TN schoolchildren underperform in Math, English: Report

TN schoolchildren underperform in Math, English: Report

Their performance is best in Tamil language, reveals study

TN schoolchildren underperform in Math, English: Report

Faced with the challenge of marrying quantity with quality in education in Government Schools, Tamil Nadu has found that its students from first to eighth class are underperforming in Mathematics and English, while they are “performing best” in Tamil language.

“Children’s attainment levels in Mathematics and English is a matter of concern,” says an ‘Internal Baseline Study’ by the School Education Department (SED) during the just-concluded academic year 2012-13.

However, a silver lining in the cloud is that across classes, “girls students are performing better than boys”.

The findings were disclosed in the ‘Policy Note’ tabled by State School Education Minister Dr Vaigaichelvan in the Assembly. The SED’s internal study covering three scholastic areas – Tamil reading and writing skills, English reading and writing skills and basic arithmetic skills-, assessed nearly 2.50 lakh students from classes I-VIII, covering 2047 ‘Primary Sections’ and 2048 ‘Upper Primary Sections’ in 412 Blocks across Tamil Nadu.  In each Block, five schools were covered, the study noted.

Regarding the children’s underperformance in Mathematics and English, the report said that the NCERT’s (National Council For Education Research and Training) mid-term assessment for Class-III and end-term assessment for Class-V have also shown “the need to improve the attainment level of children in Language, Mathematics and Science.”

To mitigate these shortcomings in Government schools, several new initiatives have been formulated for implementation during the ensuing academic year 2013-14, including establishing ‘Mathematics Lab’ in select two schools in each district on a pilot basis to make number crunching, simple, joyful and insightful for children, the report said.

An innovative ‘English Teaching’ package, through a series of well planned modules, using DVDs’ will be introduced in 50 schools in each district of Tamil Nadu in the coming academic year, the report said.

“Radio lessons” in English language will also be developed, each for duration of 30 minutes, for benefit of students at the “Upper Primary Level”.

Capacity building of teachers will also be an integral part of this entire quality up-gradation exercise, with English and Mathematics teachers to be trained intensively.

To inculcate the scientific temper in children, more ‘Science Exhibitions’ will be conducted at the School, Block and District Levels, besides making ‘Mobile Science Vans’ visit schools to strengthen children’s knowledge of science, the report said.     

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