Meera Srinivasan

Rs.1 crore released for coaching, appointment of more teachers

CHENNAI: Over the next few months, the State Education department will focus on giving special coaching to students from `failure districts,' where low pass percentages were recorded in the Higher Secondary Examination held in March 2006.

Minister for School Education Thangam Thennarasau told The Hindu that Joint Directors of School Education had been asked to visit districts such as Erode, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Thiruvannamalai and Perambalur. They would study the problems encountered by schools and initiate immediate action. A sum of Rs.1 crore had been sanctioned and released to these districts for special coaching and appointment of more teachers.

"We found that a number of schools in these districts, which recorded a very low pass percentage, did not have headmasters. We identified all such schools and appointed headmasters. Almost all vacancies have been filled now," he said.

Department officials also collected statistics to indicate district-wise performance to adopt remedial measures for boosting the performance levels of students in areas where the scores were very poor.

The lowest pass percentage in the State was recorded in Thiruvannamalai revenue district. Of the 15,663 students who appeared for the Higher Secondary Examination held in March 2006, only 8,993 passed (57.42. per cent).

While 57.66 per cent of candidates passed in Vellore, 57.96 per cent did so in Krishnagiri. Coaching would also be stepped up in the following months in Dharmapuri, Permabalur and Pudukkottai districts, the Minister said.

Health programme

The `total health programme, currently part of the syllabus for students of classes one to twelve, will be enriched to cover topics such as AIDS awareness, adolescent education, hygiene, nutrition and sanitary health.

Mr. Thennarasu said a team of officers were sent to New Delhi to study the health programme developed by the National Children's Task Force (NCTF). Following an in-depth study, the `enriched' programme would be integrated with the syllabus from the next academic year.

Review meetings

A series of comprehensive review meetings chaired by Mr. Thennarasu will be held across the State in the next two months. The first such meeting was held in Coimbatore recently.

The meetings will give school heads and parents an opportunity to air their grievances.

Progress made in different areas will also be evaluated. Following allegations that cropped up last year regarding conduct of public examinations, the Minister said they would step up vigilance this year, to ensure that the integrity and the credibility of government examinations were not questioned.