Heritage clubs in all schools to be set up

School education infrastructure in the State will get a huge fillip with the allocation of over Rs.10,000 crore for the school education sector.

Detailing the schemes and plans for the last year of the five-year term of the DMK government, School Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu said this was the highest allocation ever for school education. The government was committed to providing an equitable system of education to all in the State.

“We want to make available the same kind of education to all…Rome was not built in a day. We are working on the infrastructure in all schools so that a few years down the line all schools will have good infrastructure.”

He cited the generous financial contribution of the Rural Development Department to improve schools manned by local bodies and said infrastructure was coming up across the State in all government schools.

The provision of computers to all high and higher secondary schools, setting up of more libraries, upgrading of schools, carrying out periodic maintenance of schools, introduction of the SSA method of teaching, increasing the teacher to student ratio, providing lab equipment to schools and computer-aided language learning laboratories were among the steps.

In all, the government allocated Rs.39,643 crore for school education from 2006 to 2011. This was 88 per cent more than the allocation in the previous five years, he said. Between 2006-2010, as many as 341 primary schools were opened, 2,408 were upgraded middle schools, 445 middle schools were upgraded high schools and 435 high schools upgraded higher secondary schools. The Minister said the first step towards an equitable system of education was making uniform syllabus. This would be done at Class 1 and 6 this coming academic year. In all other classes, it would be introduced the next year.

The Minister announced the setting up of heritage clubs in all schools and said this would fundamentally change the manner in which students learn. They would take more interest in their neighbourhood and also list the various places of interest and map in their school neighbourhood. The concept of preservation would be stressed. This would help them become aware of the need to protect the ancient heritage and its many symbols. The Minister said that at the primary level, dropout rate had come down from 3.81 per cent in 2005-06 to 1.02 per cent in 2008-09. At the upper primary level, the dropout rate declined from 7.58 per cent in 2005-06 to 1.88 per cent in 2008-09. Tamil Nadu is in the fifth place in the education development index as per the research findings by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration.