Will Thai Tamil schools get ‘aided’ status?

As the city gears up for the World Classical Tamil Conference, beginning on Wednesday, some Tamil enthusiasts are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping that the frenzy being created works in their favour.

They are authorities running ‘Thai Tamil Schools’ across the State, who have been demanding an ‘aided’ status for their institutions for long, as they feel it will help them go the extra mile in their initiative to offer education with Tamil as the medium of instruction.

The aim of Thai Tamil Schools has been to create awareness among parents and their children of the importance of an education in Tamil.

Thyagu, a champion of Marxism and Tamil nationalism, was the pioneer of these schools. He started a Thai Tamil School at Ambattur in Chennai way back in 1993.

Following in his footsteps, many Tamil enthusiasts launched similar schools in different towns across the State.

With a humble beginning, these grew from strength to strength. There are now 50 such schools in Tamil Nadu, of which, three are in Tirupur, educating mostly children from low-income group families in the neighbourhood.

Speaking to Express, K N Thangarasu, State president of Thai Tamil Kalvi Pani, an association formed to champion the cause of Thai Tamil Schools, said organisation had sent a memorandum with a charter of demands, including one for ‘aided’ status for the 21 Thai Tamil Schools to Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on June 5.

The office bearers had also met Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu in this regard, he added.

Almost all Thai Tamil Schools are recognised by the State government.

Subrabharathy Manian and Dr Muthusamy, who run a school under a trust, explained the functioning of a Thai Tamil School. Students have to pay a nominal fee of Rs 50 each month, they said. These schools offer classes up till Standard V. Moreover, the emphasis was on imparting culture and tradition, they added.

Vel Iraiyan, the secretary of a school in Tirupur, said Thai Tamil Schools focus on activity-based learning.

There are just 10 students in each class, lowering the teacher-student ratio. LKG is called ‘Pinjugal’ and UKG ‘Pookkal’. To lead by example, school correspondent Ezhil Subramanian has put his two children at the Tirupur school.

According to Tamilkurisil, secretary of Thai Tamil Kalvi Pani, the organisation’s demands include appointment of teachers, implementation of the noon meal scheme and giving priority in renewal of recognition to Thai Tamil Schools by the State government.

( This article is updated here from the The New Indian Express for reference and informational purpose.)

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