For more than a month, schools have been waiting for news on which syllabus to follow, and many schools have not used any textbook in classes. But, it is not the case in private matriculation schools. Many of them have gone ahead and started conducting classes based on the old syllabus and are now gearing up for mid-term tests.
President of the Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary Matriculation Higher Secondary Schools Federation D Christudas said, "We haven't been affected much by the lack of textbooks. We advised all the district associations of matriculation schools to advise their member schools to give out the old matriculation syllabus textbooks and have been teaching students using them. We are awaiting the court order to set the dates for the mid-term exams."
In Zion Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Tambaram, the mid-term test began on Thursday. Students were asked questions on the applications of concepts. "We follow the old syllabus, but we have introduced objective type questions for 30 marks. We tested students through a quiz. The children and parents were very happy and their participation was good. We have tried to introduce the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) pattern this time. We asked the students to write short answers of three or four lines each for the subjective questions for the remaining 20 marks," said school correspondent N Vijayan. He said that the school hadn't changed the pattern of the question paper. For example, Zion school students still have physical sciences and biological sciences as different papers and not one science paper as suggested under Samacheer Kalvi.
In other schools, students are being tested on common portions such as grammar or arithmetic, but they have not planned the mid-term dates yet. One matriculation school in Madipakkam has even set the date for the mid-term and sent the timetable to parents through their children. The portions for the test are from the textbooks prescribed under the old syllabus. Matriculation schools admit that the first mid-term test, usually conducted in the first week of July, had been postponed. Usually schools conduct three mid-term tests, one every month in the first term, and three end-of-term exams.
In government schools, however, there has been no intimation from the school education department on the dates for the mid-term test. "We are still waiting for orders on what to do about the exams, the classes and the textbooks. We hope to know about it next week," said the principal of a government school in the city, who declined to be named.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary Matriculation Higher Secondary Schools Federation, which has 37 member district associations of matriculation schools, has asked students and parents to reject the call by the DMK to boycott classes on Friday. They asked school correspondents to keep schools open and teachers to attend classes.