TPF Discussion # 01: Status of Primary Education : A Case study of Tamilnadu

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Special Guest: Dr Vasanthi Vasudev

The Peninsula Foundation organised a round table discussion on Education policy and the status of primary education in Tamil Nadu. TPF invited Dr Vasanthi Vasudev, a leading educationist in Chennai, to chair the discussions. The discussions were initiated by TPF as a prelude to formulating a research project for analysis of primary education in India in terms of right to education for children, children enrolment, school education policy effectiveness, learning outcomes, drop-out rates, teaching methodologies, school infrastructure, motivational aspects, noon-meal schemes, financial issues, family environmental impacts etc. The plan is to undertake Tamil Nadu as a case study. Dr Vasanthi elaborated on importance of local language as the medium of instruction and methodologies that should enable identification of aptitudes and focus on child’s strengths. School environmental issues and social practices and rigid mentalities, particularly in rural regions, were bound to have mostly adverse impact on child’s education. She highlighted the insidious entry of caste recognitions in school and gave the examples relating to ineffectiveness of noon-meal schemes in schools. Of course, administrative apathy added to the problems. The discussion provided valuable inputs to the development of the project proposal.

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