In a bid to bring relief to school children from carrying an overload of books, Tamil Nadu government will introduce trimester system in schools for classes I-VIII from the next academic year, 2012-13.

“As per the existing system, students are forced to carry books which have portions meant for the whole year. Children are literally burdened with books. The enrichment of knowledge along with syllabus revision have resulted in increased volume and size of the books and the physical strain the children undergo,” a School Education department release said Tuesday.

In a Government Order dated December 9, the department said a solution for the problem was to introduce trimester pattern, as announced by Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in August in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.

According to the proposed system, the academic year would be divided into three terms between June and April and existing books suitably divided into three parts.

“The rationale for introducing the trimester system is to create a school where teaching and learning is valued with an emphasis on learning outcomes demonstrated in students’ performance. A well-designed curriculum through thinner books along with creative instructional practices will form the key to success,” the GO said.

A trimester pattern would allow for more interactive and collaborative experiences and included provisions for immediate feedback and helping those students that lagged catch up with others, it said.

“Large time and the smallness of the term books motivate students to work together in a sportive and friendly manner avoiding cut-throat sense of unhealthy competition among peers... Balancing the core classes over three terms allows for less stress on students,” it said.

The teachers, for their part, need not rush to cover lessons, the GO said, adding the “trimester system coupled with comprehensive and continuous evaluation method will certainly mark a qualitative leap as far as the education of children is concerned.” Ms. Jayalalithaa had announced that the trimester pattern would reduce the “physical strain” on students.