Private schools may have to still wait for Samacheer Kalvi textbooks

Though the larger controversy around Samacheer Kalvi has come to an end, certain other issues seem to be cropping up, giving its implementation some teething problems.

Private schools have the option of purchasing textbooks from publishers approved by the State government. Nearly 25 publishing houses are on the list of approved publishers (http://www.tn.gov.in/schooleducation/BooksAndPublishersList.pdf).

However, a group of publishers on the list, including leading ones such as Oxford University Press, Ratna Sagar and Pearson, are contemplating whether to take up printing of the textbooks based on the Samacheer Kalvi syllabus this year. Secretary of the Education Publishers' Association K.A. Roymon says even if private schools place the order immediately, the printing of textbooks would take at least 25 to 30 days. By the time the textbooks are ready, it might be well into September. “We do not know if schools would be willing to wait so long. We are also not sure if we will be able to sell the books we print. So many of our members, who are leading publishers, are trying to find out schools' requirement and the orders they may place. We will soon take a call on whether we will accept printing orders from schools this year,” he says.

With private publishers taking such a position, schools are looking at alternatives. N. Ramasubramanian, chief principal and correspondent, Natesan Vidyasala Matriculation School, Mannivakkam, says the school downloaded the new textbooks when they were briefly made available online. “To be on the safer side, we made a few photocopies for our teachers. We have also placed orders with certain private publishers on the list who have agreed to print the books for us.”

Private schools have the option of sourcing textbooks for students of class I to IX from approved private publishers, for all subjects except Tamil. For Tamil alone, they have to place the order with the Tamilnadu Textbook Corporation. For class X, considering that there would be a common Board examination this year, all the textbooks will have to be sourced from the government.

The Velammal group has decided to go with the books printed by the Tamilnadu Text Book Corporation for classes IX and X. For the remaining classes it plans to go with books from the government approved list of publishers, which it would introduce after the quarterly examinations.

Kaligi Ranganathan Montford Matriculation Higher Secondary School has already approached the approved list of private publishers, some of whom promised to deliver the books within 10 days.

According to sources in the Tamil Nadu Textbook Corporation, it did not receive requests for books from matriculation schools before the Supreme Court verdict. The textbooks will reach students of government and government-aided schools by Tuesday, according to sources in the School Education Department. Over the last few days, teachers and officials of the Textbook Corporation have been busy deleting “objectionable content” in the textbooks, by pasting stickers over them or striking out content using a permanent black ink marker.