COIMBATORE: A study conducted by Tamil Nadu Education Department officials has found that the reading skills of students from classes I to VIII was very poor in districts that produced the top 15 ranks in this year’s public examinations and was acceptable only in the four districts of Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchy.
A special team was formed by the Directorate of School Education to ascertain the reading abilities of students from classes I to VIII after it received several complaints regarding this. The team led by joint directors split into several groups and examined the reading potential of students in all subjects, including Tamil and English. They were shocked to find that the students struggled to read their textbooks fluently.
A report was released by the Directorate of Elementary Education after summarising the accounts submitted by officials from all the districts. The report mentioned that only students from government schools in the metros and tier-two cities were able to read fluently and students from the districts of Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Namakkal and Erode had poor reading skills.
Following this, the Directorate of Elementary Education instructed the District Elementary Education Officers (DEEOs) to take action against teachers concerned. It has also asked the DEEOs to conduct frequent inspections in all government elementary and middle schools in their districts and in case they find students unable to read properly an explanation must be sought from the teachers.
Meanwhile, an expert team set up to analyse government school question papers has suggested that more questions to test the reading and speaking skills of students be included, reducing the weightage given to literature-related questions.
The State Council of Educational Research and Training Tamil Nadu has also taken steps to change the question pattern of exams for classes I to VIII in all government schools in the State.