Minister makes announcement in Assembly to tone up quality of school education
The School Education Department will draft the ‘Tamil Nadu Curricular Framework 2012' to set high standards for the State, School Education Minister N. R. Sivapathy told the Assembly on Wednesday.
While the National Curricular Framework (NCF) 2005 lays down parameters for improving quality of school education in the country, each State is expected to draw a specific framework for itself, keeping in mind local challenges. The Tamil Nadu Curricular Framework 2012 is a step in that direction.
The announcement is significant in the context of Tamil Nadu, for it has not had a separate curricular framework in the past few decades. According to education activist S.S. Rajagopalan, in the late 1940s, a vision document was prepared for Madras, which spoke of introducing social studies and citizenship training in the curriculum. “It was a great document, but unfortunately, it is not available today. In the late 1970s the Tamil Nadu Planning Commission, with Malcolm Adiseshiah as member, prepared a document titled ‘Towards a learning society'. We have not had such a document specific to the State after that,” he said.
In the last few years, however, the State has been following the NCF-2005 closely, while introducing pedagogical interventions such as the Activity Based Learning and Active Learning methodologies for primary and middle school students. But, a document which specifically looks at curriculum and curricular reform keeping in mind certain challenges specific to Tamil Nadu is in a good position to contribute further to the overall quality.
Additionally, an experts' committee will be constituted to look at the overall quality of school education, and another team of experts will reflect on the current higher secondary syllabus and suggest necessary changes to upgrade it and equip students to cope with challenges in higher education, the Minister said. In an attempt to raise awareness and improve quality, the government will launch a special education as part of the Arasu Cable Television Network. The channel will feature tutorials, seminars and special lectures.
In addition to spelling out the Department's commitment to implementing the Right to Education Act, the Minister said the Directorate of Teacher Education Research and Training (DTERT) was upgraded to form the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT). The move, he said, was aimed at further professionalising teacher training and equipping them with specific skills in areas such as motivation, attitude and communication.
The Teachers Recruitment Board, the nodal agency for conducting the Teacher Eligibility Test – an RTE Act mandate – will recruit efficient teachers in a transparent manner, the Minister said.
Other announcements included introduction of mobile library services for the benefit of students, enhancing science education by holding special programmes at cluster, block and district level and smart cards for students, in addition to free uniforms, footwear, school bags and stationery. This year, the government earmarked a record sum of Rs.14,553 crore for the School Education department.