Consider allowing corporates to adopt govt. schools, HC directs T.N. Govt

Says a committee can be constituted to improve quality of education

Expressing serious concern over the quality of education imparted in government schools and their poor infrastructural facilities, the Madras High Court has directed the State government to consider the possibility of allowing public sector and also private industries to adopt government educational institutions.

Justices N. Kirubakaran and T.V. Thamilselvi also directed Government Counsel R. Neelakandan to ensure that either a high-level committee was constituted to suggest ways to improve the quality of education in government schools or other appropriate measures were taken by the State. The judges called for a report in this regard by August 2.

The interim orders were passed on a writ appeal related to service conditions for getting promoted as headmasters of government primary schools. While dealing with the case, the judges said the quality of education imparted in government schools, especially those in rural areas, had gone down badly in the recent years forcing many people to admit their children in private schools.

"According to Annual Status of Education Report 2019, one in four Tamil Nadu children in Class VIII were not able to read Class II level text and only 50% students studying in Class VIII were able to do division in mathematics," the Division Bench said. It pointed out that though Tamil Nadu was among top three States in school education, it faired badly in learning outcome and quality domain.

Government school teachers were paid handsome salary compared to the pittance paid to staff of private schools but the government institutions lagged behind in facilities such as laboratories, libraries and toilet facilities, the Bench said. While not discounting the fact that there were some dedicated teachers in government schools too, the judges lamented that many government teachers in rurals areas concentrate on their private avocation than imparting education.

Authoring the order, Justice Kirubakaran wrote: "Though there are very many committed teachers, who have to be appreciated and applauded for their sincere devoted teaching, are working in government schools, the number of erring teachers who are not committed to teaching are increasing. Whenever any action is taken against the erring teachers, the associations resist such actions."

Recording the submission of senior counsel Nalini Chidambaram that industries in Karnataka had been permitted to adopt government schools, the judges said the Tamil Nadu government could take a cue from that experience.

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