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Mixed reaction to Samacheer Kalvi

K. Sarumathi
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Uniform System of School Education:First batch of class 10 students facing the new pattern of examination.Photo: R. Ragu
Uniform System of School Education:First batch of class 10 students facing the new pattern of examination.Photo: R. Ragu

K. Sarumathi

For the first time Class X students from Matriculation, State, Anglo-Indian and Oriental boards in Tamil Nadu will be facing a new pattern of examination under the Uniform System of School Education Act, 2010.

Amid the controversy, students lost precious two-and a half months of the academic year owing to delay in the government issuing new Samacheer books. Downtown gives you a review of the system at the end of the year from teachers and students.

S. Malini, Principal of Balavidhya Mandir MHSS, West Mambalam said: “No training was given to the teachers. They were only told to refer books and look up the Internet. So, it will all depend on the ability and willingness of the teacher.” Asked whether students fared badly under the new system, she said, “We have been motivating students to do well. Most students here are form lower strata, so parents cannot teach their wards. But, grades have not been affected.”

A chemistry teacher from the school said she was personally in favour of the system.

Scope for learning

“There is greater scope for learning but, it is a difficult task for teachers as they have to refer other books too.” Pointing to rural and urban divide, the school Correspondent V.C.Nallai Anandhan said that the Samcheer Kalvi would affect the weaker sections. “Since it is almost an open-ended syllabus, teacher's capabilities and student's receptiveness will make it a success or a failure. ”

He said teachers must be given periodic training and their performance should be evaluated. Teachers needed to be well equipped to make use of the system. “The earlier system provided different avenues for students to choose from and reach their target. Now, that chance has been suppressed.”

While there were mixed reactions from matriculation schools, oriental language schools are not happy with the system.

Law says everyone is equal, but is it practical in everyday life, asks Dr. N.V. Vasudevachariar, the Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of Sri Ahobila Math Oriental Higher Secondary School. Under the Tamil Nadu School Regulation law, oriental schools have been classified under special school category. “When such a classification exists, how can we bring oriental schools under Samcheer Kalvi.”

“Sanskrit and English education is not the same, how can there be a uniform system of education for all. ” said Dr. Vasudevachariar.

Giving a counter opinion, Prince Gajendra Babu, Convenor of the State Platform for Common School system and the head of Navabharat MHSS said: “While the new system is easy on students the earlier one was stressful. There is no dilution of syllabus — it has only been made easy.”

Mr. Prince said students must be given out-of-campus training, so as to avoid rote learning. Any child, given the opportunity and age-appropriate syllabus, will learn, he said. The Samcheer kalvi follows the National Curriculum Framework, 2005, which says that curriculum should be student-centric. Teachers should not be instructors but facilitators, he added. “They must learn with the children.”

On training teachers, he said, in his school SSA resource persons were roped in to conduct intensive workshops for teachers during holidays.

Though no review of the system was conducted, Mr. Prince said from the feedbacks that were received it was understood that teachers were comfortable with the system. On the future of Samacheer Kavi, Mr. Price said, “Anything by evolution has to improve. The system too will become better with time.”

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