No extra working hours for Class 8: Sengottaiyan

Amid reports that Class 8 students studying in State-run institutions should compulsorily attend extra training sessions after school hours in the view of a GO, School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan on Wednesday said that special classes would be conducted only during the school working hours for Class 8 students writing public exam.
No extra working hours for Class 8: Sengottaiyan
School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan during the free bicycle distribution event at a government school


Participating in a function to provide free bicycles to students, the Minister said that welfare and development projects worth about Rs 3.431 crore is being executed in Tamil Nadu. Moreover, Rs 40,000 crore has been sanctioned for further development works, he said.

Responding to query on a circular issued by the district Education Department, the Minister said that special classes would be conducted for Class 8 students, but only during the working hours of the school.

With Directorate of School Education repeatedly warning the schools not to conduct special classes to improve the results, sudden announcement to conduct special classes especially for Class 8 students have surprised teachers, students and parents.

Justifying the announcement, a senior official from the Directorate told DT Next that since question papers would be based on three-semester textbooks, the special classes would focus and help the students to recollect the portions in first and second semester textbooks. “It will just be a one-hour session in the evening on all working days,” he added. According to the official, test would also be conducted during the special classes so that students would boldly appear for the exams. “Special classes schedule have already sent to all the schools,” he added.

However, academicians raised stiff opposition against the proposed move. Tamil Nadu Teachers Association President P K Ilamaran said that the special classes will not only create stress among the students but also it would affect them mentally. “It would definitely put extra burden on the students,” he said adding, “Therefore, government should immediately stop conducting extra classes.”

S Murugavel, a representative of TN Parents Teachers Welfare Association, attached to Pallavaram region, said, “Portions cannot be rushed by conducting special classes and students at that age will find it difficult to understand at the short period of time.” He said, the government should scrap conducting board exams for both the classes.

Meanwhile, government has also decided to conduct counselling session for the parents of the Classes 5 and 8 students on how to prepare the children to face the board exams. “Counselling will be conducted in all government and government aided schools by calling the parents during weekends,” official from the School Directorate said.

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