CHENNAI: In a bid to improve the pass percentage in its schools, the Chennai Corporation has prepared and set to distribute a simplified Minimum Learning Material (MLM) to academically-struggling kids.
The MLMs have been revised and filtered for the benefit of students who will take the Class X board examinations in March-April 2015. It will help students get across the 35-mark barrier, as one headmaster put it.
Speaking to City Express, requesting anonymity, another headmaster said that the plan to water down the MLM came as the Corporation was seeking to improve pass statistics by a further five per cent or more.
“Generally, Corporation school students belong to backward and downtrodden communities, both socially and economically. There are students, who suffer due to parental problems like absent parents, which affects them psychologically,” the headmaster said.
“Given such instances, it is imperative that we help the student because failure may result in the child dropping out,” the headmaster added.
While it is a fact that the Corporation’s primary schools are struggling for student numbers, its middle schools and higher secondary schools have been doing reasonably well and continue to produce State-rank holders. It is in this regard that the Corporation’s decision to simplify and hand out MLMs has attracted criticism from education activists, who called for the Corporation to stop from following in the footsteps of private schools.
“Private matriculation schools have been doing it for ages because they yield to the pressure of producing 100 per cent pass. But Corporation schools have no necessity to do so,” said P B Prince Gajendra Babu, an activist, who works for education system reformation in the state.
“The Corporation is entirely disregarding the National Curriculum of Framework. Instead of recruiting more teachers and encouraging them to articulate and teach the subjects which they handle, they issue memos to headmasters questioning why n-number of students have failed,” he added. A more reasonable method, Gajendra Babu felt, will be for Corporation school headmasters to wait until board exams are over and then supply material to those who had failed, so that those students would benefit while appearing for the Special Supplementary Examinations.