TN schools reopen after Supreme Court order

However, the government announced that till the text books for Classes II to V and VII to X are made available, schools would follow activity-based learning (ABL). The decision would leave over two crore students without books at the start of the academic year.
"As per ABL system, the teaching will be student-centric and not book-centric," School Education Minister C Ve Shanmugam said in a statement, adding that books will be supplied to students at a later stage free of cost.

"Therefore, schools should give no room for confusion and adopt the ABL for teaching," he said. The apex court yesterday set up an expert panel to examine the syllabus and text books for over two crore school children sought to be altered by the Jayalalithaa government.

The state government is mired in a controversy over its decision to defer implementation of uniformed system of school education (USSE) introduced by the previous DMK regime. The Supreme Court turned down the government's appeal against the Madras High Court staying its amendment to the USSE Act 2010 to defer its implemention.

A vacation bench of the court also directed that USSE should continue to be implemented for Classes I and IV during the present academic year. The Act passed by the previous DMK Government had introduced a common curriculum for school children till Class X doing away with four streams - Matriculation, Anglo-Indian, Oriental and State Board on the ground they lacked quality.

The high court had on June 10 stayed the amendment to the USSE Act by the new government which claimed it wanted to withold implementation of the law as the syllabus and contents in subjects like Mathematics, Science and English undermined quality education.

The AIADMK Government had also argued that the previous government had incorporated several references to boost the image of the DMK government, Kanimozhi and had also introduced her poetry as part of the syllabus.

Reacting to the government's announcement, a cross-section of school managements said implementing ABL was not possible right away as many of them did not have the required material.

Academicians, who did not want to be named, said classes would be held, in some cases, using previous year's books since 'important' subjects such as sciene and languages 'have similar components.'

''We dont have textbooks (for this year as such). But teachers will teach subjects that have common components,'' a school principal said. However, schools said they were prepared to change over to the new syllabus once it was implemented.

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