PIL for spoken English in Tamil medium schools

Those who study in English medium have an edge, compared to the Tamil medium students from the State board.
Madras HC (File | PTI)
Madras HC (File | PTI)

CHENNAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court has ordered notices to authorities concerned on a PIL petition praying for direction to them to introduce spoken English as compulsory subject in all Tamil medium schools belonging to the government, government-aided and unaided ones and start ‘mazhalayar’ classes (LKG and UKG) in State Board schools.

When the petition from former DMK MLA M Appavu, also a retired school teacher, came up for hearing on Monday, the bench of Justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad directed the Law Officer and the Director of School Education to furnish details of number of schools – government/aided/local bodies – wherein English medium section is being continued. The matter will be taken up on November 8.
The petitioner said that there were 37,211 government, 8,403 aided and 12,419 self-financing schools in the State. Appavu said as per the education policy, Tamil was taught as the first language and English as second language from Classes 2 to 12 in Tamil medium government, aided and un-aided schools.

Though English is taught, even after successfully completing Plus-Two with very good marks, a student could not speak in or understand English and there is a difficulty for these students in communicating or writing in English fluently and it causes practical problems when they go for professional courses, where the medium of instruction is only English. On the other hand, those who study in English medium have an edge, compared to the Tamil medium students from the State board.

This inability of Tamil medium students continues even in work places. So, a need has arisen to lay emphasis on spoken English in all Tamil medium government, aided and un-aided schools from primary to higher secondary by introducing spoken English as a compulsory subject.

Similarly, there are no LKG and UKG classes in State Board schools where education begins only from the class 1, resulting in loss of enrolment in primary schools in State Board. Due to poor enrolment, about 1,311 primary schools are functioning with less than 10 students and about 3,400 primary schools, with less than 15 students. If it is allowed to continue, all government schools will be closed. Hence, it is very much necessary to introduce ‘mazhalayar’ classes (LKG and UKG) in all primary schools run by the State, he added.

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