Handbook for Kerala Curriculum Schools on Anvil, Handbooks Ready for Distribution

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Thiruvananthapuram: The government of Kerala is considering the publication of a school manual containing specific guidelines and instructions regarding the operation of schools that follow the state curriculum. This was announced by the Minister of General Education when deciding on a series of initiatives to be taken before the start of the 2022-23 school year.

General Education Minister V Sivankutty also said that the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examination manual will be released along the lines of that of the Plus-Two examination. The director of general education was responsible for preparing the textbook.

The final draft would be submitted after discussion with various departments and experts. The minister noted that there would be clear instructions on the functioning of the school, parent-teacher association (PTA), school management committees (SMC) and mothers’ PTA, in the manual.

Unique academic master plans tailored to each school would also be prepared.

Free Uniform Cloth
A total of 9.58 lakh students from 7,077 government and grant-aided schools would receive a hand-woven uniform free of charge. Around Rs 120 crore would be spent to place the order for 42.08 lakh meters of fabric. Each school can design its own gender-neutral uniform. However, it must complement the cultural heritage of the locality and avoid unwarranted controversy. The government would encourage the transformation of all-girls or all-boys schools into coeducational schools. Interested schools can discuss with the school APE and reach consensus before submitting proposals to the government.

2.84 crore textbooks ready
The first volume of manuals has been printed and sent to district centres. These would be distributed to students before schools reopen, via school companies. About 2.84 crores of textbooks are ready for distribution. Textbooks would be provided to affiliated non-subsidized schools who pay the amount in advance.

alphabets manual
Malayalam alphabets would only be included in textbooks after the curriculum was revised. However, the revision of the program would take at least two years. Thus, the authorities are considering the possibility of distributing an alphabet manual next school year.

Lunch
The support and assistance of non-governmental organizations and institutions would be sought to improve the midday meal project. Organic vegetable gardens would be cultivated in each school. Meanwhile, cooks would be trained with the help of the State Food Craft Institute. Food and drinking water samples would be regularly tested using scientific methods.

Less workload for evaluators
The number of answer sheets a teacher must assess in one day at Plus-Two Assessment Camps has been reduced. The number of answer sheets for the subjects of botany, zoology and music, to be assessed in one day, has increased from 26 to 34; the number of answer sheets has increased from 40 to 50 for the other subjects. These were reduced to 30 and 44 respectively following protests from opposition teachers’ organisations.

Teacher training sessions would start from the second week of May. About 1.34 lakh teachers are likely to attend these sessions.

Other announcements
The minister also announced some other major developments in the education sector.

Adalats would be required to clean up the files that have accumulated in the offices of the Department of General Education.

Common software would be developed to handle complaints about the approval of appointments in assisted schools.

The number of schools that operate without state government approval or NOC would be taken. These schools would not 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 set up in all schools. Their cooperation would be ensured for the development and welfare of the respective schools.

No decision has been made regarding the retention of 89 teachers, who work on deputation in various centers of the Institute of District Education and Training (DIET), as lecturers. A case in this regard is currently pending before the court.

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