Special Correspondent

TINDIVANAM: A group of educationists and social activists have appealed to the Tamil Nadu Government to pass a legislation providing 25 per cent reservation for rural students in professional colleges.

The panel, headed by former professor Bima Dhananjayan, met here on Saturday to deliberate on the ills plaguing the education system and corrective measures to be taken. It stated that 80 per cent of the seats be reserved for students from State Board schools, out of which 25 per cent should be set aside for rural students.

The remaining 18 per cent could be allocated to matriculation students and two per cent to CBSE students. The panel sought re-introduction of the proportionate reservation system based on the number of students in Plus Two at the district level.

To keep a check on commercialisation of education, the panel urged the State Government to declare collection of excess fees by schools and compulsory private tuition as cognizable offences.

The panel called upon authorities to conduct public examinations at Plus One level also so as to create a level-playing field for the government schools.

Quota in schools

When higher secondary education was introduced in 1978, there was provision for reservation.

However, due to its non-implementation, Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes could not get admission into mathematics and science courses.

Therefore, to render justice to them, subject-wise reservation ought to be introduced, the panel said. It called upon the government to start junior colleges, as in Andhra Pradesh, to impart higher secondary education.

It appealed to the government to make Tamil a compulsory subject in all schools from the current academic year and fill up teacher vacancies.

Those who participated in the meeting included T. Sargunam, member of the Tamil Nadu Textbooks Committee, Antony Krus of the Social Justice Trust, M. Kandasamy of the Tindivanam Town Education-People Development Committee, Prabha Kalvimani of the People's Education Movement and M. Bhoopal of the Dalit Youth Education Movement.