School education system is set to undergo remarkable transformation
The school education system is set to go through a phase of remarkable transformation with the proposed implementation of ‘Samacheer Kalvi' and a new set of norms to regulate fees. In this regard, the nature of and extent to which the provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act will integrate into the new system have attained significance.
S. S. Nathan, Chief Executive Officer, Bala Vidya Mandir group of schools, says that consultation must be employed to evolve mechanisms to implement the RTE instead of just announcing a set of rules. “Integration must be graded and must account for social circumstances to make sure that students from lesser privileged backgrounds do not feel alienated in a class full of students from elite backgrounds,” he adds.
The most important thing that a school provides is a learning environment where education happens through peer learning. Against this backdrop, the government cannot ensure integration just by remitting the fees of 25 per cent of the students without thinking about some kind of overall support, he says.
R. Arthanari, president, Chennai region, TN Higher Secondary Schools Headmasters' Association, says that provisions such as the ‘fail no student' between Class I and VIII need to be carefully looked into.
“There must be a uniform system up to Class XII. The School Education Department already has rules such as the need to promote at least 85 per cent of a class and we are finding it hard to promote some of the students.”
The State Government, on its part, will have to set up an advisory board to guide the School Education Department on the implementation of the RTE Act.
To internally advise the Department and carefully look into the intricacies of the Act and its implementation, a committee headed by a former official of the Department has been formed, according to School Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu.
“The implementation of the RTE Act is a robust exercise. Things will not happen overnight. While much of our State's initiatives are on the lines of what the RTE envisages, we need to ensure that the efforts to implement the same comes from schools under the preview of all the Boards, in a consistent manner. This committee will guide the Department,” he says.