At present, Computer Science is treated as a proper subject only for Classes 11 & 12 in the State. Though basic computer knowledge is being imparted for the students studying in other standards in the government and government-aided schools through labs, it was not considered as a subject and no exams or even tests were conducted.
A senior official from the School Education Department, seeking anonymity, told DT Next that in 2004 itself the government was planning to introduce Computer Science as a subject from Class 9 and also proposed to bring it for other lower classes in a phased manner. “However, the proposal was shelved due to change of government,” he said.
Stating that government is simultaneously considering the appointment of qualified computer teachers in all the government schools, he said: “The authorities have already discussed this, apart from the syllabus part.”
According to the official, many rural students at the middle school level in the government institutions do not have the required knowledge about Computer Science compared to their counterparts in private schools. “Most of them know only to play games on the desktop computers,” he said.
Pointing out that at present about 700 computer teachers are part of government school faculty in Sate, who take classes only at the higher-secondary level, he said: “Once the proposal is finalised, the authorities will appoint qualified computer teachers in the State-run schools through Tamil Nadu Teachers Recruitment Board.
However, annual exams for Computer Science from Class 6 will be a call that will be taken later, the official added.
Tamil Nadu Teachers’ Association president PK Ilamaran said his forum has been demanding Computer as a subject for several years. “It would be a good move if the government heeds to our request,” he said adding “more than 40,000 computer teachers with requisite qualification to get appointed in government schools are available in the State.”