Letter to Honourable Minister for School Education, Sports and Youth Welfare Thiru. Ma Foi K Pandiarajan
Hearty congratulations on your appointment as Minister for School Education, Sports and Youth Welfare. It’s indeed a moment of pride for all us, the fellow HR Professionals and Education enthusiasts to see you taking up one of the most important responsibilities in our State Government.
At this juncture of you taking over School Education, here I’ve given a “10 Point Agenda for School Education in Tamil Nadu”.
My humble request to you is please take this into your discretion and consider implementing this appropriately. My 10 point agenda is designed based on 3 important pillars of School Education.
- First – Quality of Teachers:
Quality of an Education system cannot exceed the quality of its Techers. Hence Teacher development is the most critical aspect in developing our Education System.
- Third – Subjects of Learning:
Not having any strategic outcome expectations from our Schools other than mere pass percentages, is an important reason why Tamilnadu is running behind in most of the National Level Competency and Admission tests.
- Second – School Infrastructure:
School Infrastructure plays a vital role in effective learning process. Schools should be given basic facilities like Quality Classrooms, Clean Drinking Water, Hygienic Lavatory facilities, etc
“10 Point Agenda for School Education in Tamil Nadu”
- Teacher quality is the most important aspect in Education Quality. Teachers should be the best in Quality in terms of their Subject Matter Expertise, Teaching Methods and Classroom Handling Skills. A comprehensive exercise “Teacher Quality Improvement Program (TeachQIP)” to be initiated at every District by the respective District Education Officer (DEO). This will bring the teachers of various schools into workshops, training programs to equip them with better subject knowledge, teaching skills and child psychology.
- Principals and HMs should be given adequate autonomy and authority. They should also be forced to bring in accountability in matters related to their School, Teachers and Students with systems and process in place. (While the AEOs and DEOs monitor and check instead of decision making and controlling)
- Have a holistic School performance measuring system. Measure the school’s performance not only based on pass percentage and marks obtained, also based on the performance of their students in various national level qualifying tests and exams, students performance in Sports, Arts and Cultural events at the District and State levels.
- Increase the scope of “Village Education Committee”. Also include local NGOs, Professors from nearby Colleges and Old Students of the School into VEC. Allocate VEC with some yearly budget so that they could use the fund based on the school’s local requirements.
- “Every child a reader by end of Class – 5”. Major reason for our children’s non-learning problems is their inability to read and comprehend. Every child moving from Primary School to Middle School should be able to Speak, Read and Write fluently both in Tamil and English.
- “Every child to become proficient in fundamental Maths, Science and Computers by Class – 8”. Every child moving from Middle school to Secondary school should have proficiency in fundamental Maths, Science and Computers. As the world is increasingly become technology driven, our school students should also be competitive enough to face global challenges of future. We need to build a culture for Science, Maths and Computers in our School Education system.
- “Every child to make informed choices about their Life and Career by Class – 10”. Every child moving from Secondary school to Higher Secondary school should have minimum clarity of what they want to do in their Life and Career. Should be able to make an informed choice of their own higher education possibilities.
- Parents should be given the rights to school audit. Parents should be allowed to audit school infrastructure and learning in schools their children go to. Schools must be made accountable to them, as it’s their right to know about the facilities provided to their children in schools.
- Government to bring a Common Minimum School Infra Program to ensure that Quality Classrooms, Clean Drinking Water and Hygienic Lavatory facilities are provided to each and every school in the state. (with in an acceptable time line schedules)
- Infrastructure to be built with quality and also maintained with due diligence so that the money invested in the school is utilised to its maximum possible extent for longer period of times.
Thank You Sir and I hope that this post will find you sometime soon.
Sivakumar Palaniappan is a Professional Speaker, Author, Corporate Trainer and Career Coach. He is passionate about Nation Building through Youth Development, speaks and writes for/about young minds. More about him at www.sivakumarpalaniappan.com