Published: 08th August 2018
M Karunanidhi, the first TN CM to implement computer education in government schools
Considering the need to equip the rural students on computer knowledge, Karunanidhi made reforms to add Computer Science as a subject in schools
If you come across people educated from government schools who are now excelling in IT firms, then it is because of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, who was the first to introduce computer education in government higher secondary schools in Tamil Nadu in 1998. Considering the need to equip the rural students on computer knowledge, Karunanidhi made reforms to add Computer Science as a subject as it was the time when technology in India was blooming after industrial revolution paved in.
The DMK leader also introduced computer science education under the banner of Samacheer Kalvi in the 2011-12 academic year for class VI to X benefiting about 28 lakh government school students and spend around Rs 150 crores for this project. K Prabakaran, computer science teacher in Government Higher Secondary School in Thuvarankurichi said, "Students back in 1998 were able to learn Visual Basic, Java and Fox Pro - a database application. The plans in this regard were mooted by Kalaignar since 1985."
V Kumaresan, another computer science teacher said that he was schooled for flaws in his petition by Karunanidhi. "We as a group had gone to submit our petition to Karunanidhi. He read at a full breath and notified me of the errors that had to be rectified. He also educated me on how to write a petition," said Kumaresan, who is the State General Secretary of Tamil Nadu BEd Computer Science Teachers Association.
That's not just it. The teachers in the state will also be thankful to Kalaignar and they have solid reasons for that. SN Janardhanan, State General Secretary of Tamil Nadu Higher Secondary Schools Vocational Teachers Kazhagam recalled that around 800 part-time vocation group teachers were made regular employees with scale pay in 1990. "We were been working as part-time since 1978. All our pleasto make us regular employees fell on deaf ears. It was only Karunanidhi who helped us after he became the chief minister for the third time."
Karunanidhi also regularised 50,000 teachers in 2006 to make them eligible for pay on par with pay commission. JX Pradheep Samuel, a physical director in Government Syed Murthuza Higher Secondary School said, "The DMK leader, while in power, made sure teachers get all their privileges, and the reforms and schemes would be implemented by analysing the teacher's pulse. But, the demise of Karunanidhi has left a vacuum among the teachers that could not be filled with."