Nearly a week after the draft syllabus for State Board schools in Tamil Nadu was released and posted online inviting feedback, there have been over 1.6 lakh downloads. The draft has also been accessed online from 17 countries.
“The curriculum framework committee has given position papers on all the subjects as well as ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and evaluation patterns so that the process and structure followed are clear,” said T. Udhayachandran, Additional Secretary, School Education Department. The position papers alone have been downloaded over 36,000 times.
The curriculum framework committee has said that it has given a special focus to ICT in the draft syllabus — not as a separate subject, but how better it can be embedded into the subjects and used in everyday classroom learning.
The syllabi for vocational subjects offered in schools have been revised, following a gap analysis done on the subjects. Introducing a co-scholastic category, draft syllabi for physical and health education, music, drawing and sewing have also been framed.
“The inclusion of areas such as physical education and music in the draft syllabus will ensure that a holistic development of students is considered in schools,” said P.K. Ilamaran of the Tamil Nadu Teachers’ Association.
Ramya Venkataraman, Founder and CEO, CENTA, said the paperlaid stress on students’ conceptual understanding of the subjects which would be tested in the board examination and school assessment.
“While it is to be seen how the implementation of this will take place, it will be useful if the government considers bringing in external expertise to work on the board exam patterns,” she added.
While teachers across schools in the State have been encouraged to go through the syllabus and give their feedback, groups such as the Child Friendly Schools Initiative have announced district-wise discussions beginning next week.
The School Education Department, meanwhile, has already begun to receive feedback. A few teachers from government schools, however, pointed out that not all the material which has been made available online is in Tamil. “We hope this is done soon so that we have enough time to read the documents and register our feedback,” a teacher from Tiruvallur said.