Thattukadai: Of skewed schools and soap opera addiction

The New Indian Express' reporters on the spicy happenings across Tamil Nadu in the week that was.

Published: 01st August 2022 02:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st August 2022 12:00 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

Trust the mint
Ever had to take back your Rs 10 coin because the shopkeeper said it’s not legal tender? Yes or no, even a senior politician, who runs a petrol bunk on the outskirts of Alangulam town in Tenkasi district, believes in the worn-out hoax. The busy bunk on the Ambasamudram Road stopped accepting the bi-metallic coin from customers as the bunk-owner suspected its authenticity. Until recently, the bunk had put up signboards saying ‘Rs 10-coin not accepted’. After some created an unpleasant scene, the signboards were removed, but the coin still remains a no-no. RBI’s repeated statements on its legal tender status seem to have fallen on deaf ears of the man

Victory march
Of late, men at Anna Arivalayam, the DMK headquarters, are in a dilemma. Scores of party men from across TN are making a beeline to the office at Teynampet, and they all want to remind party leaders of the promises made to them during the assembly and local body polls. Apparently, the party top brass had negotiated with the local leaders, who were keen on contesting, by assuring them key posts in the party. But, those who won on the party ticket are not moving an inch on giving up their posts. Such a long game of chess it’s going to be, ain’t it?

Skewed schools
Three years after the Tamil Nadu government ordered to redeploy surplus teachers to schools that are in dire need of staff to meet the required student-teacher ratio, the imbalance is still visible across the State. Many schools in the Tirunelveli district, for instance, are running with more teachers than required, while many others are gasping. Some block-level officers at the School Education Department apparently collect a monthly ‘fee’ of Rs 1,000 from teachers for retaining them in the same school, we were told.

Blame screens and soaps!
Do cellphones and TV soap operas make school kids obsessed and spoil their future? Geetha Jeevan, Minister for Social Welfare and Women Empowerment believes so. After handing over free bicycles to as many as 16,498 students recently at a function held at a private school in Thoothukudi, the minister said many students are addicted to their phones and TV serials. For girls, particularly, the unethical use of cellphones has been a worrying concern, she said and asked them to be alert and not to fall into  “traps”. What about boys, then?

The veto power
Three advisors hold sway at a planning agency as critical as CMDA. Senior officials are forced to toe the line of what the three men decide arbitrarily. They are young and zestful with educational degrees from foreign universities, but lack experience in working with planning agencies or even in the State. Most seniors are bugged by the meetings that happen regularly and that are showcased on social media. But nobody has raised any concerns so far simply because none wants to bell the cat.

(Contributed by Thinakaran Rajamani, S Godson Wisely Dass, C Shivakumar and S Kumaresan. Compiled by Maneesh T)


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