The Tamil Nadu School Education Department recently released a circular making it mandatory for government-run schools in the state to dedicate one period every week to enhance the spoken English skills of students. The new guidelines comes into effect from January 2020.
Tamil Nadu State Council for Educational Research and Training (TNSCERT), with assistance from experts and teachers, has prepared training modules that will be released on Wednesday by Minister for School Education, Youth Welfare and Sports Development KA Sengottaiyan. Teachers will be trained on how to use these modules next month, for which the State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) has prepared handbooks.
Videos for teaching will also be uploaded soon on the Tamil Nadu Teachers’ Platform and Kalvi Tholaicatchi, the television channel run by the government for education.
According to reports, weekly once, a 90-minute class will be set aside for spoken English for students of classes 1 to 5 in panchayat union schools and government schools. For students from classes 6 to 9, weekly sessions will be held for 45 minutes. According to an order sent to all chief educational officers, spoken English classes must involve teaching and activity-based learning.
Tamil Nadu introduced English as a medium of instruction in its government schools in the academic year 2012-13. In line with this scheme, most government schools in the state have separate English medium sections running alongside the Tamil medium sections.
However, even after nine years of introducing the scheme, several experts pointed out that the state lacked the process to prepare teachers. TNM had reported how many teachers, who had been teaching their subjects in Tamil for years, had to make a sudden switch to English, that too, without sufficient training.
The Andhra Pradesh government had announced earlier this month that it will introduce English as a medium of education in all the government-run schools from next academic year for classes 1 to 8, and then for classes 9 and 10 from the academic year 2021-22 onwards. In Karnataka, English-medium classes in government schools were started on a pilot basis last year.
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