INTRODUCTION

The Tamil School was started in 1979 by the Ceylon Tamil Association under the leadership of Late Prof C.J Eliezer with nine students. The school was granted a small financial support by the Federal Government in 1982 and by the Victorian State Government in 1983. During these initial period classes were conducted in Prahran as the central location (although it was originally started at Dr Chandrabanu's dance school). Later in 1984, a second school in Carnegie, third school in Dandenong in 1987 and the fourth in Mill Park in 1988 were iniated.

By early nineties the school had established a total of eight campuses. With this development it became necessary to set up a separate body under the Association to manage the school. This body is now called the Tamil Schools Board with the co-ordinators of schools as members. In addition some people with specialised skills are nominated to this board to help in the continuous development of syllabus/curriculum.

Approval was granted by the Victorian Department of Education and Employment to conduct classes for preparing students for the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) leading to the university entrance and first batch of student appeared for the VCE Tamil examination in 1997. VCE preparations have been conducted at the Mill Park and Glen Waverly campuses and the school has had reasonable success over the last five years.

The Victorian Department of Education and Employment has been providing training for teachers every year at three nominated universities and financial grant based on the number of students. The Victorian Multicultural Commission also provides limited purpose grants each year. The Schools Board and the Association have fund raising activities to support the school.

The Tamil School managed by the Tamil Cultural Association is also part of the Tamil Schools Board. The school now uses the books developed by International Tamil Educational Cultural Scientific Development Federation as textbooks. This helps to maintain a worldwide standard and teaching language with the precious Tamil cultural base.

The schools have a cultural function at each campus with a joint annual Cultural Festival or Kalai Vizha held in November. The students are encouraged to perform at this festival participating in cultural item such as dance, instrumental music or vocal. Dignitaries from the Multicultural Commission, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Tamil Scholars are invited as guests for this function.


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