Teachers say they will require some time to get used to the change

The legal battle is over, “objectionable portions” have been deleted and students have finally got their new textbooks as per the Samacheer Kalvi syllabus. With the School Education Department announcing that the quarterly examinations will begin on September 22, schools are now focussing on completing the first-term portions.

Students, particularly those in government schools, are visibly excited. “See our new textbooks,” shows S.K. Jothi, a class VII student of a Chennai Middle School. “In page 98, some lines have been struck with black marker pen, see,” giggles the student, as she shows her new Tamil textbook.

Since her father had read in the newspapers that the textbooks would have stickers pasted over certain images or logos, she knew about it earlier.

“But we really like these books. They are more colourful, have more stories and the paper is of good quality,” observes B. Manju, her classmate.

For Class VIII student S. Bharathy, who also goes to a Chennai School, the fact that she will be studying what her counterpart in Matriculation schools will be is significant. “So far, we had different lessons. Now, all of us will study the same thing,” she says.

Teachers, however, say they will require some time to get used to the change. A Chennai Primary School head observes that while the syllabus has been circulated and the quarterly examination date announced she is not sure if the teachers can afford to go at a slow pace.

“We are concerned about covering all the chapters earmarked for the first term. If we rush, students may find it hard, given that the syllabus is new,” she says. Teachers have been told that during the coming week, they will get to attend training programmes on Samacheer Kalvi.

Another issue that teachers point to is the lack of connect between the Activity-Based Learning cards and materials they have been using for the last few years, and the newsyllabus.

“What we have been doing for students of classes I to IV is to teach as per the new textbooks and occasionally use the ABL cards for group activities. It would be nice if the ABL content is aligned to the new syllabus,” said a primary school teacher.