Published: 08th October 2022
CBSE in Puducherry government schools? Here are the reactions this move sparked
Resentment brews as the move will make Hindi mandatory, leave no options to study under the State Board and lead to the NEP implementation
The Puducherry government’s move to introduce the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) pattern in government schools across the Union Territory's four regions has sparked a debate on its possible benefits or detriments, stated a report in The New Indian Express.
This comes after Home Minister A Namassivayam — who also holds the education portfolio — submitted a petition to Union Minister for Education Dharmendra Pradhan, during the latter's visit here, seeking approval to introduce the pattern. Political parties have been crossing swords regarding this decision.
The government proposed to introduce the CBSE syllabus in all schools up to Class IX, Namassivayam told TNIE. “As some schools do not fulfil the mandatory norms of playgrounds, and size of classrooms, we sought relaxation of norms for adopting the pattern," he said. The minister noted this syllabus would help students appear for exams like NEET, and JEE.
CBSE pattern not new to the Union Territory
It may be noted that the CBSE pattern in government schools is not new to Puducherry. There are 712 government schools in the UT: 466 in Puducherry, 178 in Karaikal, 40 in Yanam and 28 in Mahe. The CBSE pattern has been adopted in some government schools from Classes I to V. The process is on to extend it to Class VI in these schools, said Namassivayam. Besides, the NEP will prepare students to face the challenges of the 21st Century, he said.
According to M Ramadass, former Lok Sabha member and a former dean of Pondicherry University, this would make the education pattern uniform in the UT for implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP). With the UT lacking a board of its own, schools in Puducherry and Karaikal follow the Tamil Nadu State board. Schools in Mahe and Yanam follow the Kerala and Andhra Pradesh boards respectively.
Hindi now mandatory?
Meanwhile, resentment brews as the move will make Hindi mandatory, leave no options to study under the State Board and lead to the NEP implementation.
Leader of Opposition and State DMK Convenor R Siva, in a statement, stated that this endangered the Tamil language and culture. The quality of education is good under the TN Board, the CBSE curriculum is unnecessary and will affect teachers as well. "Why did the education minister not discuss this decision in the Assembly? Why didn't he seek public opinion?" he asked. During the tenure of the previous Congress-DMK government, a resolution was adopted in the Assembly that NEP will not be accepted.
"The CBSE curriculum requires Central Teachers Eligibility test and others. It will lead to the recruitment of teachers from other states. After 15-20 years, anyone who knows only Tamil will not be able to get a job and North Indians will dominate. There is a risk of displacement of residents. Hence, this BJP coalition government must abandon this decision," added Siva.
Similarly, Lok Sabha member V Vaithilingam opposed the move, pointing out that it would be difficult for students from rural regions to cope. "The existing syllabus lays emphasis on Tamil. But with CBSE, a state of complete neglect of Tamil would develop. Will CBSE be optional? Will Science and Math be taught in Tamil,” he asked.
Opportunities are there
However, UT Parents Students Association President V Balasubramanian said CBSE would provide an opportunity for students to get into higher studies. Presently, most seats — particularly in MBBS — are being grabbed by CBSE students while poor government school students are struggling, he said. Though CBSE will provide uniformity in education, the sudden introduction will cause difficulties, particularly to students in rural areas, he said, adding that Puducherry should have a State board as well.
When asked about the issue, Namassivayam said parents in rural areas are desirous of educating their children in the CBSE pattern. "Several CBSE schools have come up in the area as they have admitted children in private schools." He defended the three-language formula stating that learning an additional language — besides Tamil — will be useful to students.
“Teachers will be trained as per requirements of CBSE and they will not be recruited from outside except in specialised cases like language," said the Minister. Regarding the sudden switch over to CBSE, he said there will be a few teething problems which will be addressed.