10-member committee to be chaired by school education minister

The State Government has constituted an experts' committee to carry out the much-awaited, comprehensive review of school education in Tamil Nadu. A government order to this effect was issued on Wednesday, it is reliably learnt.

The 10-member committee is chaired by School Education Minister N.R. Sivapathy and Secretary D. Sabitha is its member-sectary. It includes the directors of School Education, Elementary Education and Directorate of Teacher Education Research and Training (DTERT), in addition to five academicians, mostly retired vice-chancellors and educationists.

The mandate of the committee is to identify deficiencies in the current syllabus followed for classes I to XII and make recommendations for necessary changes. It will undertake a detailed review of textbooks being followed currently. It will study the available infrastructure in schools and suggest what more is needed to enhance the quality of learning.

The experts will also reflect on the current examination system and suggest reforms, besides coming up with ways to strengthen teacher training and the inspection processes followed currently.

The move comes as good news, particularly because it follows the record sum allocation of Rs.14,522.82 crore to the sector in the recent State Budget. The issue of syllabus review was brought up at the beginning of this academic year, when the issue of Samacheer Kalvi (Equitable Standard School Education) was in the news. At that time, the newly-formed AIADMK government said it would constitute an experts' committee to take up a thorough review of the syllabus in order to enhance the overall quality of school education in the State. Meanwhile, there was a lot of confusion regarding the syllabus to be followed and it was only in August 2011 that classes resumed in a full-fledged manner, as per the Samacheer Kalvi syllabus for classes I to X.

Even before constituting the committee, the government announced a series of reforms in school education, including introduction of the Continuous and Comprehensive Education (CCE) system currently followed in CBSE schools, a trimester pattern for classes I to VIII beginning next academic year.

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Meera SrinivasanJune 28, 2012