The State government is considering bracketing standards nine and ten in the State's schools with the higher secondary classes, Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb has said. He was inaugurating the valedictory programme of the State conference of the Kerala Higher Secondary Principal's Association here on Thursday.
Also, the government had plans to do away with the vocational higher secondary education system as it exists today. Instead regular higher secondary courses would be taught in all schools. There would be vocational modules which could be selected by students, he said.
Mr. Rabb said the bracketing of standards nine and ten with the higher secondary classes was a consequence of the Right to Education Act. “Under this Act standard eight would go to the upper primary section. So, standards nine and ten would either have to exist in isolation or have to be clubbed with 11 and 12. So there will be primary classes, secondary classes and higher secondary classes. This is the thinking the government has. This is not going to be implemented tomorrow. The government would hold discussions with everyone concerned on these issues,” he said.
On the vocational education front, the government's thinking appeared to be that the vocational courses as they had outlived their utility and needed to be restructured in tune with the current industry norms, he said.
According to a senior department official, the new vocational modules which would be offered along with regular higher secondary courses would draw inspiration from the Prime Minister's national skill development mission and would have industry accreditation.
However, the Minister's statement drew protests from teachers' organisations, notably the Kerala State School Teachers Association.
In a press note here, the association termed the declaration unilateral and asked the Minister to withdraw the same. Hasty declarations of reform would create confusion in the education sector. Such decisions could only be seen as part of the government's move to stymie public schools by giving NOCs to CBSE schools. The Private School Vocational Lecturers' Association too came out against the Minister's announcement.