With surge in enrolment to TN government schools because of 7.5% medical school quota, teachers ask for time extension

The Association is also asking for the last date for enrollment to be pushed to October 30 because they fear students are unaware about the last date being September 30 and some are still struggling
Representative Image  Credit: Ashwin Acharya
Representative Image Credit: Ashwin Acharya

The Tamil Nadu Teachers’ Association has requested the School Education Department to reveal what portions are there in the 40 per cent syllabus that it has decided to cut for the academic year — and to also extend the date of enrollment till October 30. The Association said that with cases rising every day it was best to let the students know what to expect in the coming future. 

P K Ilamaran, the President of the Association, said that it had already been five months since online classes had started and it is worrying the teaching community that they still have no idea about what is going to be cut. In May 2020, the School Education Department set up an 18-member panel to look into reducing the syllabus for the 2020-2021 academic year and submitted its report last month. Accordingly, Minister K A Sengottaiyan announced that 40 percent of the syllabus would be reduced.

However, the teachers say they have not yet been intimated about it. “Just like it was with exams like NEET, we are uncertain about it happening until the last minute. The same way we have no idea when schools will reopen, there continues to be such uncertainty. Looking at cases increasing every day, it seems like maybe only in December or January, will we reopen. After that we barely have any time to finish, so we have to ensure we start now, so at least we should be sure of what the syllabus is,” Ilamaran said.

Scores of government school students have been deprived of online classes because they could not afford mobiles or data or because they live in remote areas that don’t have a network or are cut off, so they are not aware of how to even access the classes. For these students, the government decided to install TVs at common places so they could attend classes but this comes nowhere close to actual online classes and the teachers themselves are not sure how many students are able to access the TVs too. “We are already worried about whether these students are able to properly attend classes, we don’t know how many students have reached it. We are worried the students would have lost touch and are missing out. So we should be well prepared in advance,” he added.

The Association is also asking for the last date for enrollment to be pushed to October 30 because they fear students are unaware about the last date being September 30. “So far, 13 lakh students have enrolled in government schools due to the 7.5 percent quota that the government has given for government school students to get into medical colleges. But parents are still stressed about admissions due to various procedures they are still not sure about,” he explained. Ilamaran said that many parents are still struggling to get transfer certificates from private schools because some are demanding that the fees be paid before the TC is given. He said till a day ago too, he was meeting parents who were simply not aware what to do about these procedures. These are mostly parents of tenth graders who are waiting to join a new school for their 11th and 12th. “Many believe that since the schools have not started yet, the enrollments will continue. They think maybe after schools start, they can get students admitted but there is a chance that they would not get admission if they come too late. So in such a situation, it is best to postpone the last date,” he said. 

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