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Error – Free Samacheer Kalvi Textbooks

The process of revising the Samacheer Kalvi textbooks, particularly to make them error – free, has begun. In the first part of the project that was completed recently over 40,000 teachers from government and private schools across the State were involved.

The revision follows criticism from stakeholders that the books printed 2011 year had glaring errors. The Directorate of Teacher Education Research and Training ( DTERT ) roped in more than 40,000 teachers for reviewing textbooks, much more than the number of teachers involved in the previous years.

The work involved discussing addition and deletion of content, pointing out syntax errors, spelling mistakes, suggesting new activities and appropriate content as per the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation ( CCE ) pattern that would come into practice from the next academic year for classes I to VIII.

“Our larger aim is to bring out error – free textbooks,” said K.Devarajan, Director, DTERT. The samacheer kalvi process began last month and teachers and students of all 32 districts were involved.

For classes I to V, 23 groups were involved in revising each of the subject books in every district, while classes VI to VIII and IX and X, nine groups each were involved.

Each of these groups had 50 members, which comprised 10 government school teachers, 30 private school teachers including those from CBSE schools and 10 students each from every class concerned.

“All the books are being re – written but the content will remain the same,” said Mr. Devarajan, adding that suggestions given by the groups in the districts are complete. Each of the District Institutes of Education and Training ( DIETs ) are now working on a subject to incorporate the suggestions. For instance, DIET in the city is finalising content for English for classes I to X.

The Samacheer kalvi Text book exercise is expected to be completed by the end of December. Later content would be divided based on the trimester pattern to then be sent to the Tamil Nadu Textbook Corporation for printing.

Those keen on sending feedback about the books can email dtert.tn@nic.in.

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Matric schools get Acclimatised to Samacheer Kalvi

More than a month after the school education department distributed Samacheer Kalvi ( equitable education ) text books to matriculation schools along with government and government – aided schools, prevailing indications are that teachers in the self – financed matriculation schools have just begun to acclimatise themselves to the new system.

Relief

There are causes for relief and a little concern as well. Since the new system encourages activity – based teaching – learning process, teachers and students in matriculation schools have seemingly begun to take a liking to the system.

The initial reaction of the managements was that the Samacheer Kalvi portions are somewhat diluted when compared to the syllabi they had been following till last year. But now, a section of matriculation schools has started acknowledging the advantages built into the Samacheer Kalvi system.

Teachers are able to identify a similarity with the CBSE pattern in that there is a focus on activities and projects.

The system, according to a senior matriculation teacher with over 15 years of experience, would pave way for hitherto average students to improve their performance vis – à – vis their peers who had been enjoying advantage solely owing to their capacity to learn through rote memory.

Training

Yet, school heads agree that teachers require in – service training.

If a section of teachers is still uncomfortable with the new content, it is more about unfamiliarity with the system and pattern than the difficulty level, explained A. Ramesh, Principal, Bala Vidya Mandir.

In fact, languages have been enriched and the level of Mathematics is improved in the Samacheer Kalvi text books for standards VIII and X, he said.

Nevertheless, matriculation schools find themselves at a relative advantage since they believe that the reduced content, as they perceive, will off – set the time loss they had to suffer in obtaining Samacheer Kalvi books.

Activities

In any case, there is nothing that prevents matriculation schools from increasing the level of activities in case they feel that the contents are not adequate, according to the Inspector of Matriculation Schools V. Jeyakumar.

In – service trainings for matriculation school teachers are likely to take place during October, he said.

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PIL to Implement Samacheer Kalvi

A public interest litigation petition has been filed in the Madras High Court Bench here to implement Samacheer Kalvi ( uniform syllabus ) in all the 67 schools that were following ICSE syllabus and affiliated to Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations in the State.

A Division Bench comprising Justice P.P.S. Janarthana Raja and Justice Aruna Jagadeesan on September 21, 2011 directed a government counsel to take notice on behalf of the School Education Department Secretary and adjourned the matter to October 17, 2011.

S. Umar Farouq, an advocate from Madurai, had filed the PIL petition claiming that the Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School Education Act, 2010 provided for implementing uniform syllabus in all schools except those following the Central Board of Secondary Education ( CBSE ).

The petitioner’s counsel C. Arul Vadivel alias Sekar contended that the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations was a registered society that provides affiliation to various schools. It was not a government sponsored Board.

As per the Guidelines for Affiliation approved at the 90th meeting of the Council held on April 28, 2006, it would prescribe syllabus only from ninth to twelfth standard. Schools that were affiliated to it were given liberty to choose any textbook in so far as first to eighth standards were concerned.

There were a total of five schools following ICSE syllabus in Madurai and each of them was following different textbooks brought out by different publishers even for science subjects, the counsel said and sought for bringing in uniformity by introducing Samacheer Kalvi in those schools.

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Academic Schedule Tweaked to Adapt to New Education Pattern

Late start of teaching – learning process in schools caused by the ‘Samacheer Kalvi’ imbroglio is having its effect on the academic schedule.

The mid – term tests had to be skipped and the portions for the quarterly examinations that are slated for start on September 22, 2011 have been reduced to a large extent, much to the relief of students and teachers. The schools have been apprised of the pattern of examination and question paper models.

Parents, on the other hand, have a strong reason to feel disappointed. Parents are pensive since two months of productive time went waste due to the legal tangle that ‘Samacheer Kalvi’ had gone into. Nevertheless, they can take heart from the school education department’s decision to increase the number of working days.

The department has decided to reduce the duration of quarterly vacation and make two Saturdays in a month as working days. Instead of ten days, the quarterly vacation has been halved to five days, Chief Educational Officer T. Mohana Kumar said.

However, the duration of half – yearly vacation will not be disturbed. Matriculation schools will also have to comply with this schedule, he said.

Indications are that the remaining Saturdays will be utilised to impart in –  service training to teachers. As such, there is no cause for botheration in the teaching – learning process. Yet, the in – service trainings will stand the teachers in good stead to perform their tasks with more confidence and competence. The department was awaiting a communication from the Government on in-service training, Mr. Mohana Kumar said.

According to headmasters, teachers of tenth standard students are racing against time to complete the portions.

The teachers, they say, have some cause for comfort as they will have more time owing to increase in the number of working days.

Official sources confirm that the examinations will be postponed by about ten days. Instead of the last week of March, the public examinations will start during the second week of April 2012.

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