New TNCERT draft syllabus goes online for stakeholder review

Hariprasad Radhakrishnan

CHENNAI: After spending more than six months analyzing the gap between Tamil Nadu state board and other boards and the new topics to be introduced in the revised syllabus, the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has posted the draft curriculum for classes 1 to 12 on its website. (

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, who released the draft, said the revised textbooks were being made available to teachers, parents and students so that they could offer suggestions. Comments can either be uploaded online or sent through post.

The curriculum revamp started on May 22 with the formation of a curriculum framework committee, a Government Order released at the time said. The emphasis was to have an applications-based teaching and to give more depth to the subjects.

The curriculum framework committee is headed by former Anna University Vice-Chancellors M. Anandakrishnan and E.Balagurusamy and school education secretary T. Udhayachandran. The committee was formed in light of criticism that the current State Board curriculum puts TN students at a disadvantage when it comes to exams like NEET.

In July, a three-day workshop was held in which over 2000 experts, authors and teachers participated. Languages other than Tamil and English will be uploaded in a week’s time, a release said.

The new topics added in the syllabus include gender issues, inclusive education, environment and some latest developments like robotic science, nano-science, reported Deccan Chronicle. For drafting the curriculum, nearly 20 boards across India and abroad have been studied for preparing a gap analysis report.

The new syllabus will be as good or equivalent to the CBSE’s, Education Minister K. Sengottaiyan had said earlier.


TN Education: a brief history

  • The State earlier had an array of schooling formats: matriculation (run by and for the British at the time of Independence), Anglo-Indian (more focused on English) and Oriental (focusing on Sanskrit and Arabic).
  • All the boards were then subsumed into a common syllabus — ‘Samacheer Kalvi’ — which was considered a major educational reform.
  • However, under Samacheer system, the application-based learning did not take off, and rote learning continued due to various reasons. Almost everyone who appeared for the exam passed and hundreds of students got state ranks under the new system.
  • The entrance exams for engineering and medical colleges were also done away with, and higher secondary marks were used as criteria for admission.
  • After the introduction of NEET, students from the State Board faced difficulty in passing.
  • In July 2017, a curriculum framework committee was formed for revamping the syllabus.
  • In September, Anitha, a Dalit student from Ariyalur, committed suicide over not passing NEET despite getting high marks in the board exams. This caused public furore and the need to revamp the curriculum took centrestage again.