TAMIL NADU

Experts discuss syllabus for Scientific Tamil

CHENNAI Aug. 26. Subject experts and school education administrators yesterday held a meeting here on implementing the Government's decision to introduce `Scientific Tamil' for all children from LKG up to Standard XII in the State.

Building up language skills even while propagating scientific ideas will be the principle guiding the implementation of the concept, say School Education department officials. Monday's meeting is a follow-up to the Independence Day announcement by the Chief Minister that the new subject would be made compulsory in all schools starting this academic year.

The Directors of School Education, the Teachers Education Research and Training, the Elementary Education department and other senior officials participated in the meeting, in which the views of academic experts were discussed. When contacted, the Director of School Education, S. Paramasivam said, "This was the first meeting to decide on the syllabus and content of the subject for various classes. In a few weeks we will finalise the graded syllabus for each class."

Explaining the concept of Scientific Tamil, he said the idea was to ensure that all children completing school education in Tamil had working knowledge of the language. Basically, it would be a method of providing Tamil language skills to every child, while at the same time scientific concepts would be delivered.

"For example, we have a famous fable of a crow dropping pebbles in a long-necked jar to bring up the level of the water to quench its thirst. But we can also tell the children the scientific principle behind the displacement of water. Like this, we can explain to children through Tamil concepts of health and hygiene, rainwater harvesting, environment, physiology, nutrition or food," he added. The syllabus and the content of the subject would go up gradually with class.

Officials in the department note that the State had schools, including government-run institutions, which provided primary, elementary and secondary education in a medium other than Tamil or English. For example, schools in border districts offer Telugu, Malayalam or Urdu as the first language.

This meant students there learnt the first language and subjects such as science, mathematics or social sciences through that language (other than Tamil).

English was the second language. So students of such institutions did not get a chance of learning Tamil at all. But still they would complete their school education.

These students would learn Scientific Tamil as an additional subject. For the present, the subject would not be included for evaluation for promotion, senior officials said.

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