Published: 14th August 2018
No arts stream in upgraded govt higher secondary schools this year in TN
TN's School Education Department (SED)has upgraded 95 government and municipal high schools without an arts group
The School Education Department (SED) of Tamil Nadu has upgraded 95 government and municipal high schools into higher secondary but has failed to start arts group.
V M Michaelraj, State Secretary of Tamil Nadu Post Graduate Teachers’ Association, said the government started both arts and science groups in many upgraded schools in 2017. It also appointed 9 PG teachers - 6 for science and 3 for arts groups, in each upgraded school. But this year, the SED has made known its intention to start only science group and appoint 6 teachers for it in each school.
“When 2,500 PG teacher vacancies are lying vacant already, the number would go up to 2,800 if the SED starts arts group as well,” he said, suspecting it to be the reason for not introducing arts stream in upgraded schools this year.
"While the student strength in engineering colleges is coming down by the year, many are showing interest to join arts group rather than science group unlike in the recent past. If the government does not start arts group in upgraded schools under such circumstances, the students will be disappointed," Michaelraj said.
Meanwhile, PG teachers claimed that there are several violations in upgrading the schools. Requesting anonymity, one of them said, “As per government norm, there should be a higher secondary school only for every 5 km, but it is not followed. In Coimbatore district, 5 high schools have been converted into higher secondary. The Vilankurichi high school upgraded to higher secondary is just three km away from the Kalapatti HSS.”
When contacted, SED Director V C Rameswaramurugan denied ignoring introduction of arts stream and passed the buck on the headmasters. “Permission is given only based on the school headmaster's request. The government has said it will consider starting arts group if a higher secondary school in the rural area is able to admit 15 students and a city school 30 students. This is the norm that was followed last year too,” he said.