Tamil Nadu

Befriending Tamil through Brahmi

C. Ramasubramanian, Senior Principal, Bharani group of schools, Karur, teaching the nuances of Tamil-Brahmi letters to students in Karur

C. Ramasubramanian, Senior Principal, Bharani group of schools, Karur, teaching the nuances of Tamil-Brahmi letters to students in Karur   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A private educational institution in Karur is setting aside 30 minutes of class time every day to teach its students the ancient Tamil-Brahmi script

In an initiative aimed at popularising the ancient Tamil script, a Karur-based educational group has set aside 30 minutes of class time daily to teach students the Tamizhi (Tamil-Brahmi) script.

About 300-odd teachers of the Bharani group of institutions had learnt the script before they started teaching it to students. The teachers, who have become familiar with the script, now spend some time reading and writing in the Tamizhi script every day.

The institution began the system since the reopening of schools after the Christmas vacation. Irrespective of periods allotted for various subjects, the teachers allot a minimum of 5 minutes for teaching the Tamizhi script.

Within three weeks of teaching, about 2,500 out of 5,500 students have learnt how to read inscriptions in the script. Many can also write the script.

“It is very interesting to learn the script. Every teacher spends some time on teaching the ancient Tamil letters before switching on to their respective subjects. Now, I am well versed in Tamizhi,” says B. Jasvarshini, a Class VIII student. V. Kowsalya, another Class VIII student said that it had kindled her interest on ancient Tamil inscriptions. She could read and understand the inscriptions found on temples and stones, she said.

C. Ramasubramanian, Senior Principal, Bharani Park institutions, told The Hindu that it was an attempt to teach the rudiments of popularising and deciphering Tamil inscriptions to students. Nearly, 50% of the students in Bharani Vidyalaya and Bharani Park Matriculation School have become familiar with the Tamizhi script. They could write in the script too, he said.

“Reading and interpreting mediaeval Tamil inscriptions is a skill that only a few have. The skill has not reached the general public in the State. If they learnt the script, they will never deface the inscriptions on temples and stones. They will instantly become the ambassadors of preserving ancient Tamil inscriptions,” Mr. Ramasubramanian says.

A group of 50 students and teachers have already brought out a book of Thirukkural couplets written in Tamizhi script. It has been decided to circulate it to all students of the group, and Tamil scholars across the State. In addition, the school authorities have decided to have classics such as Natrinai, Kurunthogai, Pathittrupathu, Purananooru and Mullaipattu written in Tamizhi script by their staff and students.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 8:47:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/befriending-tamil-through-brahmi/article30672892.ece

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