The Radhakrishnan Committee had lot to say about the University Education but it reviewed the secondary education in the country as well. It was this commission which remarked that "Secondary Education continues to be the weakest link in our educational machinery and needs urgent reform." It recommended: (i) A twelve year secondary course instead of ten years,
(ii) That teachers' lot be improved,
(iii) Admission to the university be after intermediate examination, (iv) Liberal grants and better teaching facilities are available. -------------------------------------------------
Muthukumaran Committee Report
Tamil Nadu is regarded to be one of India’s star performers in the sector of elementary education. The results of the 2001 Census show that Tamil Nadu has attained third position behind Kerala and Maharashtra both in terms of overall and female literacy. It recorded close to 100 per cent gross enrolment ratio (GER) at primary and upper primary levels based on 2007 estimates. A major legislative effort for the universalisation of education in line with the constitutional mandate has been the introduction of the Tamil Nadu Compulsory Education Act, 1994. Under this Act it is the duty of the government to provide the necessary infrastructure (schools and teachers) for ensuring universalisation of elementary education. Parents are also liable to be fined if they do not send their wards to school, though this rule is not very strictly enforced as most of the children not going to school come from poor backgrounds. Tamil Nadu’s high enrolment statistics are also the result of the number of welfare schemes that the State government has introduced in the elementary education sector. The large number of missionary and private schools are also playing a role in the spread of education. The government provides textbooks, uniforms and noon meals to the pupils making it a State where the per child spending is much higher than in educationally backward States such as Bihar, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and others and is higher than the all-India average. The State is making an endeavor to provide primary schools within a one km radius of human habitations with a population of 300 and above to increase their accessibility. It is also a State that has actually spent most of the funds allocated to it by the Centre under the SSA scheme, in contrast to States like UP, Bihar and Assam that have huge unspent amounts. Tamil Nadu students stood first in the country in mathematics, language and reading comprehension skills according to the national mid-term achievement survey of Class III children commissioned by the NCERT in collaboration with the MHRD and the SCERT and SSA wings of the States recently. But it has come to light that local bodies like corporations and municipalities are not fully utilizing money collected as education tax as a percentage of property tax under the Tamil Nadu Elementary Education Act and this is affecting the quality and quantity of formal education provision at the grassroots level. While the general literacy rate in Tamil Nadu as per 2001 data is 73.5%, wide disparities exist across districts, gender, and area of residence as well as social grouping. The literacy rate of the SC and ST populations are consistently lower in all the districts. The retention rate within and after the primary school level is also not very impressive and there is a high percentage of repeaters. This is particularly so in the case of the STs and SCs. It is to overcome this discrepancy between education offered in different kinds of schools, between rural and urban schools and to overcome other numerous ills that have crept into the education system—such as arbitrary collection of fees, induction of daily waged, inadequately qualified para teachers, rote learning, examination stress, problems related to the medium of instruction and so on—that the State government constituted the...