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MUMBAI: Anxious parents of children in Tamil medium municipal schools here gathered unwillingly on Tuesday to collect the school-leaving certificates of their wards. Their schooling has come to an abrupt end, owing to the sudden decision of the administration to shut down class 8, started last year in three schools.
The schools, where class 8 was started last year on the orders issued by the Education Committee, were asked this year to discontinue the same, leaving around 800 students of class seven and 8 in the lurch.
In Maharashtra, Tamil schools have been imparting education only till class seven until last year’s directive.
Education Officer Arun Thakre says that the orders issued last year were "a mistake" on the part of the administration.
He said that the Education Committee was unaware that the State board did not have the infrastructure such as teaching staff and textbooks to teach further levels.
Despite protests by parents of K.C. Matunga Mumbai Upper Primary Tamil School last week and several appeals therewith to offer education till class 10, the administration is not willing to relent.
The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Board does not conduct exams after class seven for the Tamil medium as it does not have the facility to do so. “Then how can one approve class 8 to 10,” he asks.
As a makeshift measure, the administration has directed the three schools to continue class 8, but to convert the medium to English, a variation to their earlier solution of asking the students to move to English medium schools. Students, however, prefer to continue their studies in Tamil itself.
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