A demand to include Tamil medium students in board examination rankings has been voiced by government school teachers, parents and social activists here.
A cross-section of them said while state rankings in the board examinations were being given to students who scored the highest in the state irrespective of the medium in which they studied, Tamil medium students were mostly not able to compete with their English medium counterparts in getting the state ranks due to various reasons.
“Until 1996, ranks were awarded based on the highest marks only. Thereafter, ranks were restricted to students who had opted to take Tamil as one of the languages. Since then Tamil medium students have been left in the lurch, which needs to be changed,” said Somasundaram, a parent.
State general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Higher Secondary School Vocational Teachers association S N Janardhanan said over 80 per cent of the students in the state studied in Tamil medium in government schools, and it is important that the government recognize their performance and award them on par with other toppers.
“While Samacheer Kalvi, introduced by the state, had united all the streams of education on one platform, Tamil medium students of government schools should also be recognised,” argued Gopala Rajendran, state vice-president of the Tamil Nadu High and Higher Secondary School Headmasters Association here. “Students who study in Tamil medium government schools put in a lot of effort and their performance should not be compared with their counterparts in private schools who study in English medium. Toppers from government schools with Tamil medium should also be considered for state ranking,” he reasoned.
Social activist R Chandrasekaran said awards must be given to toppers of all the government schools. “This would increase student enrolment in government schools which would also fuel development of infrastructure facilities and motivate teachers to do better. Government schools have been enrolling students from a lower socio-economic and educational background and such students required all attention, motivation and support,” he noted.
The government should also send copies of answer papers of the state toppers to all government schools to enable the students to learn how to do better in exams, he added.
Chandrasekaran also insisted that priority must be given to students who have studied in government schools for admission to government professional and other colleges. These students should not have to compete with their counterparts who have studied in private schools, he said.