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No arts subjects trigger dropouts

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AFTER completing their Class X board examination, children of the underprivileged across Ta-mil Nadu, mostly drop out of schools, as the Government Adi Dravidar Welfare Higher Secondary and Government Tribal Residential (GTR) Schools do not offer higher studies in arts subjects. As many as 58 Government Adi Dravidar Welfare Higher Secondary Schools in Tamil Nadu lack arts groups as the vacancies of art subject teachers have not been filled since 1990s. Situated in plains and mountains, Adi ravidar Welfare (ADW) and GTR schools are especially meant for the marginalised and downtrodden, living in rural villages and hilly areas. Like other government schools, the students at ADW and GTR schools get free education, and free educational kits, comprising bags, books, and uniforms.

Before 1990, nine vacancies in science and arts groups were filled at these schools, with fac-ulty for Tamil, English, Physics, Chemistry Mathematics, Botany, Zoology, Economics, Com-merce. Later, only five posts were appointed after the high State of affairs schools got upgraded as higher secondary schools. The five includes postings to Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry Biology, and Language, and hence only Science group subjects are being taught. A member with the Tamil Nadu Doctor Ambedkar Post Graduate Teachers Association said, 'The children of the under-privileged and weaker sections of the society are left with no option but to continue their higher secondary education in sciences. Many students drop out as there are no dedicated arts group." The parents also feel unsafe to send their children miles away for higher education, he added. Tiruchy district president of the association, J Abdul Jaffer said that many students who aspire to pursue studies in banking sectors or anything related to management after their high-er secondary are left in the lurch.

"With only the Science group available at ADW and GTR schools, students find it difficult to learn the subjects," said Jaffer. The Department of School Education, in 2011, had notified that nine posts are to be filled at all government schools, but in vain. The schools also lack Office Assistants (OAs), clerks, security guards, and sanitary workers", he added. State president M Senthilkumar said that various demands of the association have been put forth before the Tamil Nadu Government, speaking on the side-lines of the State conference at St John's Vestry Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, on Sunday A charter of demands by members said that the State government should identify ADW high schools across Tamil Nadu to upgrade into higher secondary schools.

Total ADW Higher Secondary Schools In Tamil Nadu -105
Number of ADW Higher Secondary Schools wIthout Arts group- 58
ADW schools tally Higher secondary schools -105
High schools -150
Middle and elementary schools-745
argnIAN Mon, 09 October 2017 IIIVEXPRINS epaper . new indianexpress com//c/22767157 

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