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Biochemistry, microbiology in Plus-Two from this year

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, MAY 21. The School Education department will introduce in the coming academic year five new subjects — biochemistry, microbiology, nutrition and dietetics, nursing and English for Communication — at the higher secondary level.

It has also modified and reorganised the subject combinations at the Plus-Two level so that they will fall under one of the four groups, Engineering and Technology; Medical and Para-medical courses; Commerce and Business; and Humanities.

New syllabi

An official release said new syllabi and textbooks would be introduced for standards VI, X and XI in 2004-05 and for VIII and XII in 2005-06. Last year the proposed curriculum was displayed on the Internet (http://www.tn.gov.in/schoolsyllabus) for feedback from parents, teachers, experts, the general public as well as students. Later district-level meetings were held for hearing views. Based on these, the new textbooks were prepared and would be sold/distributed before schools reopen in June.

The new syllabus for Plus-Two would enable the students to prepare for professional course entrance examinations not only at the State level but also at the national level.

After considering expert committee recommendations and the public feedback, the formation of the four groups was finalised. In each group, students would have to study three core subjects and one optional subject (under Part III), relevant to engineering and technology, medicine and paramedical fields, business and commerce and arts and humanities. Group I would have mathematics, physics and chemistry with biology/computer science/statistics/biochemistry/English for Communication and home science as optionals. Group II would have physics, chemistry and biology as core subjects and microbiology/biochemistry/nursing/nutrition and dietetics/computer science/English for Communication and home science as optionals. In Group II A, there would be only four subjects: physics, chemistry, botany and zoology.

Group III would comprise accountancy, commerce and economics as core subjects, with business mathematics/computer science/statistics/English for Communication; history, political science; Ethics and Indian Culture or Advanced Tamil as optionals.

Group IV would consist of history, economics and geography as core subjects, with optionals in political science/computer science/statistics and English/ Ethics and Indian Culture/Advanced language Tamil.

Henceforth, there would be only one paper for languages in government examinations (at present there are two papers) but the number of study periods or time allotted for the languages would not be reduced. Each class should have at least 30 students in urban areas and 15 in rural schools.

Standard IX students would have to study 50 hours of computer science, standards VI-X would have one hour a week of "Skill in Spoken English" class. Practicals would be introduced for standards IX and X. Orientation programmes would be introduced for teachers handling the new syllabus, the release said.

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