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`Quality of primary education appalling'

Staff Reporter

Teaching methodology should change, says SSA official

COIMBATORE: Quality of primary education is appalling, M.P. Vijaykumar, State Project Officer of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), said.

Inaugurating a resource person training programme on `Child Development and Care' at Avinashilingam University recently, he said the results of a survey carried out by the SSA in 2006 revealed that only 64 per cent of the children who had had education till Standard V could read and write Tamil. Seventy per cent were not able to perform basic operations in mathematics. Despite Tamil Nadu doing better than many other states in terms of enrolment to primary classes, the quality of education in the schools was appalling, he said.

Though the dropout rate in the State was projected at 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent, independent surveys had often revealed it to be 10 per cent to 15 per cent. And the remaining 75 per cent to 80 per cent children continuing to go to school were not given quality education, Mr. Vijaykumar observed.

Inadequacy of teachers and infrastructure were often cited as reasons for poor quality of education. "But, there are schools where there are eight to 10 teachers and the standard of education is still very low," he said.

Even as the Government was introducing nutritious noon meal schemes, free books and uniforms and bus passes for the benefit of the students, not much was happening to improve the quality of education. The teaching methodology should be changed. Teachers should be aware of the critical aspects influencing the child's development in order to be effective in their profession, Mr. Vijayakumar said.

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