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Forum backs Samacheer Kalvi textbooks

Special Correspondent


“They are visually appealing and child-centred”

“Writing off entire syllabus not justified”


CHENNAI: The textbooks prepared as part of the Samacheer Kalvi initiative are of good standard and the State government should take steps to have the syllabus implemented for all the classes this year, members of the Tamil Nadu Science Forum have said.

The forum had recently undertaken an exercise to thoroughly review the textbooks, involving teachers from all streams, including Matriculation, and subject experts. (The forum's decision comes in the wake of the State government constituting a committee recently to review the Samacheer Kalvi syllabus. The Committee's report is to be submitted to the Madras High Court by the first week of next month.)

Sharing the report of the study at a press conference here on Wednesday, State general secretary of the forum S.T.Balakrishnan said the Samacheer Kalvi textbooks were of better quality, compared to those printed as part of the older syllabus or ones in use in Matriculation schools.

“The Samacheer Kalvi textbooks have been designed as per the National Curriculum Framework 2005 and match the standards of NCERT books. They are visually appealing and child-centred. Opting for the older books now will amount to moving backward,” he said.

Senior educationist S.S.Rajagopalan said transparency was vital in matters concerning education policy. “The decisions ought to be well thought out and not taken in haste. Earlier, when there were mistakes or problematic content in the textbooks, a circular would be sent to schools regarding those specific portions.Writing off the entire syllabus as “poor in quality” is not justified,” he said.

Former president of the forum P. Rajamanickam said Matriculation schools that are now raising issues did not object when the same syllabus was introduced for class I and VI last academic year. “Children seem to love the books. The content is comprehensive and covers a wide range of topics that are bound to enrich the learner's understanding of the world,” he said.

Professor of Tamil S. Madasamy said the textbooks encouraged progressive evaluation techniques. “They give a lot of scope for discussion in class, which are bound to make the child think.”

Professor of History A. Karunanandan said if the alternative was something more progressive and of higher quality, educationists would welcome it. “But the alternative is a syllabus that was drafted prior to the National Curriculum Framework 2005. Why would we want to move backward this way?” he asked.

On the committee constituted to review the Samacheer Kalvi syllabus, speakers said the members largely came from urban centres and may not know the challenges children in rural areas face.

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