A majority of the schools across the State are set to reopen from Monday.
The academic year will be one filled with challenges as the syllabus has been revamped for classes 2 to 5, 7, 8, 10 and 12.
While the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has proposed to begin orientation programmes for teachers in the new syllabus from mid-June, a few schools have begun their own programmes for teachers.
“We had a short orientation session for teachers at the end of May and through the year we expect to engage with more subject experts especially for teachers, who are handling classes taking the board exams,” said G.J. Manohar, senior principal of the Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School.
“The new syllabus presents a definite shift from blueprint-based learning to conceptual learning and we need to prepare ourselves for that,” he notes.
The School Education department had announced earlier that the distribution of textbooks in government schools would begin the day the schools reopen. For other schools, a few subject books are yet to be made available but teachers anticipate that they would be receiving them in a week.
“For the subjects where the textbooks are available, teachers have already started to prepare and frame their lesson plans. It is important that all schools lay stress on understanding the subject and conceptual learning of the students rather than rushing to finish the portions or feeling pressured about it,” said R. Visalakshi, president of the Tamil Nadu private schools association.
Several teachers’ associations and schools had appealed to the education department to postpone the reopening date owing to the weather and water shortage.
While government and aided schools begin the academic year for all classes from Monday, several private schools have extended the holidays for primary classes for a week.
“While we are getting water through the bore wells on the campus at present, we are hoping that they last us for the next few months. Arrangements are being made to buy drinking water from outside,” said a teacher from a school in the city. City schools have asked the parents to send their wards with sufficient drinking water.
Meanwhile, the State transport department has advised the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) and other State Transport Corporations (STCs) to allow school students to use their old bus passes.
A senior official said the students wearing their school uniforms or having their old bus pass is enough for travelling free in the STCs.