CHENNAI: School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan’s announcement to grant marks for planting trees, has left principals and teachers bamboozled as they have received no official communication on how to implement it. Sengottaiyan on Thursday said that 12 marks - two marks in each subject- will be awarded to students for planting trees, from the academic year 2019-2020.
Standing in the volleyball court, the only open space in a matriculation school near Valluvarkottam which doubles as the playground, K Valarmathi, physical education instructor, defensively crossed her hands and said, “Where will students play if they plant trees here?”
The principal of the school has no idea where the trees can be planted. “We are awaiting government instructions on how to implement this. Can three students plant one tree together? Can it be planted in public places or their home? Should we reduce the marks given for practical exams? I have so many questions,” she said.
Suneera Samuel, a botany teacher at a school in the city, said, “Maintaining and watering them is important. What’s the point of planting a tree in some faraway place and leaving it to die later? The government should come up with a comprehensive plan,” she opined.
Her school already has an eco-club looking after the school gardens. She is unsure if marks will be given for growing plants instead.
Both, government and government-aided schools will have to implement the system once an official order comes through, said S Kannappan, the Director of Matriculation Schools.
“The Department of Government Examinations will give us instructions how these marks will be allotted,” he said.
The Director of Government Examinations, Vasundra Devi, however, said that it is the School Education Department that will have to find a way to accommodate the marks within the internals.