TNSF in Media

Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI: The Tamil Nadu Science Forum has appealed to the State Government to implement the equitable system of school education (Samacheer Kalvi) from this year. In an appeal to the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, the Forum's State General Secretary S.T. Balakrishnan said the decision taken at the first cabinet meeting to withhold implementation of 'Samacheer Kalvi' for the ensuing academic year has caused confusion among students and parents.

The TNSF has always maintained that though equality in education can be established only when there is uniformity in syllabi, teaching method, infrastructure and teacher availability.

The Forum sees uniform syllabus as a precursor to the other developments, he said, offering the Forum's support to the Government for implementation of 'Samacheer Kalvi'.

Formation of an expert panel to rectify shortcomings in the system is a welcome step, but it is better to carry out the system in the process of implementation from the ensuing academic year, Mr. Balakrishnan emphasised.

Meanwhile, the Association of Heads of High and Higher Secondary Schools also appealed to the State Government to implement the 'Samacheer Kalvi' from the coming academic year to make quality education reachable to economically downtrodden and backward rural students.

Source: The Hindu

Supplementary readers for classes VI to VIII in Jan

CHENNAI: Designed to encourage children to read outside of their textbooks, a new set of supplementary readers is set to reach schools in the state in January. In the second phase of the initiative, the books will cater to students from classes VI to VIII.

"We plan to give a set of books to each school, 47 books for English, 50 for Science, 15 for Social Science and 47 for Tamil. The books are light, reader-friendly and have been made attractive for children with a lot of pictures," an official associated with the project said.

Intended to sharpen students' observation skills with each book slated to have a learning outcome woven into it through activities like storytelling, the books for Social Science and Tamil have been prepared by teachers and block resource teacher educators (BRTEs) from the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan while Science books are being developed in consultation with the Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF) while the English books are being sourced from the National Book Trust, the official added.

Teachers will be instructed to allow students to read these books for 45 minutes during the lunch break since middle school students have lunch breaks that last an hour and a half. "We are planning to send out a circular asking teachers of each classroom to maintain a log indicating the usage of the books. The log would contain details of the name of the student, which book the student had borrowed and a student's impression of the book," an official said.

According to TNSF vice-president N Madhavan, the organisation had given the SSA the copyright for one-time publication of books since it had supplementary readers on themes such as science, society, nature and science inherent in transactions in the kitchen.

As an English teacher at Panchayat Union Middle School, Venkatesapuram, Kancheepuram district, he added, "A large proportion of students from government schools hail from downtrodden families who don't find books other than their textbooks at home. These books are intended to make children curious, make them want to learn more about various developments around the world. They are designed to create an appetite for reading in children and I have seen it work on students before.

Source : Times of India

Awareness programme for members governing govt. schools

Training: A play being performed for members of Village Education Committee in Chitlapakkam. Photo: Muralitharan

A residential training-cum-awareness programme for members of the Village Education Committee (VEC) of Government schools in the southern suburbs of Chennai began at Chitlapakkam near Tambaram.

The programme that began on January 27 includes training VEC members on current trends of education in Government schools, including Right to Education Act, duties and responsibilities of ward members, village panchayat presidents and others associated with functioning of schools.

Objectives

S.Gunasekaran, Superviser (Rural), St. Thomas Mount Panchayat Union of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, told The Hindu that the principal objectives of the training programme was to inform VEC members that it was essential to ensure that every child between six and 14 years of age attended schools.

VEC comprised chiefs of the respective local bodies, ward members, school heads, members of women self-help groups, youth organisations and educationists, Mr. Gunasekaran said, adding that it played a crucial role in ensuring 'zero drop out rate.'

Awareness

It was VEC's responsibility to create an awareness among their respective school students on physical fitness, nutrition and hygiene, Mr. Gunasekaran added. Tambaram MLA S.R. Raja and Block Chairman K. Elumalai were among others present on the occasion.

The highlight of the programme was a play presented by SSA - Tamil Nadu Science Forum on the importance of universal education, child and women's rights, Right to Education Act.

The play's theme revolved around conventional practices of sending children to work while they ought to be in school and how lack of education to children in the school going age had quite an disastrous impact on families and the society as a whole.

Nobel Laureate interacted with child scientists

The 18th National Children's Science Congress concluded on December 31 with Nobel Laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan as chief guest at the valedictory function. He interacted with child scientists.

The five-day annual science extravaganza was held at Vel's University in Pallavaram. Mr. Venkatraman, in his address, said that in India people preferred managerial studies to science. While responding to a question, he iterated that scientists who worked in basic sciences were paid much less compared to their counterparts in software and technological fields.

Ishari K.Ganesh, chancellor of Vel's University, officials from National Children's Science Congress Network, Tamil Nadu Science Forum, TN State Council for Science and Technology were among others present at the valedictory function.

During the course of the Congress whose theme was Land Resources - Use for Prosperity and Save for Posterity, nearly 1,000 children from all corners of the country made presentations. As many as 105 of them were selected as Child Scientists to take part at the 98th Indian Science Congress held at SRM University.

Source : The Hindu

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