The Tamil Medium Education Federation has demanded that the government make Tamil the medium of instruction in all schools across the state.
P Maniyarasu, Convener of the federation, which comprises 26 bodies dedicated to implementing Tamil language-based education in schools, also called on the government to allocate 80 per cent of government jobs to students from Tamil medium schools.
Also among the list of demands was that 20 percent of government jobs be reserved for students from villages and rural communities.
“Children are being forced to learn English and Tamil is slowly being killed by the school systems in the state. What is the point of being a part of the union of India when our language and our identity are being killed?” asked Maniyarasu.
The federation also called on the government to install and maintain toilets in all schools, so that parents would not have the need to send their children to private educational institutions. “In our government schools, there are no toilets, no running water and no playgrounds. People are not joining these schools because there are no proper facilities. It is not because the medium of instruction is Tamil that parents are reluctant to send their kids to Tamil medium schools,” said Maniyarasu.
Stressing the importance of children from poor families learning their subjects in Tamil, he added that only if children were taught in schools with the language which they were familiar with, could they hope to gain a thorough understanding of the subjects being taught.
The federation announced that they would approach the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha on August 8 with the full list of their demands.