Manual for Kerala syllabus schools on the anvil, textbooks ready for distribution

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government is considering the publication of school manual that contains specific guidelines and instructions regarding the functioning of the schools that follow the state syllabus. This was announced by the Minister of General Education while deciding on a slew of initiatives to be taken ahead of the commencement of the 2022-23 academic year.

Minister of General Education V Sivankutty also said that the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) exam manual would be published on the lines of the one for Plus-Two exam. The Director of General Education has been entrusted to prepare the school manual.

The final draft would be submitted after holding discussions with various departments and experts. The minister noted that there would be clear instructions about the functioning of school, Parent–Teach Association (PTA), School Management Committees (SMC) and Mothers’ PTA, in the manual.

Unique academic master plans that suit each school too would be prepared.

Free uniform cloth
In all 9.58 lakh students in 7,077 government and aided schools would be given free handwoven uniform cloth. Around Rs 120 crore would be spent to place the order for 42.08 lakh metres cloth. Each school can design their own gender-neutral uniform. However, it should complement the cultural heritage of the locality and should avoid unwarranted controversies. The government would encourage turning girls or boys only schools into co– ed schools. Interested schools may discuss to the school PTA and reach a consensus before submitting proposals to the government.

2.84 crore textbooks ready
The first volume of the textbooks has been printed and transported to the district hubs. These would be distributed to the students before the schools reopen, via school societies. Around 2.84 crore textbooks are ready for distribution. Textbooks would be supplied to affiliated unaided schools that pay the amount in advance.

Handbook of alphabets
The Malayalam alphabets would be included in the text books only after the revision of syllabus. However, the syllabus revision would take at least two years. So, the authorities are considering the possibility of distributing a handbook of alphabets, next academic year.

Mid-day meals
The support and help of Non-Governmental Organizations and institutions would be sought to improve the mid-day meal project. Organic vegetable patches would be grown in every school. Meanwhile, the cooks would be trained with the help of State Food Craft Institute. The food and drinking water samples would be regularly tested using scientific methods.

Less workload for evaluators
The number of answer sheets that a teacher has to evaluate in a day, at the Plus-Two valuation camps has been reduced. The number of answer sheets of Botany, Zoology and Music subjects, to be evaluated in a day, was increased from 26 to 34; the number of answers sheets was increased from 40 to 50 for other subjects. These have been reduced to 30 and 44 respectively following protests from opposition teachers’ organizations.

The teacher training sessions would begin from the second week of May onwards. Around 1.34 lakh teachers are likely to attend these sessions.

Other announcements
The minister has also announced a few other major developments in the education sector.

Adalats would be held to clear the files that have accumulated at the offices of the General Education Department.

A common software would be developed to address the complaints regarding approval of appointments in aided schools.

The number of schools that function without the approval or NOC of the state government would be taken. These schools wouldn’t be allowed to violate the provisions of the Right to Education Act.

Awareness campaigns would be conducted against fake news and to stop suicides among school children.

Alumni associations would be formed in all the schools. Their cooperation would be ensured for the development and welfare of the respective schools.

No decision has been taken about retaining 89 school teachers, who are working on deputation in various District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) centres, as lecturers. A case regarding this is currently under the consideration of the court.

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