The State government decision to implement equitable standard school education by merging all Boards was not a “unilateral decision.” All the stakeholders involved were consulted before arriving at the decision, said Thangam Thennarasu, Minister for School Education.

“It was a historic decision taken by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi keeping in view the interests of lakhs and lakhs of students and parents who are major stakeholders in the education system,” the Minister said speaking to The Hindu here on Sunday.

Asked about reports that some were contemplating moving to the court against the decision, Mr. Thennarasu said, “It is their decision and we will cross the river when it comes. The Government has to take care of the interests of the common public.”

He said the Cabinet had already given its approval to implement the Common School System and the Department of School Education had been asked to take steps to introduce it in a given timeframe.

“The Muthukumaran Committee held wide consultations with all stakeholders, including private schools/associations and hence the Government cannot be criticised for not holding adequate consultations,” the Minister said. Stating that the protection of students’ interests was the foremost objective of introducing equitable standard school education from the coming academic year, Mr. Thennarasu said the first phase would have common textbooks for Standard I and Standard VI.

There would be only one common Board in the State, which will be called “State Board for School Education.” All the four existing boards — State Board, Matriculation, Anglo-Indian and Oriental — would be merged.

The Minister expressed confidence that the implementation of equitable standard school education would be a smooth affair as “the process was discussed during consultations held by the Committee and the State Government as well.”

To implement ‘Samacheer Kalvi,’ the State government had appointed a committee headed by S. Muthukumaran, former Vice-Chancellor of Bharathidasan University, which submitted its report in July, 2007