The first term of this academic year officially gets over on Saturday for government and aided schools, with students breaking for a holiday after writing their last exam. The last few months especially have been chaotic for schools, teachers, students and parents.
After the confusion over which syllabus to follow ahead of the implementation of ‘Samacheer Kalvi' syllabus for all classes to the wait for getting new set of textbooks, each of the stakeholders was party to it in some way or the other. While it is too early to review the Uniform System of School Education, educationists are planning to campaign to ensure this is continued even next year with appropriate changes to the quality of content in the textbooks.
T. Singaravel, a class VIII student of Kumararani Meena Muthiah Higher Secondary School, rushing to catch the train after his exams, agrees his textbooks are much more appealing than the previous years. But, he finds English, especially grammar, tough. While there is bound to be some level of difference in syllabus as the four streams – S.S.L.C., Oriental, Anglo-India and Matriculation – are brought together with a common textbook, there should be scope for changes and correction, experts note.
S. Muthukumaran, former Vice-Chancellor, says that errors in textbooks are not unusual, but there should be a feedback mechanism where suggestions are taken and the content, improved upon.
“The School Education Department should invite textbooks from anyone who can write one and prescribe the best for schools, which is how Universities do - they only frame the syllabus,” he said.
A consultation on the status of the Uniform System of School Education, organised by Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation, Society for Integrated Rural Development and Legal Aid for Women Trust held here on Friday.
The School Education Department has also cleared the confusion through a recent circular by clarifying that students of class VII to X can continue to learn the language of their choice.
Many parents and schools are upset as students have still not received textbooks for certain subjects.
Hectic term ahead
With unexpected holidays being declared because of the monsoon, the coming terms are not going to be all that easy. “Children had fun taking part in activities. Second term, however, will get busier and will also be more planned,” says Gowri Sivakumar, mathematics teacher, Sri Sankara Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Thiruvanmiyur.