Published: 10th October 2017
Science Shocker: Students in Tamil Nadu's Adi Dravidar Welfare Higher Secondary Schools prefer dropping out over studying Science
The schools have had over nine posts vacant since the 1990s further fuelled by a dearth of school staff and basic facilities
Many students who attend the special Adi Dravidar Welfare Higher Secondary Schools in Tamil Nadu are dropping out with the Science stream being the only available option. About 58 Government Adi Dravidar Welfare Higher Secondary Schools in Tamil Nadu are lacking Arts groups because of the unfilled nine vacancies after the late 90s by the State government. Situated in plains and mountains, the Adhi Dravidar Welfare (ADW) and GTR schools are dedicated especially to marginalised people living in rural villages and hills. Like other Government schools, students at ADW and GTR schools do avail cost-free education, free educational kits namely bags, books, and uniforms.
Around nine posts for Science and Arts were filled before the 1990s, namely for Tamil, English, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Botany, Zoology, Economics, Commerce. Later, only five posts were appointed after high schools were upgraded to higher secondary. This included Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and language, that only left available the Science group. A member of the Tamil Nadu Doctor Ambedkar Post Graduate Teachers Association said, "Students from underprivileged and weaker sections were only left with the option of continuing their higher secondary, which is the Science group.
But here is where the problem arose for many students who were hoping for Arts. "Parents also feel unsafe to send their children miles away to get a proper education, he added. Tiruchy district president of the association, J Abdul Jaffer said that the many students who aspire to go into the banking sector or anything related to management after their higher secondary are left in the lurch.
"With only the Science group available at ADW higher secondary and GTR schools, students battle hard to understand the subjects," said Jaffer. He also said that the Department of School Education in 2011 had notified for nine posts to be filled at all Government schools but in vain. The schools also lack Office Assistants (OAs), clerks, security guards, and sanitary workers.Speaking to Express, Association State President M Senthilkumar said that various demands were put in front of the Tamil Nadu Government.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the State conference held at St Johns Vestry Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School on Sunday. The charter of demands by the members says that the State government should identify ADW high schools to be upgraded to higher secondary across Tamil Nadu. Another demand was mainly to fill in nine postgraduate teachers posts in the schools.