The Problem

Tamil Nadu is one of the few states in India whose education system is appreciated and looked up to. It is a state which is known for its public policy initiatives for the welfare of people to set the benchmark of social justice and societal outcomes. The former chief minister, J.Jayalalithaa wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 that “the students of Tamil Nadu are already covered by a fair and transparent admission policy laid down by the Government of Tamil Nadu.” She was so confident because, when it comes to public policy and education, Tamil Nadu has got its citizen covered. –This definitely shows that the Government of Tamil Nadu has placed high importance on access to school education and assuring every student completes graduation. Looking at it from the other perspective, we rarely hear anyone speaking about the quality of education in Tamil Nadu.

The truth of today is that we are failing the majority of our children. India is currently facing one of the worst educational crises in the world. 52% of children in Grade 4 cannot do a two-digit subtraction sum line “46 – 14 = “. 46% of children in Grade 5 cannot read a simple sentence like “This is a tree.”. While India has achieved near universalization of primary education, only 64% of children progress to secondary schooling, and 90% of the children do not make it to college. Schools today are known for encouraging rote-learning rather than comprehension, critical thinking and problem-solving. The situation closer home in Tamil Nadu is no different. Children from Tamil Nadu scored only an average of 40% in the National Assessment Survey — a performance significantly lower than the national average of 66%. In addition to this learning crisis, there’s a shortage of 4000 teachers and nearly 820 schools function only with 1 teacher who handles all subjects from Grade 1 to Grade 8. The causes underlying this collective failure are numerous, varied and complex.