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Chennai govt moves SC, challenges HC order on uniform syllabus

Litigation

CHENNAI: The state government on Tuesday filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court challenging the order of the Madras high court asking it to implement Samacheer Kalvi ( uniform syllabus education system ) in schools across Tamil Nadu.

In its order on Monday, the Madras HC struck down Section 3 of the Uniform System of School Education (Amendment Act 2010), passed by the AIADMK government, as unconstitutional. Section 3 sought to defer the implementation of Samacheer Kalvi, introduced by the previous DMK regime, for academic year 2011-12 .

In its appeal, the state government is likely to take the same stand as it did in the HC that the amendment did not contemplate indefinite postponement but implementation within a reasonable time. The AIADMK government will also take the stand that the Samacheer Kalvi syllabus was not up to the required standard.

School education minister C Ve Shanmugam , secretary D Sabitha and advocate general A Navaneethakrishnan are in New Delhi for the appeal. Senior counsel P P Rao is likely to appear for the state, though sources said other senior advocates from the Supreme Court were also being consulted. The case is expected to come up for hearing on Thursday.

Ending nearly two months of uncer tainty about the common school syl labus, the Madras high court on Mon day ordered the implementation of Samacheer Kalvi from Classes 1 to 10 and directed that the prescribed textbooks be distributed to schools by July 22.

Now, with the state government deciding to appeal against this judgement in the Supreme Court, it looks like the deadline will not be met.

Nearly 10 crore textbooks have been printed and dis patched to godowns across the state. With just two more days to go for the deadline the state government has still not issued or ders to the regional godowns for the distri bution of textbooks to schools.

In May, before the assembly election re sults were announced, the Tamilnadu Text book Society sent out book order forms to schools through the officials concerned, in cluding the inspector of matriculation schools and the chief educational officer.

These officials then handed over the forms to zonal school, which co-ordinate ac tivities for around 10 schools in their vicin ity. While schools were still in the process of placing orders, the new AIADMK regime postponed the implementation of the Samacheer Kalvi syllabus.

“We expect fresh orders to be taken to fig ure out the number of books each school would require. Whether the Supreme Court admits the state government’s petition or not it seems unlikely that all schools will get text books by July 22. I don’t think the Tamilnadu Textbook Society will take up the responsi bility of delivering the books. We will be asked to queue up in front of the respective regional godowns,” said the principal of a matricula tion school in the city.

An official at the Chennai district godown in Taramani, who declined to be named, said, “We have stocked enough number of Samacheer Kalvi textbooks and also those based on the old syllabus. They are ready for distribution and can be delivered to all schools within a few days. But we are yet to receive any news on which textbooks to dis tribute. Also, private schools have not placed any orders with us.”

The Times of India, July 20, 2011

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