Special Correspondent

Calls for appointment of 42,000 teachers

“Graduate teachers, invariably raw hands, deputed as resource persons”

Strength in schools offering free education has come down from 80 lakh to 62 lakh

CUDDALORE: It is demeaning to make primary school teachers dance to the tune of folk music and other numbers in the name of training them to establish rapport with students, said S. Abdul Majid, general secretary of the Tamilaga Aarambapalli Aasiriyar Koottani (Tamil Nadu Primary School Teachers’ Federation).

Mr. Majid told presspersons here on Wednesday that the education department had organised a three-day State-wide training programme for primary teachers from June 22 to 24 on improving the content and methodology of teaching, and making students fluent in English.

Graduate teachers, invariably raw hands, were deputed as resource persons to train the primary teachers with years of experience.

The primary school teachers, both men and women, were taught the choreography to suit folk and other forms of recorded music. Some of the numbers were known for their double entendre, he said.

The assumption was that through dance the teacher-student relationship could be improved. The Federation condemned such attempts. The resource persons did not seem to have any real understanding about primary education.

Combined classes

The Federation objected to the way the ABL (able block learning) programme was being implemented.

Under the programme, combined sessions — involving Classes I to V — were conducted with the aid of logos or pictures. The Class V students often stayed away from the classes. The system had also prompted many students to shift schools, the Federation said.

Mr. Majid pointed out that the student strength in schools offering free education had come down from 80 lakh to 62 lakh over the past few years, and it might fall further.

To stem the rot in primary education, the Federation called for the appointment of 42,000 teachers to ensure 1:30 teacher-student ratio, which had been accepted by the Chief Minister in principle.

Justifying the demand, Mr. Majid said 1.10 lakh vacant teacher posts could be filled up from the funds allocated for the Education for All scheme.