The recent Government Order from the Directorate of Private Schools, to offer Tamil as an additional compulsory subject for students in classes IX and X who have not opted for the language, has brought relief to many private schools, students and parents.
“Many CBSE schools have been waiting for some sort of clarity for years now, since they did not make the shift to offering only Tamil as the second language. The move to enable these students to take up a separate test [not part of the board exams] is a welcome one,” said a school head from the city.
Private schools affiliated to all boards were expected to introduce Tamil from Class 1 based on the Tamil Language Learning Act 2006, in a phased manner from 2015-16. There are some schools, however, which continued to offer other subjects such as Hindi, Sanskrit and French as the second language for students.
“The move to have Tamil as an additional compulsory subject, and have a test based on it should be looked at as an advantage by the students as it will ensure they have basic knowledge of the subject,” said C. Satish, Director General, ABS Group of Schools.
Over the last few years, many private schools have opted to have their students shift to learning Tamil as the second language even during middle school. “This was initially met with a lot of resistance and some parents even chose to shift their children to other schools which were continuing to offer other second language options. But all students in our school have been trained over the last few years in Tamil, and will be taking up the Tamil language board exam paper as well,” said Vishnucharan Pannerselvam, Correspondent, Shree Niketan Group of Schools.
In the 2023-24 academic year, private schools whose Class IX students did not take Tamil as a second language are gearing up to teach them the language as an additional compulsory language. While school level exams will be conducted at the end of the year, these students will take up a final written examination at the end of Class X conducted by the Directorate of Government Examinations.
The principal of a city school, which began to offer Tamil for Class 1 students as the only option for second language from the 2015-16 batch, said that given the recent announcement, they would consider offering other languages to their students now as well. “It is, however, yet to be seen if additional compulsory paper and separate tests based on it will be offered only for students taking up the Class 10 boards in 2024-25, or will be extended as an option to batches in the subsequent years as well. We are hopeful that this will continue,” she said.