All schools under one umbrella

There are nearly one lakh students studying in the 1,138 Adi Dravidar Welfare schools and 320 government tribal residential schools in Tamil Nadu.

Published: 21st March 2023 07:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st March 2023 07:36 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

CHENNAI: Paying heed to one of the longest pending demands in the state, the DMK government has decided to bring schools functioning under the Adi Dravidar and tribal welfare, backward class, most backward class and denotified communities, HR&CE and forest departments under the aegis of the school education department. The announcement is expected to ensure quality education for students across all schools.

There are nearly one lakh students studying in the 1,138 Adi Dravidar Welfare schools and 320 government tribal residential schools in Tamil Nadu. These schools had fared poorly in Class 10 and 12 examinations compared to other government schools last year. Activists attributed the deficient performance to a shortage of teachers and inadequate infrastructure facilities in these schools. Further, these schools were overseen by the welfare tahsildar, while the school education department had a separate administrative system to monitor performance in schools under the department.

However, the integration of all the schools under the education department might not be plain sailing. Sources said many teachers from other communities refuse to work with SC and ST students. At present, the elementary teachers’ posts in these schools are entirely reserved for SC and ST candidates. Though the budget announcements mentioned that the service conditions and benefits of teachers and staff already working in these schools will be protected, it has to be seen how the integration will get implemented, said teachers working in the Adi Dravidar welfare department schools.

Demanding the appointment of an official in charge of the Adi Dravidar and tribal schools, activists working with tribal kids said, “The severe infrastructure and teacher vacancy issues in these schools should be addressed properly. Separate officials should be appointed for this purpose at the district-level,” said Sudar Natraj, an activist from Erode. Total allocation for school education department saw a significant increase as it went up to Rs 40,299 crore from Rs 36,895 crore last year


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