Tamil Nadu students finally got the information they have been craving for more than two months. On Monday, the state school education department put out the list of approved books by private publishers that can be used as alternatives to the Samacheer Kalvi textbooks in classes 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 for the 2011-12 academic year.
After the AIADMK government postponed the implementation of Samacheer Kalvi indefinitely after its first cabinet meeting in May, students have been attending classes without textbooks or a prescribed syllabus since the schools reopened on June 15. In the absence of textbooks, class hours were spent by screening movies, going on excursions and doing, otherwise, irrelevant art projects.
The circular, put up on the state government website tn.gov.in and the school education website Pallikalvi.in, said, "The list of textbooks for classes 2 to 5 and classes 7 to 9 and the list of private publishers as approved by the State Common Board of School Education are communicated for information of the public, parents, students and teachers." Private unaided schools such as matriculation and Anglo-Indian schools that use books by private publishers are wary of the move to publish the list when the case challenging the Madras high court order on Samacheer Kalvi is set to come up for final hearing in the Supreme Court. "We are waiting for the Supreme Court order before placing orders for the books," said general secretary of the federation of associations of matriculation schools in Tamil Nadu N Vijayan.
The Madras high court ordered the state government on July 18 to implement Samacheer Kalvi (uniform syllabus education system) in schools across Tamil Nadu.
"Assuming that the Supreme Court upholds the high court order, then most matriculation schools will opt for the state-approved textbooks of private publishers. It is impossible for publishers to deliver the books in short time. It is already more than a month since schools reopened and we are nearing the end of the common portions that we could teach students. In this situation we will have to appeal to the state government to allow us to continue with the old syllabus," said Vijayan, who is also the correspondent of Zion Group of Schools.
As many as 56 publishers had presented around 200 textbooks for approval to a committee in the school education department. Of this, 62 textbooks have been cleared. Though the list comes as a relief to parents, class 10 students are upset that their textbooks have not been put up yet. "Class 10 textbooks should be put up first. The other classes can afford to wait, but these students who are set to take their board exams in less than 10 months are losing precious time. I hope the case is resolved soon," said J Adiyapatham, parent of a class 10 student in a city school.