Schools say they will have to start working on Saturdays too

The Madras High Court's direction to the government to implement ‘Samacheer Kalvi' (uniform system of education) in full, from classes I to X, this academic year has put an end to the confusion prevailing among schools on which syllabus to follow, at least for now. Although many are pessimistic if textbooks will reach them by July 22, as ordered by the High Court, several schools are satisfied that the uncertainty on “which syllabus to follow” has been resolved.

According to sources in the Tamilnadu Text Book Corporation, 88 per cent of books to be supplied for government and government-aided schools and 65 per cent for matriculation schools were already printed. Ever since confusion arose on which books to be followed, printing was stopped and books were stocked in the 65 educational districts of the State, said an official. “With DTP and other technology, it is much easier to print the ‘Samcheer Kalvi' textbooks than the older books,” said the official, adding that supply would take two to three days.

Preparing lesson plan

Meanwhile, teachers in some schools have sprung into action working on their lesson plan as the ‘Samacheer Kalvi' syllabus is available online. Over the last one and a half months since schools reopened, teachers in higher classes were teaching content similar in both the textbooks to ensure that they cover the syllabus in time.

Citing chemistry as an example, Vatsala Santhanam, a teacher with CSI Bain Matriculation Higher Secondary School, says she is confident that all streams can complete the syllabus on time as the content for Class X is much simpler than what they were following so far. But, syllabus for class XI and XII must be revised or students would find it very difficult, she says.

Most schools haven't had their first term examination but have completed organising events such as annual day/sport day/inter-school competitions to offset the delay in sorting out the differences over “Samacheer Kalvi”.

Schools say they would have to start working on Saturdays to complete the portions. The holidays that the Education Department is likely to announce during the onset of the monsoon in the days ahead also has to be accounted for.

“We are required to work minimum 220 days, but now we have already lost 35-40 days. So, from class VIII upwards all Saturdays and post-examination holidays will have to be working days,” says B. Purushothaman, principal of Everwin Matriculation Higher Secondary School.

Parents, however, are still anxious on what children are learning in school without textbooks. P. Nagarajan, father of two children studying in Seventh Day Adventist Matriculation Higher Secondary School, says he is concerned how teachers will complete the syllabus and how children will fare in the quarterly examinations. “Until now, I don't think my children did anything productive. The school used to end by 4 p.m. in the past, but this year they close at least an hour in advance of that,” he says.

Keywords: Samacheer Kalvi