An expert committee constituted to examine the syllabus/textbooks and the ways and means to implement the common curriculum in Tamil Nadu is of the unanimous opinion that both the common syllabus and the Samacheer Kalvi textbooks, as envisaged under the Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School Education Act, will neither provide equity nor quality education in its present version.
The law was enacted by the previous DMK government.
In its nearly 600-page report submitted to the High Court on Tuesday, the panel said, “The Samacheer Kalvi textbooks cannot be used for the academic year 2011-12 as they require a lot of alterations, modifications and changes in order to provide good quality education to all the children in the State of Tamil Nadu.”
While asking the Tamil Nadu government to continue implementation of the Samacheer Kalvi scheme (uniform system of school education) for Standards I and VI for 2011-12, the Supreme Court on June 14 directed the government to form the expert committee in respect of other classes. The committee should submit a report to the Madras High Court. After receiving the report, the High Court's Division Bench should hear the main writ petitions and dispose them of expeditiously on a day-to-day hearing. Following the Supreme Court direction, the High Court's First Bench comprising Chief Justice, M.Y.Eqbal and Justice T.S.Sivagnanam said hearing will commence on July 7 and it will continue till the lawyers conclude their arguments.
Earlier, the Advocate-General, A.Navaneethakrishnan, mentioned before the Bench about the submission of the report to the Registrar-General, S.Vimala, who produced the report before the court.
The committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, Debendranath Sarangi, said textbooks were of low standard. It was concerned that while preparing the syllabus and textbooks, the State government had not kept in kind the recommendations of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) and NCERT. There was absolutely no scope for children in rural and urban areas to understand and absorb the main principles and concepts of the subjects from textbooks in the present form.
The common syllabus was a deviation from NCF's norms with respect to the subjects to be taught in the primary and upper primary stage. “This would not only result in overburdening the child, but would also not help the child to experience the joy of learning.” The syllabus has omitted to incorporate life skills/survival skills. Analytical thinking had been neglected. The development of common syllabus keeping higher board as a model could not be done without giving sufficient time for the student to have a smooth transition.
The other features were that the syllabus lacked in gradation; it had been framed in a hurried manner without considering the basic requirements and there was neglect of age appropriate learning. The textbooks did not encourage thinking process and no effort had been made by the State to train teachers.