Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal will visit activity-based learning (ABL) schools in the State next week.

In the wake of the commendations the implementation of the ABL scheme has received across the country, the Ministry had conveyed to the State Education Department that Mr. Sibal wanted to extensively spend time on July 14 to learn how the implementation in Tamil Nadu differed from those in other States. The idea was to involve the Human Resource Ministry and prepare a compendium of best practices that could later be implemented across the country.

State Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu confirmed that Mr. Sibal had expressed desire to visit the schools. “We are lucky to have a dedicated team of officers and teachers who have spared no efforts to implement both activity-based learning and the active learning methodology (ALM). It is a recognition of their efforts.”

The ABL and ALM are being implemented by the School Education Department as part of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), a nationwide effort to improve capabilities of all children through provision of community-owned quality education in a mission mode.

The broad aim of SSA is to provide useful and relevant elementary education to all children in the 6 to 14 age group by 2010 and to bridge social, regional and gender gaps, with the active participation of the community in the management of schools.

The SSA wing of Tamil Nadu carried forward the ABL of the primary classes into middle school or upper primary — classes 6,7, 8 through the ALM.

In 2007, 10,000 middle schools across Tamil Nadu underwent a dramatic refreshing learning process, empowering the learner to break into knowledge systems effectively, whether in the textbook or in the world around. This came as a relevant ‘chapter two' to the implementation of the ABL in nearly 40,000 schools prior to that.

Mr. Thennarasu said that this was possibly the most rapid transformation of schooling ever attempted in one year anywhere in the world.

Educationists and teachers from across the country have been here to study the programme. A delegation from China undertook a study tour of the State last October to get a feel of the ABL and later sought the government's support to implement it in China.

In March this year a team from Jharkhand was in Nagapattinam to observe the implementation of the methodology.