid emphasis on a well-designed curriculum through thinner books along with creative instructional practices as the key to success.

As per the system, the academic year will be divided into three terms between June and April, and the inherent comprehensive and continuous evaluation (CCE) will focus on enabling students to acquire knowledge along with skills.

As a preparatory exercise, the SRV Matriculation Higher Secondary School organised a workshop for teachers on Friday to enable them to gain valuable insights into various aspects of the CCE such as formative and summative assessment, developing the mindset to appreciate individuality and creativity of students, and the approach for transforming the present generation of students into valuable human resource. The workshop was handled by G. Balasubramanian, former CBSE Director.

On its part, the school education department is also gearing itself up to prepare the mindset of the teachers in government schools to the new system.

Training programmes for the teachers will be conducted during the vacation with tools developed by the Directorate of Teacher Education Research and Training (DTERT), it is learnt.

The Government has already announced that the trimester system will be extended to classes IX and X from 2013-14, and for higher secondary from the subsequent academic year. Implementation of CCE in State-board schools will pave way for striking parity with the CBSE system.

“Introduction of trimester system is a welcome development. A shift from the examination-oriented Macaulay system is a definite necessity. It is time real learning happened in schools,” says K. Tulasinathan, Principal, SRV Matriculation Higher Secondary school.

While acknowledging the significant impact that the trimester system will create in the teaching-learning process, heads of government schools are, however, not certain if the new system would synchronise with the government's ‘all pass' policy for students till class VIII. Yet, they are relieved that the primacy of learning and developing life skills in the educational system will henceforth be given due importance, to make the students full-fledged personalities.

There is unanimity that the entire school education must not culminate in the performance of students in the public examination that has so far only recognised their mere capacity to memorize and reproduce text book content.

In the event of teachers rising up to the requirement on their part to make the teaching-learning process student-centric, and the monitoring system getting strengthened, the CCE under the trimester system is bound to deliver the desirable inputs for higher educational system, school heads believe.